Wednesday, November 26, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Hall call: Thomas, Glavine and Maddux enter shrine

By
From page B4 | July 27, 2014 |

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Frank Thomas was always driven to excel, and that sure served him well.

“I was never that blue-chip prospect,” he said. “I had to outwork my opponents.”

Hard to imagine now that Thomas was ever anything except a huge star.

For Thomas, the 6-foot-5, 240-pound former Chicago White Sox slugger known as the Big Hurt, life has come full circle — from awe-struck rookie in 1990 to baseball royalty.

Thomas was elected in January to the Hall of Fame, along with pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. Also to be inducted Sunday are managers Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox, who were selected in December.

“This is the top 1 percent in all of baseball that gets in the Hall of Fame,” said Thomas, the first player elected to the Hall of Fame who spent more than half of his time as a designated hitter. “As a kid, the big dream is being a professional. But to make it to the Hall of Fame? Come on, you’ve got to pinch yourself. I’m very fortunate it happened for me, especially first ballot.”

Thomas won AL MVP awards in 1993 and 1994 and finished his 19-year career with a .301 batting average, 521 homers and 1,704 RBIs.

He also won the 1997 AL batting title and helped show that in more recent times a power hitter could also be selective at the plate.

Thomas played 16 years for the White Sox and established himself as the best hitter in franchise history. He’s the only player in major league history to log seven straight seasons with a .300 average, 20 homers, 100 RBIs and 100 walks.

Heady territory for a guy who didn’t take baseball seriously until he was 12 and many thought would end up as a star tight end in the NFL because of the devastating blocks he delivered.

“Hitting was something I took very serious. The way I swung the bat at times, you’d think I was 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds,” said Thomas, who decided to focus solely on baseball as a sophomore at Auburn. “But I cared about getting hits and scoring runs. A lot of people didn’t know that about my game. Yes, I hit a lot of home runs, drove in a lot of runs, but there were many days that I was just content getting singles and getting on base and letting the other guys drive me in.”

Just as impressive: Thomas, Babe Ruth, Mel Ott, and Ted Williams, are the only players in major league history to retire with a career batting average of at least .300, 500 home runs, 1,500 RBIs, 1,000 runs scored, and 1,500 walks.

The effect of the Steroids Era was front and center at last year’s induction ceremony. The 2013 class consisted of Jacob Ruppert, umpire Hank O’Day and catcher “Deacon” White — all three had been dead for more than 70 years — and was picked by a select 16-member committee.

It marked just the second time in 42 years that members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America failed to elect anyone. Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Roger Clemens — all linked to steroids — didn’t even come close in their first year of eligibility.

That was not lost on Thomas.

“I played in an era that people are going to be thinking about for a long time,” said Thomas, who was plagued by injuries in his later years. “I’m proud that I stuck to my guns and did things the right way, the proper way.”

Induction day probably will seem like a reunion of sorts for Maddux, Glavine, and Cox, who were mainstays together on the Atlanta Braves for a decade.

“To have the opportunity to go in with two guys that were a teammate and a manager for a long time, guys that were such a big part of my career but also helped make me a better player, that’s a great opportunity,” Glavine said. “Every once in a while, I’ll have some moments where it’s hard to get my brain around what’s going on.”

Maddux was elected by an overwhelming margin, receiving 97.2 percent of the votes from the BBWAA. He won 355 games, four straight Cy Young Awards and a record 18 Gold Gloves. Glavine, who was selected by nearly 92 percent of the voters, had 305 wins and two Cy Young Awards.

Both Maddux and Glavine relied on pinpoint control to get the job done, changing speed and location on their pitches to keep hitters guessing.

Maddux won Cy Youngs from 1992-95 (Randy Johnson is the only other pitcher to win four straight), completing his impressive run with two remarkable years. During the strike-shortened 1994 season, Maddux went 16-6 with a career-best 1.56 ERA — the cumulative NL ERA was 4.21 — and the next year finished 19-2 with a 1.63 ERA.

Glavine was on the mound when the Braves won Game 6 to clinch the 1995 World Series and give the city of Atlanta its lone major sports title. The lefty pitched one-hit ball over eight innings in a 1-0 victory over Cleveland.

