Hall of Famer Frank “The Big Hurt” Thomas is one of the most feared sluggers in Major League Baseball history. Opposing pitchers shudder at the thought of facing Thomas, a designated hitter who can hit home runs with gusto.
Thomas was born on 5/27/68 in Columbus, Georgia. He was a three-sport star in basketball, baseball, and football at Columbus High School.
Thomas attended Auburn University on a scholarship in the autumn of 1986. He made an immediate impact, recording an impressive .359 batting average as a freshman. He established a school record of 49 home runs at the end of his senior year in 1989. Consequently, he earned SEC MVP honors that year.
The Chicago White Sox made him the seventh overall pick of the 1989 MLB Draft. He made his pro debut against the Milwaukee Brewers on August 2, 1990. He spent the first 16 years of his career in the majors with the White Sox.
Some of the highlights of Thomas’ career during that span include:
- Won the first of his four Silver Slugger awards in 1991
- Became just the fifth player in baseball history to hit at least .300 and record more than 20 home runs, 100 RBIs, and walks in three straight seasons
- Named the 1993 and 1994 American League MVP
- American League batting champion in 1997
- Earned his fifth All-Star nod in 1997
- Tied for second in the American League in home runs (42) in 2003
- Earned World Series ring in 2005
Thomas also suited up for the Oakland Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays. He signed a one-day contract with the White Sox and announced his retirement in February 2010. The team retired his No. 35 jersey on August 29, 2010.
Four years later, Thomas was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a member of the White Sox.
Thomas concluded his stellar baseball career with a .301 batting average, 2,468 hits, 521 home runs, and 1,704 RBIs.
Let’s check out Thomas’ best sports cards for investment purposes.
1990 Score Frank Thomas #663 Rookie Card
The Big Hurt was known for his smile. If you want his rookie card which features his famous smile, this is your best bet. In fact, it is a rare rookie card that has Thomas’ headshot on the front. Most of his rookie cards feature a full body shot.
The back of the card reads, “Frank, the No. 7 selection in the draft, is a slugging 6’5”, 250-pound first baseman out of Auburn. He holds school records for career home runs and RBIs, and set a single-season mark with 83 RBIs while batting .403 and hitting 19 homers in ’89. Frank batted a strong .279 for Sarasota in Class A Florida State League after signing with the White Sox.”
1990 Best Birmingham Barons #1 Frank Thomas BCCG Rookie Card
This is one of the rare rookie cards which show Thomas during his days with the Birmingham Barons, a double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.
The front of the card shows a smiling Thomas in a squatting position holding a baseball bat. The back of the card features his stats during his days with the then-Sarasota White Sox in 1989.
This one should get you a nice return on your investment after a few years.
1990 Leaf Frank Thomas Signed RC #300
This card has several varieties on the market. However, we gave it the nod because of its affordable price and autograph (bear in mind only a few of Thomas’ rookie cards have autographs). The latter criterion ensures scarcity, which bodes well for the serious card collector.
On that note, we’re confident his card will gain traction in a few years’ time.
1990 Topps Frank Thomas Rookie Card #414 (Auto Included)
This is another Frank Thomas-autographed rookie card worth your while. The front of the card shows a young Thomas tagging a runner out on first base.
The back of the card partly reads, “Frank Was All-Southeastern Conference selection at first base for 3 years at Auburn University. In 1989, he led SEC in batting and RBIs while ranking 2nd in home runs. Frank’s 49 round-trippers represents an Auburn record.”
Frank Thomas 1990 Bowman Tiffany Glossy Rookie Card
This card features a smiling Thomas in his blue Chicago White Sox jersey. It’s one of those cards with a “no fuss, no-frills” approach. Plus, it doesn’t create a massive dent on your wallet. It should also give you a nice ROI in the future. What’s not to like?
While most of Frank Thomas’ rookie cards don’t come from more reputable brands such as Panini and National Treasures, they’re still a great investment. For one, we’re talking about a bona fide Hall of Famer and MVP. The Big Hurt is one of the best hitters in the history of baseball.
Second, most of his rookie cards are affordable. They should give you a nice return a few years down the line.
Frank Thomas Rookie Card Investment Outlook: VERY GOOD BUY