Top 20 Frank Thomas Rookie Cards – History of The Big Hurt


There are many different Frank Thomas rookie cards to consider adding to your collection. If you remember “The Big Hurt,” you can probably imagine his White Sox uniform and the big smile he almost always had on his face.

If you’re not familiar with Frank Thomas, it’s about time you spend a few minutes learning about one of the most feared sluggers in all of baseball through the 1990s.

As a five-time All-Star, he is the only player in Major League history to have seven consecutive seasons with at least a .300 batting average, 100 runs batted in (RBI), 100 runs scored, 100 walks, and 20 home runs.

Frank Thomas was one of the greatest designated hitters to play the game.

Frank Thomas, The Big Hurt

The first thing you need to know about Frank Thomas is how he became known as ‘The Big Hurt.’

Anyone who’s 6 foot 5 inches tall and 275 pounds will deserve an intimidating nickname, but who started it?

The moniker is from White Sox announcer Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, a legend in the Chicago sports world.

frank thomas career stats highlights

Harrelson used the moniker for Thomas because of the “hurt” he put on the baseball when he blasted it out of the ballpark.

The nickname stuck. Baseball fans instantly became familiar with The Big Hurt while watching ESPN highlights, showing the giant unleashing his mammoth swing while rocketing baseballs to all corners of the stadium.

Thomas would sell Big Hurt Beer, a Big Hurt video game, and baseball cards with The Big Hurt title.


Frank Thomas Rookie Cards

How much is a Frank Thomas rookie card worth? With so many to choose from, first, it’s important to know the difference between the many Frank Thomas rookie cards.

You can see from the below graphic, the most valuable Frank Thomas rookie card is the 1990 Topps error card with no name on the front.

In PSA 10 graded condition, this card has sold for over $24,000.

most valuable frank thomas rookie cards

There are several other Frank Thomas rookie cards that every trading card collector should consider for their collection.

What are the best 1990 Frank Thomas cards? Let’s take a look –

1990 Leaf Frank Thomas Rookie Card

The 1990 Leaf Frank Thomas card was a card that everyone was chasing back in the 90s.

The Leaf card features Thomas swinging at the ball and features colored photos on both the front and back.

The high-quality Leaf baseball cards were more expensive to purchase back then.

To this day, the price reflects this quality, with an estimated PSA 10 value of a few hundred dollars.

frank thomas leaf rookie card psa 9
I’m pretty sure they call me “Mr. 9” down at the PSA headquarters. I thought this card had enough for a “10” grade but I was wrong again.

The Topps Tiffany version of the Frank Thomas card is in higher quality PSA 10 condition with white cardboard stock and a glossy finish.

The most recent eBay sale for this card with a Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) 10 rating was for more than $2,000. 

1990 Leaf Frank Thomas Rookie Card

1990 Topps Frank Thomas Error Rookie Card – No Name

The 1990 Topps Frank Thomas ERROR Rookie Card is incredibly rare and very valuable.

These cards have a printing error, with no name on the front of the card.

A Gem Mint PSA 10 card is valued at roughly $50,000.

1990 Topps Frank Thomas Error Rookie Card no name

Another famous error on the same card is the loss of black ink above the nameplate.

With only six cards graded by PSA missing black ink, prices for the card have skyrocketed.

A few have been listed on eBay selling for tens of thousands of dollars.

topps rookie card error missing black ink

1990 Topps Frank Thomas Rookie Card

The 1990 Topps Frank Thomas rookie card is one of my personal favorites, especially in PSA 10 condition.

There’s also a 1990 Topps Tiffany rookie, which is much more valuable and tougher to find because of the lower production numbers.

Even in PSA 8 condition, the 1990 Frank Thomas Topps Tiffany rookie is valued at $200.

1990 Topps Frank Thomas Rookie Card

1990 Bowman Frank Thomas Rookie Card

The 1990 Bowman #320 cards feature Thomas wearing a bright smile in his White Sox uniform.

The Bowman Tiffany cards are worth more than the regular versions, with one PSA 10 recently selling at $500. 

1990 Bowman Frank Thomas Rookie Card

Frank Thomas Rookie Cards for Collectors

Frank Thomas will go down in history as one of baseball’s most feared and productive designated hitters in the history of the game.

His legacy will continue to increase the value of his baseball cards, making some of his rarer and higher-quality cards a great addition to any card collection.

1987 Pan-Am Team USA Blue Frank Thomas Rookie Card

You know classic sports cards when you see them. But it’s the rarity that makes this Big Hurt rookie card great. There are only 14 PSA 10-graded cards.

The 1987 Pan-Am Team USA Blue Frank Thomas Rookie card is valued at $1,200 in PSA 10 condition.

Out of your budget? Drop down to a PSA 9 grade, and you can own this card for just $80.