“I competed against those guys. They knew how to pitch,” said Thomas, picked on nearly 84 percent of ballots. “They were warriors.”

Considering the size of this induction class — it equals those of 1971, 1955 and 1953 as the largest ever — and the imposing credentials of the inductees, officials are expecting a very large crowd as the Hall of Fame continues the celebration of its 75th anniversary.

Heck, they’ll need extra seats just for Torre’s entourage.

“I’m looking forward to a huge turnout,” said Thomas, who’s from Georgia. “I’m so happy and proud. To go in with the three most iconic managers of my time, it doesn’t get any better than that, to be a part of that group.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Groups distribute Thanksgiving food

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
County fair proposal, budget topics of scrutiny

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

Police: Vehicle burglaries not new for Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
 
Fairfield police offer free gun locks

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
Fairfield police investigate shooting

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Library schedules soap-making program

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

 
Vacaville PD seeks VIPS program volunteers

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

 
Science comes to libraries – for all to see

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
Soroptimists seek award applicants

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
Church’s holiday soiree on Vacaville calendar

By Glen Faison | From Page: A7

 
Nichols plans free family concert in Napa

By Glen Faison | From Page: A7

Suisun City police log: Nov. 22, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Nov. 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: Nov. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
Fairfield police log: Nov. 22, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Nov. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
Weather for Nov. 26, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

.

US / World

 
Anger at Ferguson case based on emotion, evidence

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 11 Comments

Tough to make a case against police in shootings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
Protesters return to riot-scarred Ferguson streets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 6 Comments

Heirloom ring flushed; sewer workers retrieve it

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Ohio family recovers missing Sasquatch statue

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Auction fetches $28K for 1st batch of new bourbon

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
In Seattle, tofu turkeys get Thanksgiving pardons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

Los Angeles freeway sign unveiled with typo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Agreement: LA jails to improve wheelchair access

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Window washer fights for life after 11-story fall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Cosby philanthropy shadowed by sexual allegations

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Oakland police arrest more than 40 protesters

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
Lawmakers target Golden Gate Bridge sidewalk fee

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Arkansas, Mississippi gay marriage bans overturned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Calorie count to appear with many prepared foods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

WWII Museum opening new pavilion in New Orleans

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Police: Students ran high school prostitution ring

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

Wet basements in Buffalo as flooding fears ease

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Soldiers to spend Thanksgiving in Ebola isolation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

2 teen female bombers kill more than 40 in Nigeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
8 shoes of Holocaust victims stolen in Poland

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Activists: Syrian strikes kill 60 in IS-held city

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
AP sources: Top candidate for defense job bows out

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

Official: Afghan president orders military review

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Nov. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Nov. 26, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Community Calendar: Nov. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Horoscope for Nov. 26, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

The man I’m seeing makes no effort to get to know my kids

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
A do-ahead cornmeal biscuit to sop up your gravy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Fresh take on an herb-roasted Thanksgiving turkey

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Turn turkey leftovers into a healthy dinner salad

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
‘Birdman’ leads Spirit Awards nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Vacaville Christian wins 3-0, advances to state quarterfinals

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Curry powers Warriors past Heat 114-97

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

49ers rookies shine in big roles, out of necessity

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Cousins, Kings beat Pelicans 99-89

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Red Sox bring in Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Messi sets European record with 74 goals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Judge OKs Hernandez trial delay in 2012 killings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kurt Busch wins delay of Delaware court hearing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Giants third base coach Tim Flannery retires

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP source: Left-hander Jon Lester, Giants to meet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Pats are unanimous No. 1 in AP Pro32 rankings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NFL, union discuss personal conduct policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Bama, FSU, Oregon, Miss St keep playoff rankings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

New iPhones push Apple’s market cap past $700B

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Twitter lets merchants offer deals to its users

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

US economy posts even stronger growth in Q3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Thanksgiving travel woes? There’s an app for that

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

US home price gains slow for 10th straight month

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Barbie dethroned by Team Elsa

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Rain, snow could mess up Thanksgiving travel

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
.

Obituaries

Leslie “Esi” Gros

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Glenita Reyes McLaughliin

By Daily Republic | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5