Programming note: Get up to date on all the latest offseason A’s news on SportsNet Central tonight and every night at 6, 10:30 p.m. and midnight
Looking back on his storied 19-year major league career, Frank Thomas singled out his 2006 season with the Oakland A’s as central to him being elected to the Hall of Fame.
“It was a wonderful year, it rejuvenated me,” Thomas said on a conference call Wednesday after being voted into Cooperstown. “That’s the first year I left Chicago, and I still had a lot to prove. The year that really got me into the Hall of Fame was 2006, because I was counted out by a lot of people. And for me to go out there and put up another MVP (caliber) season, it was incredible for everybody.”
Thomas had two MVP awards and 448 home runs on his resume when he was released by the Chicago White Sox in 2005 after 16 seasons with the club. He signed a one-year contract with Oakland for just $500,000 plus incentives, then went out and hit .270 with 39 homers and 114 RBI in 2006, finishing fourth in MVP voting and leading the A’s to the American League Championship Series.
“I enjoyed playing out there that year,” Thomas said. “The fan base out there, they rejuvenated me.”
Thomas signed a two-year deal with Toronto in 2007 and hit .277 with 26 homers and 95 RBI that season. After being released in April 2008, he returned to the A’s at age 40 and hit .263 with five homers and 19 RBI in 55 games and retired after that season.