The Quotable Frank Thomas

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Here are some weekend comments primarily from Hall of Famer Frank Thomas but also about the Big Hurt.

“Thanks for pushing me and always preaching to me ‘You can be someone special if you really work at it.’ I took that to heart, pops. Look at us today. We are a long way from Columbus, Georgia.”
A quote from his speech Sunday about his late father that seemed to resonate with many

“Your nickname for me really changed my life forever.”
Talking about Ken ‘Hawk’ Harrelson and the arrival of the Big Hurt

“I was Cool Hand Luke sitting there watching everyone’s speeches. As soon as I stood up, my knees started knocking.”
Nerves and emotions overwhelming him when it was time to speak

“He got me in his book.”
Hall-of-Famer Goose Gossage on Thomas, who had one hit and one homer in eight career at-bats against him

“Today is a bright stage amongst heroes. I wanted to get that out to the kids. Don’t take the shortcuts. Don’t do what other people say is cool or because it’s going to make you better. Believe in yourself, hard work and determination, stay true to yourself, is something I wanted to get out there.”
Sending a clear message in his speech

“My phone has been blowing up non-stop since the speech.”
Joking about the response to the 138 players he mentioned

“I’m in the Hall of Fame, man. It gets no better than that. These guys are my heroes. Looking on that stage, some of the greatest players, the Mt. Rushmore of baseball. It’s hard to take in. Emotions, they are what they are. I’m a young man, just 46 years old. To take this step at such a young age, I’m overjoyed.”
Thomas’ weekend exclamation point

“I’ve been working out hard the last two days but that’s not working either.”
Trying to relieve the stress leading up to Sunday

“I think 2006 is what defined my career, after being released in Chicago. Most people thought I was done. I knew I had a lot left.”
His comeback season in Oakland

“Thank you to the city of Chicago. You guys made the Big Hurt who he was in the greatest sports town in America. I know I’m biased, but I thoroughly enjoyed every moment playing for you all and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
A moment of thanks for Chicago

“You taught me to only want to be the best. You would always say to me, ‘Anyone can be good Frank, but the special ones want to be great.'”
His special connection to Walt Hriniak

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