1987 Pan-Am Team USA Blue Frank Thomas Rookie Card

1990 Best Frank Thomas Minor League Rookie Card #318

PSA reports zero PSA 10 cards from the 1990 Best minor league set.

You can find a PSA 9 card at eBay auctions for $20. eBay has also sold a BGS 9 Frank Thomas autograph card for $30.

1990 Best Frank Thomas Minor League Rookie Card #318

1990 Score 1st Round Draft Pick Frank Thomas Rookie Card

This Frank Thomas 1990 Score rookie card sells for about $100 in PSA 10 graded condition.

Or, buy the entire 1990 Score factory set from Amazon for $30, and you might get lucky and get a mint condition Frank Thomas RC Rookie card inside.

Not only that, but you’ll have a complete 704 card set.

1990 Score 1st Round Draft Pick Frank Thomas Rookie Card

1990 Birmingham Barons All-Star Minor League Rookie Card

The minor league Frank Thomas Birmingham Barons is valued at $30 in SGC 9 graded condition.

1990 Birmingham Barons All-Star Minor League Rookie Card

1990 Birmingham Barons In-Action Rookie Card

There are only 2 Frank Thomas PSA 10 Birmingham Barons cards, and they are each worth $400. The PSA 9 card? Prices start at $30.

The card features a white border around the slugger in his Birmingham Barrons uniform with the Barrons logo on his cap.

1990 Birmingham Barons In-Action Rookie Card

1990 Topps Rookies Glossy Frank Thomas

1990 Topps Rookies Glossy Frank Thomas

1990 Classic Series III Frank Thomas Rookie

1990 Classic Series III Frank Thomas Rookie

1990 Fleer Update #U-87 Frank Thomas Chicago White Sox Rookie Card

1990 Fleer Frank Thomas update

1990 O-Pee-Chee Frank Thomas #414 Rookie Card

1990 O-Pee-Chee Frank Thomas #414 Rookie Card

1990 Score Frank Thomas

1990 Score Frank Thomas

1990 Coke Top Prospect Frank Thomas

1990 Coke Top Prospect Frank Thomas

1991 Upper Deck Frank Thomas #246 RC

1991 Upper Deck Frank Thomas #246

1991 Score Hot Rookie Frank Thomas

1991 Score Hot Rookie Frank Thomas

1991 Toys-R-Us Rookies Frank Thomas

1991 Toys-R-Us Rookies Frank Thomas

1992 Donruss Elite Series Frank Thomas

1992 Donruss Elite Series Frank Thomas

1992 Fleer Rookie Sensations Frank Thomas RC HOF

1992 Fleer Rookie Sensations Frank Thomas

1990 ProCard Birmingham Barons Frank Thomas Rookie

1990 ProCard Birmingham Barons Frank Thomas Rookie

A Few Other Great Frank Thomas Cards

Of course, we have the Topps #1 Draft Pick rookie card, but there are so many other great Frank Thomas cards out there.

Here are just a few of my all-time favorites. Make me an offer if you see one you like!

frank thomas topps rookie cards value
1990 Topps #414
1990 Fleer #U-87
1990 Topps #414
most valuable frank thomas cards
1992 Fleer Ultra All-Star #9 of 20
1994 Tombstone Super-Pro Series #29 of 30
1992 Fleer Ultra #44
top frank thomas cards
1994 Topps Stadium Club HR Leader #528
1994 Select #6
1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier #121
frank thomas card
1994 Fleer Ultra Award Winners #19 of 25
1993 Score Select Leader #38 of 90
1994 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice #235
top frank thomas cards
1993 Score All-Star #510
1992 Score Impact Player #43
1992 Score #505
how much is frank thomas rookie card worth
1991 Score The Franchise #874
1993 Upper Deck #555
1992 Donruss #592
frank thomas baseball cards
1993 Fleer Team Leaders #5 of 10
1990 Topps Stadium Club #301
1991 Score #840
what frank thomas cards are worth money
1993 Score Dream Team #541
1993 Topps Stadium Club Members Choice #746
1991 Leaf #281
frank thomas baseball cards worth money
1993 Score #3
1992 Score #505
1992 Donruss #7
frank thomas valuable cards
1991 Score #840
1993 Fleer Ultra #181
1995 Topps Stadium Club #285
frank thomas baseball card
1992 Studio #159
1993 Topps All-Stars
1993 Topps #150
1992 score dream team
1993 Pinnacle #108
1992 Score Dream Team #893
1991 Topps #79
1993 score select league leaders
1993 Score Select League Leaders #33 of 90
1993 Leaf #195
1993 Score Select League Leaders #45 of 90
most valuable frank thomas cards
1991 Donruss (1990 Leaf Error) #477
1992 Donruss #592
1992 Fleer #100
frank thomas card
1992 Upper Deck Ted Williams Hitters of the Future #T19
1993 Topps #150
1991 Fleer Ultra #85
best frank thomas cards
1992 Pinnacle #1
1993 Donruss #7

1992 Fleer Timebomb Frank Thomas #712 White Sox HOF

1992 Fleer Timebomb Frank Thomas #712
It’s not his rookie card, but the 1992 Fleer special edition “Timebomb” card was always a favorite.

