Friday, February 12, 2010

Officially retired - Frank Thomas was considered one of the best in his era

Frank Thomas announced his retirement on Friday - I remember him going neck-and-neck with Ken Griffey Jr. as the two players considered the biggest hobby stars through much of the 1990s.

A possible blemishes holding 'The Big Hurt' back from first-ballot Hall of Fame status is the designated hitter issue, which should be a somewhat relevant issue for evaluating Thomas as a player - but shouldn't otherwise overshadow his accomplishments [including being two-time MVP in 1993 and 1994, hitting 521 home runs, having .301 lifetime batting average while generating a .419 on-base percentage ].

In his career, 'The Big Hurt' was always selfish about his stats and outspoken about his contract and his perceived value in the early 2000s - he kind of soured on people as his all-world hitting skills somewhat declined.

However, when he was hitting the ball in his peak during the 1990s - the man was considered to be what Albert Pujols is today and every baseball fan / baseball card collector wanted a piece of him. 

His best mainstream rookie card was probably from the 1990 Leaf set [card #300] - as Thomas' popularity waned over the last part of his career and the Leaf's value decreased [maybe around $10 these days, a little more if professionally graded], his 1990 Topps 'no-name on front' was still a well sought-after card by dedicated Thomas collectors.   

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