Frank Thomas is still leaving his mark on White Sox baseball.
A life-size sculpture of the five-time American League all-star will be unveiled at U.S. Cellular Field before Sunday’s game against the Boston Red Sox.
“Frank was one of the best right-handed hitters I’ve ever seen,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said of his former teammate. “This guy was amazing, he can do a lot of things.”
The ceremony begins at 12:20 p.m., in the left-field concourse where the statue will be located. The first 20,000 in attendance will receive a replica version of the statue.
Thomas was honored last year when the White Sox retired his No. 35 uniform.
“Frank’s the best hitter this organization has ever had top to bottom,” said White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, who played with Thomas for seven seasons. “They did his number last year, now the statue this year, Hall of Fame in a couple years. I’m sure he’s going to be a first-ballot Hall of Fame guy ... he’s had a heck of a career.”
Thomas was drafted by the White Sox in the first round in 1989 and went on to become the franchise’s all-time leader in multiple offensive categories, including home runs and RBI. Thomas also recorded consecutive MVP awards in 1993-94, becoming the 11th player in major-league history to do so.
“As a younger guy growing up, I mean he was pretty much White Sox baseball,” Konerko said. “I mean that’s who you followed, you watched the games to watch him hit. I’m just happy for him.”
Thomas left the White Sox in 2005 as a free agent and played for Oakland, then Toronto, eventually retiring in 2008 as an Athletic. However, Guillen said he believes the “Big Hurt” is best known for his 16 seasons as a White Sox first baseman and designated hitter.
“I think when you talk about the White Sox organization over the years, I think Frank Thomas’ name comes up No. 1,” Guillen said. “Frank did a lot of great things for this organization, for this city and I think he earned it.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.