Frank Thomas was one of the largest, most dominant sluggers in MLB history. The Big Hurt belted 521 home runs during his 19-year career, and his recent induction into the Hall of Fame proves that the general consensus is that Thomas did it cleanly. During a recent interview with Jim Rome on Showtime, he spoke about how obvious it was that guys like Sammy Sosa were cheating.
“I knew it was shady when Sammy Sosa hit 60 home runs,” Thomas said. “Sammy Sosa was my teammate for three years coming up. Watching his career and watching him grow up, the first few years he was capable of only between 25 and 27 home runs at the most.”
When healthy, Thomas always hit somewhere in the vicinity of 25 to 40 home runs per season. He maintained those numbers from the second season of his career all the way through his last full season with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2007, when he belted 26 home runs.
From 1997 to 1998, Sosa jumped from 36 to 66 home runs. Thomas’ numbers remained consistent.
“There’s no way he doubled me up, that’s all I could think,” Thomas said. “There’s no way Sammy doubled me up. Mark McGwire you really had to take a look at, because Mark McGwire hit 48 home runs as a rookie. At that point you start saying well maybe the extreme workaholic he was in the weight room — you could close the gap easier from 48 to 70 than from 25 to 60.”
Sosa’s name was included in a New York Times report from 2009 claiming he tested positive for steroids during the 2003 season. We all know the story with McGwire. Thomas, on the other hand, has never been linked to steroids by any credible source. That’s something he deserves to take pride in.