Top 20 Frank Thomas Rookie Cards


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.

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 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.

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. 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 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.

frank thomas career stats

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.

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.


READ more about Topps Baseball Cards of the late 1980s

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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 player inducted into the Hall of Fame who played more games as a designated hitter than a position player.

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.

Frank Thomas Rookie Cards

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

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.

1990 Leaf Frank Thomas Rookie Card

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

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

1990 Topps Frank Thomas Rookie Card

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.

1990 Bowman Frank Thomas Rookie Card

The 1990 Bowman 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.


READ about two highly valued iconic rookie cards every collector must have –

The Legend of the Ken Griffey Jr Rookie Card

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1987 Pan-Am Team USA Blue Frank Thomas Rookie Card

1987 Pan-Am Team USA Blue Frank Thomas Rookie Card

1990 Best Frank Thomas Minor League Rookie Card #318

1990 Best Frank Thomas Minor League Rookie Card #318

1990 Score 1st Round Draft Pick Frank Thomas Rookie Card

1990 Score 1st Round Draft Pick Frank Thomas Rookie Card

1990 Birmingham Barons All-Star Minor League Rookie Card

1990 Birmingham Barons All-Star Minor League Rookie Card

1990 Birmingham Barons In-Action Rookie Card

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 Frank Thomas

1990 Fleer Frank Thomas

1990 Score Frank Thomas

1990 Score Frank Thomas

1990 Coke Top Prospect Frank Thomas

1990 Coke Top Prospect Frank Thomas

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

1992 Fleer Rookie Sensations Frank Thomas

1990 ProCard Birmingham Barons Frank Thomas Rookie

1990 ProCard Birmingham Barons Frank Thomas Rookie

1992 Fleer Timebomb Frank Thomas #712

1992 Fleer Timebomb Frank Thomas #712

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