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The Big Hurt Will Not Be Hurting For Votes For The Hall Of Fame

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The Big Hurt Will Not Be Hurting For Votes for the Hall of Fame

The summer of 2014 will be a big summer for Frank Thomas. That’s the summer when he can be elected into baseball’s Hall-of-Fame. In my mind, it’s not even a question about whether or not he will get in, but how many votes he will receive the first time he is on the ballot. Thomas is a first ballot Hall-of-Famer. He played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball and for about a five year span, the Big Hurt was one of the best players in the game. He finished his career tied for 18th on baseball’s all-time home run list with 521, was a five-time All-Star, and was a two-time MVP. What makes Thomas’s career even more impressive is the fact that he has never been linked to steroids. Despite playing in the same era as Jason Giambi, Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro, Jose Canseco and Roger Clemens, nobody has really questioned the merits of Thomas’s accomplishments.Frank Thomas joined WSCR in Chicago with Danny Mac to talk about his work ethic, how tough it was to play in Chicago, how he got himself back to playing at a pretty high level after Chicago no longer wanted him, and what his relationship is like now with Chicago General Manager Ken Williams.

On growing up with nothing and being motivated to prove people wrong:

“No doubt about it. I was very focused at a young age to make something of myself. Really I wouldn’t let anything stop it.”

On whether it was tough for him at such a young age to play in Chicago:

“No, it wasn’t tough. I was used to being the star of my team, but coming to a city that is a sports town, negativity is something that I had never been around. To each their own. People handle it different ways. At times, I didn’t handle it the right way, but I understand that. I did a lot of growing, it made me a better person and a better man and I’m really proud to be announcing my retirement on the south side today.”

On whether he ever thought about where he ranked among the all-time greats while he was playing:

“Not really. I just never wanted to lose my focus. If I woulda sat back and thought about the company that I was keeping, I probably never would’ve been as successful as I was later in my career.”

On whether or not he feels cheated that Jason Giambi won the MVP award 2000 instead of him:

“I don’t feel cheated. I just felt like I won it anyway. That year I told people when it happened; I thought I was the MVP that year. When all the revelations came out I was like wow that was the year that I thought I was supposed to win it anyway. That was my best year in a White Sox uniform.”

On people questioning how he played so well in 2006 with Oakland after being injured prior to that:

“Hard work. Extreme hard work. I really busted my butt to get back that year with Oakland. Everyone was doubting me. They thought my career was done. I’ve always prided myself on proving people wrong. That year in Oakland, I was really balls to the walls in the off-season. I could barely walk, but I hit the weights so hard that when everything started to feel better what an incredible season it was.”

On the way he left Chicago and his relationship with Ken Williams now:

“It’s a great place to be. Nobody wants to leave Chicago. Kenny and I had a long friendship before all this stuff went down. So it wasn’t like a General Manager was taking over and a star player was pissed off on the way out the door. It was more of we didn’t see eye to eye on certain things. I knew I wasn’t done and I just needed more time, but the doctors were saying that I was done. I can see his side of the story, we worked things out last year and it’s all over.”

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