1994 Topps Traded Finest Update Insert Frank Thomas

1994 Topps Traded Finest Update Insert Frank Thomas

Frank Thomas Topps Project 2020

Frank Thomas Topps Project 2020

2020 Panini Frank Thomas Diamond Kings #46

2020 Panini Frank Thomas Diamond Kings #46

2021 Topps Archives Frank Thomas #10

2021 Topps Archives Frank Thomas #10

The Young Frank Thomas

Thomas was born and raised in Columbus, Georgia, and attended Columbus High School. He would be a multi-sport standout athlete in football and baseball.

In baseball, his team won the State Championship during his sophomore year while he racked up a .440 batting average. In football, he was named an All-State tight end.

While he wanted to play professional baseball, he was undrafted his first year and eligible for the 1986 amateur draft.

Instead, he accepted a scholarship in 1986 to play football at Auburn University. His love of baseball drew him to the school’s baseball team.

In 1987, he played for the U.S. Pan American Team and even earned a spot on the final roster for the Pan American Games.

From Football to Baseball

However, the dates coincided with the beginning of football practice, so he returned to Auburn, only to be injured in an early-season game.

These injuries could have jeopardized his football scholarship. However, Auburn decided to continue his scholarship, and baseball became his only sport.

In 1988, he tried out for the U.S. National Team for the 1988 Summer Olympics but was cut from the final team.

Thomas concluded his college career with a school-record 49 home runs and Southeastern Conference MVP honors.

This is a great video summarizing the history of Frank Thomas and his early years at Auburn. His constant smile, incredible athletic ability, and amazing size and strength made him an instant starter for the Auburn Tigers baseball team.

Frank Thomas MLB Career

Frank Thomas was drafted seventh overall by the Chicago White Sox in the first round of the 1989 MLB draft.

And by the first time The Big Hurt stepped in the batter’s box, he was an unmistakable menace to opposing pitchers.

By the early 90s, he would become known as an incredible hitter, especially his home run power.

In 1991, Thomas won a Silver Slugger award and led the league in on-base percentage, which he would do four times during his career. 

In 1993, Thomas batted .317 with 41 homers and 128 RBI, 106 runs, and 112 walks.

Now, a baseball superstar, he became the 5th person in baseball history to hit over .300 with more than 20 homers and 100 RBI, runs, and walks in three straight seasons.

Super Stardom and MVP Seasons

From 1991 to 1997, Thomas was top 10 in MVP voting every year. In 1997, Thomas won the batting title and finished third in MVP voting.

However, by the late 90s, minor injuries kept him out of the lineup for short periods.

In 2000, Thomas rebounded, hitting a .328 with a career-high 43 homers and 143 runs batted in.

He finished second in MVP voting and won the 2000 American League Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Thomas ranked among Chicago’s most popular athletes behind Michael Jordan and Walter Payton. His collectible memorabilia within the sports card hobby was in big demand.

Check out Frank Thomas crushing balls 500 feet during the home run derby.

In 2001, Thomas announced that he would undergo surgery to repair a triceps tear in his right arm. While he had a successful recovery, he would never again approach a .300 batting average.

But his power and ability to get on base would be the tools he used on the field.

Thomas led the American League in walks four times, and in 2006, he was second among all players in walks and third in on-base percentage.

Late Career and Retirement

Thomas set multiple White Sox batting records, but despite his offense and fan base, the White Sox elected to release Thomas in 2005.

He would continue to play for multiple teams, including the Oakland A’s and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Thomas announced his retirement in 2010 and was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.

He was the first Hall of Famer who played more games as a designated hitter than a position player.

His career ended as a 1st ballot Hall of Famer receiving 83% of the eligible HOF votes.

The Big Business Man

Currently, Frank Thomas is an entrepreneur, serving as CEO and Founder of W2W Records in Las Vegas, Nevada, and co-founded Liger Enterprises.

Thomas has also recently secured rights to the Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville, Iowa.

Along with a group of investors, Thomas purchased a controlling interest in “All-Star Ballpark Heaven,” where the group plans to continue hosting Major League Baseball games on the site of the famous movie.

autographed game used bat

Frank Thomas game used autographed memorabilia sells for thousands of dollars. This PSA, DNA certified autographed game-used bat is something any baseball fan would appreciate.


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