Frank Thomas will appear on the baseball Hall of Fame ballot for the first time next season. With an impressive crop of players joining him on the ballot, Thomas is building up his case saying his numbers are legit.
A two-time AL MVP, Thomas played 19 years at the big league level including 16 with the Chicago White Sox. On Saturday he spoke at SoxFest -the teams annual fanfest- about his hall of fame chances.
”I think I’ve done enough to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer,”Thomas said.
”Watching all the nonsense unfold and not really knowing what was going on, it makes me much more proud of my career,” he said. ”I competed in that era. I played at a high level in that era. There are a lot of great players, but as it unfolds, a lot of it was not the real deal. I know 100 percent I was the real deal.”
Thomas is clearly taking a shot at Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa who all fell well short of making the hall in their first year of eligibility. Make no mistake about it, Thomas has no sympathy for players who enhanced their stats with banned substances.
”I wouldn’t say I feel bad for them,” Thomas said. ”I respected them on the field, but they chose this. They made their own decisions off the field and they’ve got to live with it.”
Thomas along with Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent and Mike Mussina will all appear on the ballot for the first time next season. Thomas finished his big league career with a .301 average and 521 home runs.