From crushing home runs to making a difference in the community, Frank Edward Thomas Jr. is the definition of a true MVP. Hailing from Columbus, Georgia, Thomas had a passion for baseball and football from a young age. But it was on the diamond where he shone, earning a spot-on Auburn University’s baseball team and becoming a standout first baseman. When the Chicago White Sox drafted him in the first round of the MLB draft in 1989, it was clear that Thomas was destined for greatness.
With his powerful hitting and natural talent, Thomas quickly became known as “The Big Hurt” – and he lived up to that nickname on a regular basis. During his 16 seasons with the White Sox (plus brief stints with the Oakland Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays), he amassed an incredible batting average of .301, slammed 521 home runs, and racked up 1,704 runs batted in (RBIs).
But Thomas was more than just a beast on the field. He’s also a true champion of education and philanthropy. After earning a degree in business administration from Auburn University in 1997, he became a passionate advocate for education. He started the Frank Thomas Big Hurt Foundation to provide scholarships and educational programs for kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.
And that’s not all. Thomas has also tirelessly supported other charitable causes, from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. He’s won awards for his philanthropic efforts, including the prestigious Bart Giamatti Award for Community Service and the Roberto Clemente Award.
When he’s not busy making a difference in the world, Thomas can be found behind the mic as a broadcaster for Fox Sports and ESPN. And, of course, he’s also been recognized for his incredible achievements on the field. Thomas was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014, and his number 35 was retired by the White Sox in 2010.
Frank Thomas Jr is a true icon of the sport and a shining example of what it means to be a well-rounded athlete and individual. So, here’s to “The Big Hurt” – may his legacy continue to inspire future generations of baseball players and philanthropists alike.