CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today proclaimed July 27, 2014 as “Frank Thomas Day” across Illinois in recognition of the “Big Hurt’s” formal induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Thomas is one of six Hall of Fame inductees in the Class of 2014 that also includes Bobby Cox, Tom Glavine, Tony La Russa, Greg Maddux and Joe Torre.
“Every time Frank Thomas stepped into the box you knew something special might happen,” Governor Quinn said. “He was one of the greatest hitters around and now the ‘Big Hurt’ will be entering Baseball’s prestigious Hall of Fame as a member of the Chicago White Sox. In honor of Frank and his contributions to the sport of baseball, I proclaim today ‘Frank Thomas Day’ across Illinois.”
Born in Columbus, Georgia in 1968, Thomas was the seventh overall pick by the White Sox in 1989. He made his Major League debut as an August call-up in 1990, hitting .330 over 60 games. For the next 15 years, he was a White Sox, earning the nickname “The Big Hurt” for the damage he inflicted on pitchers. Thomas’ offensive contributions with the White Sox, including 448 home runs, 1,465 RBIs and .995 on base plus slugging percentage are all club records.
Thomas had a career batting average over .300, hit 521 homers and knocked in 1,704 RBIs over the course of 19 seasons in the Major Leagues. He was a five-time All-Star, two-time American League MVP and one-time American League batting champion. He is also the first Hall of Famer to have played a majority of his games as a designated hitter.
Being inducted along with Thomas is former White Sox manager Tony La Russa, who led the White Sox to a division championship and playoff appearance in 1983, the first such achievement by a Chicago baseball team since 1959. Throughout his career, his 2,728 victories ranks third in the history of our national pastime. He is also only the second manager to win the World Series in both the American and National leagues after having led the St. Louis Cardinals to two World Series championships.
Also inducted to the Hall of Fame on Sunday is longtime Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Greg Maddox. Maddox is one of only 10 pitchers ever to achieve both 300 wins and 3,000 strikeouts, and is the only pitcher to record over 300 wins, over 3,000 strikeouts and fewer than 1,000 walks.
Thomas, Maddox, La Russa, Glavine, Cox and Torre will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame today at a special ceremony in Cooperstown, New York.
Frank Thomas Day Proclamation (PDF)