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Today in White Sox History: February 11

The greatest South Side slugger hangs ’em up

MLB: New York Yankees at Chicago White Sox
Frank Thomas takes in Frank Thomas Day, prior to the game against the New York Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field on Aug. 29, 2010.
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports


After spending the 2009 season waiting for a call from any of 30 teams, White Sox slugger Frank Thomas officially announces his retirement.

Frank spent the first 16 seasons of his career in Chicago, accumulating a team second-best 73.8 WAR and still ranking in the Top 10 in a number of all-time White Sox categories:

  • 74.9 offensive WAR (1st)
  • .427 on-base percentage (1st)
  • .568 slugging percentage (1st)
  • .995 OPS (1st)
  • 161 OPS+ (1st)
  • 1,327 runs (1st)
  • 447 doubles (1st)
  • 448 home runs (1st)
  • 906 extra base hits (1st)
  • 1,465 RBIs (1st)
  • 1,466 walks (1st)
  • 68.3 WAR (2nd)
  • 3,949 total bases (2nd)
  • 3,673 times on base (2nd)
  • 15.5 AB/HR (2nd)
  • 2,136 hits (4th)
  • 1,959 games (4th)
  • 1,230 singles (7th)
  • .307 batting average (tied for 10th)

He finished in the Top 8 of AL MVP voting for the first eight full seasons of his career, winning the award outright in 1993 and 1994. He had a third MVP essentially stolen from him in 2000 by Jason Giambi, who later admitted to taking steroids in his award-winning year. And perhaps most extraordinary in terms of award achievements is the fact that the year after Thomas left the White Sox (2006), his comeback season saw him finish fourth in MVP voting — at age 38.

For his full career, Thomas hit better than .300 (.301) with an .974 OPS and 156 OPS+. He led all of baseball for at least one season in games, runs, doubles, walks, on-base percentage, OPS, OPS+, sacrifice flies and intentional walks.

Thomas was elected to the Hall of Fame on his first ballot, in 2014, earning 83.7% of the vote. Through the 2022 season, Thomas still sits high on many all-time career leaderboards:

  • 1,667 walks (10th)
  • 4.79 MVP shares (14th)
  • .974 OPS (18th)
  • 521 home runs (20th)
  • .419 on-base percentage (21st)
  • .555 slugging percentage (23rd)
  • 156 OPS+ (26th)
  • 1,704 RBIs (26th)
  • 15.7 AB/HR (32nd)
  • 1,028 extra-base hits (33rd)
  • 4,222 times on base (35th)
  • 80.4 offensive WAR (38th)
  • 4,550 total bases (47th)
  • 73.8 WAR (55th among position players, 87th overall)
  • 495 doubles (70th)
  • 1,494 runs (76th)

Coincidentally, Thomas’ fellow future Hall-of-Famer Tom Glavine also announced his retirement on this day.

The White Sox would honor Thomas with a retired number and ceremony before the Aug. 29, 2010 game against the Yankees.