Frank Thomas, MLB Great, Has Died

Frank Thomas, a former MLB star who spent the majority of his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1950s, died last Monday. He was 93 years old, and the cause of death was not announced. This is not to be confused with another MLB player named Frank Thomas who played for the Chicago White Sox from 1990-2005 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.

The late Frank Thomas is not a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame but was one of the best Pirates players in the 1950s. He was named to the All-Star team three times during his time with the Pirates and finished fourth in MVP voting in 1958. "Frank was proud to call the city of Pittsburgh home not only as a member of the Pirates but also as a person who spent his entire life here," Pirates president Travis Williams said in a statement. "He was also a proud family man who was always involved with our alumni association events."

Thomas is also known for his time with the New York Mets. The team acquired Thomas in a trade before the inaugural season in 1962, and Thomas had a memorable season despite the team losing 120 games. Thomas hit 34 home runs, setting a team record until Dave Kingman hit 36 in 1975. In three seasons with the Mets (1962-1964), Thomas hit 52 home runs and that led the franchise for four seasons. 

In Thomas' career, he played for the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros. He finished with a .266 batting average with 286 home runs and 962 RBIs. And fans went to social media to pay tribute to him. "When I was a kid I went to summer baseball camp," one person wrote. "Former Mets & Yankees showed up to teach. One day Frank Thomas came. 400 feet from home plate was the lake. At 55 years old he was hitting moonshots into our swimming hole. One of the most awesome spectacles I've ever witnessed."

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"My goodness, that was a long life, something to be celebrated," another fan wrote. "For context, Thomas was already forty years old in 1969. I was too young to watch him play, but I remember plenty of Thomas through my eldest brother's old baseball yearbooks which he kept."