Bagwell and Thomas: The Power Twins

"C'MON, BBWAA!  ~ IT'S  PAST TIME YOU PULLED JEFF BAGWELL OUT OF THE SHADOWS HE DOES NOT DESERVE AND PLACE HIM INTO THE BRIGHT LIGHT OF DAY HE DESERVES AS A MEMBER OF THE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME!"

“C’MON, BBWAA! ~ IT’S PAST TIME YOU PULLED JEFF BAGWELL OUT OF THE SHADOWS HE DOES NOT DESERVE AND PLACE HIM INTO THE BRIGHT LIGHT OF DAY HE DESERVES AS A MEMBER OF THE HALL OF FAME!”

 

May 27, 1968 was a busy day for storks specializing in the delivery of future MLB slugging first basemen. You see, on that date in history, a fellow named Jeff Bagwell was born in Boston, Massachusetts as another guy named Frank Thomas was glimpsing his first light of day in Columbus, Georgia. In the early 1990s, in 1991, both would make their major league debuts as first basemen in the separate American and National leagues. Thomas would make his first appearance for the Chicago White Sox in a game played on August 2, 1990. Bagwell would break in with the only big league club of his 15-year career, the Houston Astros, on April 9, 1991.

1991 would prove to be the first full season for both Thomas or Bagwell, with Bagwell hitting .294 and 15 home runs and fielding beautifully in his first season as a first baseman. Bagwell would spend his entire 15-year career (1991-2005) with the Astros; Thomas would spend the first 16 years (1990-2005) of his MLB time with the White Sox and then finish out with 3 final seasons (2006-2008) in a mixture of service to the Oakland A’s and Toronto Blue Jays.

One final irony was the fact that the 2005 World Series finally brought the two men into direct competition against each other, but, by then, the impaired shoulder of Jeff Bagwell had forced him into limited service and retirement prior to the 2006 season and a diminished role for Thomas with Sox. Frank Thomas probably could have retired too at the same time, but the White Sox handling of their diminishing interest in the man they once called “The Big Hurt” most likely kicked the big guy in the ego hard enough to get him moved to Oakland and Toronto for some hanging around time.

When the dust cleared, and he became eligible for the Hall of Fame, Frank Thomas was whisked into Cooperstown with Biggio and other company in 2015. Now eligible for a much longer period, power twin Jeff Bagwell languishes in waiting, stained by the unfairness of “guilt by association” with the fact he had built himself up considerably during his attempts to compensate or heal naturally from the battle he eventually lost to his shoulder injury, but there were those who tainted him with their steroids suspicions in the face of his denials about ever using any HGH compounds – and no evidence provided – that he ever did.

The following simple table shows how close Frank Thomas and Jeff Bagwell were to each other on career offensive accomplishments. It doesn’t begin to scratch any of the more mind-numbing SABR approaches to analytics, nor does it even touch how good these two guys were as defensive first basemen and team leaders.

A Brief Tabular Comparison of Hall of Famer Frank Thomas

And His Ought 2B There Too Twin Super Star, Jeff Bagwell:

Players Games Hits HR BA SA OBP ASG MVP SS ROY RBI
Jeff Bagwell 2150 2314 449 .297 .540 .408    4    1   3 1991 1529
Frank Thomas 2322 2468 521 .301 .555 .419    5    2   4   No 1704

 

Key to Above:

HR = Home Runs

BA = Batting Averages

SA = Slugging Averages

OBP = On Base Percentages

ASG = All Star Game Appearances

MVP = Most Valuable Player Awards

SS = Silver Slugger Awards

ROY = Rookie of the Year Awards

RBI = Runs Bated In

____________________________________________

Come on, BBWAA, do the right thing! – Put Jeff Bagwell in the Hall of Fame Now – It’s Where He Belongs!

____________________

FRANK THOMAS BASEBALL HALL OF FAME 2015

FRANK THOMAS
BASEBALL HALL OF FAME
2015

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One Response to “Bagwell and Thomas: The Power Twins”

  1. gregclucas Says:

    Looks like the vote has gone right down to the wire. We find out tomorrow. Bagwell has been trending downward over the last month, based on votes revealed, but still may be able to hold on. Keep fingers crossed although there is still a chance it might have to be next year.

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