08/29/2010 2:47 PM ET
Frank Thomas to join White Sox legends cast in bronze
Sculpture of Slugger to be Unveiled in 2011
Following the retirement of his uniform No. 35 earlier today, the Chicago White Sox announced that a life-sized sculpture of franchise legend Frank Thomas will be unveiled on the outfield concourse next season.
Thomas becomes the eighth White Sox great immortalized in bronze at the ballpark. Sculptures of club founder Charles A. Comiskey and Cuban great Orestes "Minnie" Minoso were unveiled in 2004. Carlton Fisk's sculpture was installed in 2005, while the famous double-play duo of Luis Aparicio and Nellie Fox was honored with sculptures in 2006. In 2007, a sculpture of White Sox pitching star Bill Pierce was unveiled on the concourse near centerfield, and Harold Baines received the honor in 2008.
The sculpture will be created by Chicago-based artists Lou Cella and Oscar Leon of The Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt-Amrany, which has crafted six of the other White Sox sculptures.
A five-time American League All-Star, Thomas became just the 11th player in major-league history to win consecutive MVP awards (1993-94). He was a unanimous selection in 1993 after hitting .317 (174-549) with 36 doubles, 41 home runs and 128 RBI in 153 games when he led the White Sox to the AL Western Division championship and the team's first postseason appearance since 1983. In 1994, Thomas captured his second straight league honor by batting .353 (141-399) with 34 doubles, 38 home runs and 101 RBI over 113 games. Thomas finished second in AL MVP balloting behind Oakland's Jason Giambi in 2000 after hitting .328 (191-582) with 44 doubles, 43 home runs and 143 RBI. His home run and RBI totals in 2000 were both career highs.
Thomas, a member of the White Sox Team of the Century, is the club's franchise leader in numerous offensive categories, including home runs (448), doubles (447), RBI (1,465), runs scored (1,327), extra-base hits (906), walks (1,466), total bases (3,949), slugging percentage (.568) and on-base percentage (.427). He also ranks among the franchise leaders in hits (3rd, 2,136), games played (3rd, 1,959), at-bats (3rd, 6,956) and batting average (7th, .307).
Along with Hall of Famers Mel Ott, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams, Thomas is one of just four players in baseball history to have a .300 average with 500 home runs, 1,500 RBI, 1,000 runs scored and 1,500 walks in his career. He is a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner (1991, '93-94, 2000) and was named the 2000 AL Comeback Player of the Year.
Thomas was selected in the first round (seventh overall) by the White Sox in the 1989 Major League Baseball Free Agent Draft. He made his major-league debut with the Sox on August 2, 1990 at Milwaukee. Over his next 18 seasons in major league baseball, Thomas batted .301, clubbed 521 home runs and drove in 1,704 runs.
Thomas, who has worked as a studio analyst for Comcast SportsNet Chicago this season, also recently became a White Sox team ambassador, making appearances on behalf of the organization and serving as a team representative in the community and throughout baseball.