He did it! Frank Thomas, arguably the greatest player to wear a Chicago White Sox uniform, became a first-ballot Hall of Famer today, joining Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine as the the incoming Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
This announcement was particularity exciting for me, since I had covered Frank from his Major League debut at County Stadium in August of 1990 to his retirement press conference and statue unveiling just a few years ago.
I will never forget watching Frank bat for the first time down in Sarasota, Florida during spring training 1989. What caught my eye was his eye.
The man was big, had power, AND had an incredible eye for the plate! He could and would take a walk. Very impressive. He reminded me of a Wade Boggs with power.
I remember returning to Chicago from that spring training trip telling all who would listen that there was someone special developing in our system. Someone to watch, a game changer. Potentially Hall of Fame caliber…
As history now shows, Frank didn’t prove me wrong!
Frank will be entering the Hall of Fame wearing a Chicago White Sox uniform, which is very exciting news for ALL Sox fans. The last player to enter Cooperstown wearing a White Sox jersey was Nelson Fox back in 1997.
I’m looking forward to making my first trip to Cooperstown (believe it or not, I have never been… yet) this July to conclude my photographic journey covering The Big Hurt when Frank is formally inducted. It’s about time we BOTH got there, and it couldn’t be for a better reason.
Congrats, Big Man!! I’m proud of you and what you have accomplished, particularly in becoming only the ninth inductee to go into the Hall while wearing a Chicago White Sox uniform.
Might I also add a hearty congratulations to you too, Mr. Maddux and Mr. Glavine!
I also had the privilege of watching Maddux develop, rightfully earning the “Mad Dog” moniker given to him as the ace of one of the most dominant pitching staffs ever, that of the Atlanta Braves during their 1990’s-2000’s NL East divisional reign.
Joining him on that Braves staff and entering the Hall with Maddux is Tom Glavine. Each pitcher, with 300 plus wins under their collective belts, might have been the Braves 90’s version of “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain”… Funny… Both dynamic duos played for the Braves!
My favorite memory of Tom was while photographing him for his Score baseball card “Dream Team” portrait on the very day he learned he won his first Cy Young award. Glavine, drafted by the NHL’s LA Kings before choosing baseball as his profession, dressed up in his full Braves home whites while shooting slap shots past my head at a rented ice rink in the Atlanta area…
Congratulations to the entire incoming Hall of Fame Class of 2014!
I look forward to seeing you all in Cooperstown July 27th!