When Frank Thomas came to Chicago, the Bulls were beginning their run of six championships in eight seasons. Michael Jordan had already established himself as a superstar, and Thomas used No. 23's success to push himself to be on the same level.
"When I got here I was a huge Michael Jordan fan, watching Michael Jordan every night making big shots and I said, ‘Why can’t I do that in baseball?’ " Thomas said last week. "I did have those types of dreams and I wanted to make it a special moment for everyone who came through that turnstile every night in my career."
Of course, Thomas already had the skill to be great. But hey, trying to match Jordan's basketball prowess on the diamond is about as high a bar as someone could've shot for in the 1990s.
"I put that upon myself, I was supposed to go 3-for-4 every night, 4-for-4 every night, hit a home run every night," Thomas said. "I mean that was just me. It wasn’t like I just wanted to be a player that comes in and not have that type of impact.
"I think the Michael Jordan influence had something to do with that."