Less than 24 hours from now, The Greatest Hitter in White Sox history will make his return to the south side wearing enemy colors. As we witnessed first hand during Jim Thome's first trip back to Cleveland, once friendly crowds can turn on a player quickly once he's in a new uniform.
It is my hope that this will not be the case tomorrow night. I'm sure there will be a smattering of boos from those who just don't know any better. And there will be quite a few of them, as it's half-priced night. (Or not. I just checked Ticketmaster. While there are still tickets available, they could not fulfill my request for 2 best availables.)
Just to refresh your memory, here's a quick and easy demonstration of Frank's greatness.
- Frank Thomas is #1 in White Sox history in OBP, SLG, OPS, BB, HR, XBH, & RBI. I'm sure there are others, but that just gives you an idea of his greatness and longevity relative to other White Sox.
- Among active hitters, He's #2(behind Barry) in BB, #3(behind Barry and Todd Helton) in OBP, #3(behind Barry and Ken Griffey Jr.) in HR, #4 in Runs Created, #5 in OPS, #3 in sac flys, #5 in RBI, and this list could go on an on. -- In other words, he's one of the top 4 or 5 players of his generation.
- For his career, he ranks #13 all-time in OBP, #15 all-time in SLG, and #11 all-time in OPS. And my favorite obscure stat, somehow Thomas is #12 all-time in sac flies. (I assume this is because they were not recorded as such until relatively late in baseball history.)
So I'm asking you all, when Frank comes up to bat for the first time, get off your ass and give him a bigger ovation than he could have ever imagined. Not only will you help drown out the few boobirds, you'll show the best hitter in White Sox history how much he was appreciated, and help out Jon Garland in the process.
After all, it's gotta be pretty hard to hit a baseball with tears in your eyes.