Still Hurtin' For A Chance Print E-mail
Written by Fred Mitchell   
Sunday, 29 March 2009

The “Big Hurt” is hurting for another opportunity to add to his 500 Home Run Club totals.

Frank Thomas is looking for a job as the start of the major league season looms.

After 19 seasons, mostly with the Chicago White Sox, Thomas has hit 521 home runs -- tied with Hall of Famer Ted Williams for 18th all time. He has  more than 1,700 RBIs (21st all time) and 1,667 walks (ninth). Thomas holds a .301 lifetime batting average. His on-base percentage of .419 is 21st all time and his .974 OPS is 15th.

Those are pretty lofty numbers for an umemployed ballplayer. Many would call those Hall of Fame numbers. But injuries have limited the 40-year-old Thomas and his list of potential employers is essentially limited to American League clubs that could use an accomplished designated hitter.

Thomas is one of 21 players in the 500 Home Run Club. In 2001 he played in only 20 games. He came back with solid seasons in 2002 and ’03. But injuries again limited Thomas to 108 games in 2004-05. His last fully healthy season was 2006 when Thomas whacked 39 homers and drove in 114 runs.

Thomas won back-to-back American League MVP awards for the White Sox. The only other players to accomplish that feat were Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle, Jimmie Foxx, Ernie Banks and Mike Schmidt, as well as Barry Bonds.

Many argue that Thomas is rather one-dimensial at this stage of his career. But what a dimension he can bring!He has flashed signs of his old self with Oakland and Toronto.

"I just don't get it. In my eyes, I know I can go out and hit 35 to 40 home runs, drive in 120 runs. That's the way I feel," Thomas told Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com. "I'm in the best shape I've been in probably the last 10 years. I didn't finish the season. I started training in September."





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