Member of the 500 Homerun club, Frank Thomas was born on May 27, 1968 in Columbus, Georgia. Thomas became one of baseball's biggest stars in the 1990s, playing for the Chicago White Sox. Thomas has two nicknames. He was given the nickname "The Big Hurt" by broadcaster Ken Harrelson, who coined the term in the 1992 season. Frank Thomas is known, not only for his menacing home run power, but also for striking fear in the competition by swinging a rusted rebar (reportedly found during a renovation project in Old Comiskey Park) in the on-deck circle.
In 1997, Thomas won the batting title and finished third in MVP voting. He struggled over the next two seasons, but rebounded in 2000 when he hit .328 with a career-high 43 homers and 143 runs batted in. Thomas finished second in MVP voting that season, behind Jason Giambi of the Oakland Athletics. He also won the 2000 AL Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Thomas is one of several notable baseball players who played college baseball at Auburn University, such as Bo Jackson, who was a teammate of Thomas in the major leagues. He also played tight end for the school's football team. Thomas has hit over 500 career home runs, thus making him a strong candidate for the Baseball Hall of Fame when eligible. Thomas is part of an elite group as one of only four players in baseball history to have at least a .300 average, 500 home runs, 1,500 RBIs, 1,000 runs and 1,500 walks in a career. The others are Mel Ott, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams.
1993 and 1994, Thomas won back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards. In 1994, the baseball season was shortened due to a players' strike and perhaps no one felt the sting of the strike more than Thomas, who stood poised to achieve one of baseball's most prestigious honors: the Triple Crown. Not since 1967 had any player finished the regular season first in average, home runs, and runs batted in. Thomas was contending for the honor when the strike occurred, and his numbers were good enough to earn him a second American League Most Valuable Player award.
Thomas is currently the all-time record holder for home runs by a designated hitter. ranks 18th with career 516 HRs and 22nd with career 1,685 RBIs.