Sept. 25, 2013
Frank Thomas was a consensus All-American at Auburn in 1989 and became a superstar with the White Sox
By Phillip Marshall
AUBURN, Ala. – Two former Auburn greats are among those chosen for the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame’s induction class of 2014.
Former baseball slugger Frank Thomas and former running back James Brooks were among the eight former greats chosen by the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Honors Court for induction.
Thomas, from Columbus, Ga., arrived at Auburn on a football scholarship and lettered as a tight end in 1986. In his first baseball season, he hit .359 with 21 home runs and drove in 68. He gave up football to pursue his baseball career.
In 1989, Thomas became Auburn’s first consensus All-American. Chosen seventh overall by the Chicago White Sox in the 1989 draft, Thomas became one of the great hitters in major league history. Thomas, widely known as “The Big Hurt,”
Thomas played for the White Sox (1990–2005), Oakland Athletics (2006, 2008), and Toronto Blue Jays (2007–2008). He was a five-time All-Star (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997), four-time Silver Slugger Award winner (1991, 1993, 1994, 2000), and two-time American League MVP (1993, 1994). He won the American league batting title in 1997, was named American League Comeback Player of the Year in 2000, and his uniform number was retired by the White Sox.
The Sporting News selected Thomas on Wednesday as the most beloved player in White Sox history.
Brooks, from Warner Robbins, Ga., was an Auburn running back from 1977-1980. He was a two-time All-Southeastern Conference selection and is the No. 3 rusher in Auburn history with 3,523 career yards.
Chosen by the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the 1981 draft, Brooks played eight seasons in the NFL. He was a four-time Pro Bowler and played in Super Bowl XXIII. He remains the Bengals’ all-time leader in all-purpose yards.
Others who were chosen for induction in 2014 were former Georgia Tech basketball coach Bobby Cremins, former high school coach Jim Hughes, former college football coach and administrator Homer Rice, former LPGA star Hollis Stacey, former Georgia Southern basketball star Chester Webb and former Georgia defensive back and kick returner Scott Woerner.
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: