Frank Thomas said steroids have ruined baseball in the era in which he played and remains proud to have steered clear of performance-enhancing drugs during his career.
The retired Chicago White Sox slugger said that after players fond using steroids missed out on their first Hall of Fame ballots — people like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Roger Clemens — he feels much better about his own chances.
“I think I’ve done enough to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer,” Frank Thomas said. “Watching all the nonsense unfold and not really knowing what was going on, it makes me much more proud of my career.
“I competed in that era. I played at a high level in that era. There are a lot of great players, but as it unfolds, a lot of it was not the real deal. I know 100 percent I was the real deal.”
Thomas was one of the best hitters of his era. He ended with a .301 lifetime average along with 521 home runs.
Frank Thomas said steroids were likely the reason that otherwise stellar players like Bonds and Clemens missed out on the Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility, NESN reported. At the same time, Thomas had no sympathy for them.
“I wouldn’t say I feel bad for them,” Thomas said. “I respected them on the field, but they chose this. They made their own decisions off the field and they’ve got to live with it.”
Thomas did admit he was surprised that the Baseball Writers Association of America failed to induct anybody to the Hall of Fame this year, ESPN noted. He said he believed Craig Biggio has the credentials for induction.
Frank Thomas added that steroids were never a consideration for him, and credited his success instead to “a good family base that made me outwork everybody else because that’s the only way I made it to the big leagues.”