COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Former White Sox slugger Frank Thomas will be inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame later Sunday afternoon along with five others, including Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux and ex-Sox manager Tony La Russa.
Here’s what some of Thomas’ fellow Hall of Famers said about him.
[MORE COOPERSTOWN: What fellow Hall of Famers say about Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux]
George Brett, 1B/3B
— “I saw a lot of similarities in his swing and my swing because Walt Hriniak learned all his stuff from Charley Lau and Charley Lau is the one who taught me. You know, head down at contact, extension…that’s how I hit. Unfortunately I was 6-foot, 200 pounds and Frank was 6-4 and 260 and I never lifted a weight in my life and he could lift the whole weight room if he wanted to. He had a lot more home runs than I did but it was fun watching him play.”
“Everybody really respected his bat…Our deal was if you could make him throw the ball while he was playing first base you had a good chance to advance. We tried to exploit his weakness. He was a hell of a player. I’m glad he got a chance. Playing in an era where there’s been a lot of speculation about all kinds of PEDs and stuff, his name was never mentioned and that’s what makes this great. No controversy.”
— “He’s the type of hitter, everything you’ve ever seen me do I’ve learned from somebody, and Sparky, one of his best tactics was to take a hitter out of the game. He’d come by sometimes, if he got along with the guy, he’d just tell him ‘Don’t even bring your bat to the plate. You’re not going to play for three days here.’ It was smart because pretty soon the guy gets tired and he starts swinging out there. Well, Frank is a guy…this guy was power, average, good strike zone, you couldn’t defend him. Try shifting Frank Thomas. He was a marked man and we were going to try as best we could to avoid him hurting us.”
Wade Boggs, 3B
— “He’s a punch-and-judy hitter in a 6-6, 260-pound body. He had 500 home runs naturally. But very patient at the plate. Had a wonderful eye. And he could hurt you in so many ways. He was fun to watch.”
Dave Winfield, OF
— “He was a scary hitter, just like me. It’s tough for a big tall guy to have a strike zone that he can control and do some damage, hit for average. Sometimes it's up to the player to determine what kind of player they want to be.”