Frank Thomas, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame last summer in his first year of eligibility, remains active in the game as an analyst with Fox and a representative for Gillette, a longtime MLB sponsor. Thomas played the majority of his 19-year career with the White Sox, and he finished with a career batting average of .301, plus 521 home runs and an OPS of .974. The PostGame caught up with Thomas on his way to Cincinnati for this year's MLB All-Star festivities.
ThePostGame: How has retirement been treating you?
FRANK THOMAS: It's good. I'm glad to be out here seeing the home run derby and hanging out with Gillette.
TPG: Can you give me some details of how that is going?
THOMAS: I'm happy to be out here with Gillette. For me, it was really easy to partner up with them since I've been using their products for over 20 years now. I'm getting fresh, new razors every day in the Gillette Shave Club. A lot of people don't realize just how cheap these razors can be. I mean, I can hold on to a Gillette razor for a month and be fine. Come hang out with me and Gillette at the Home Run Derby this year. ... We will be back at the Gillette Grooming Lounge.
TPG: Who had the best beard game back when you were playing?
THOMAS: Best beard/facial hair definitely goes to Goose Gossage. That guy had the chops. I liked his the most.
TPG: Everyone remembers the 519-footer you knocked out of Three Rivers Stadium back in '94. How do you remember it?
THOMAS: It felt like a breakout party. I remember telling my coaches and trying to show people that I could hit those kinds of balls. I knew I could hit one 500 feet and not come unglued. So when I hit that, I felt like people finally knew.
TPG: Did you have a favorite visiting ballpark to hit at?
THOMAS: There was always something about hitting there that I liked.
TPG: How do you like the set-up for the new home run derby?
THOMAS: For the most part I like it. I don't like the added time for distance. I don't like the idea of guys hitting for distance to get more time rather than trying to hit as many home runs as possible. Because that's why you are out there. Not for distance.
TPG: Being one of the most impactful DHs in history, how do you feel about the DH tag in baseball?
THOMAS: I never accepted the DH tag because I won two MVPs as a first baseman for the White Sox. So to me that tag was never really important but I did use it during the middle of my career.
TPG: How was your relationship/rivalry with Ken Griffey Jr.?
THOMAS: It was a friendly rivalry. A friendly rivalry. Griffey had this natural transition into the game learning from his father because his father was still playing for Seattle back then. But we respected each other and definitely had a little rivalry going.
TPG: I saw a clip of him teasing you at an All-Star Game, did that happen often?
THOMAS: Yeah, we used to mess around a ton. It was a friendly rivalry so yeah, he would tease me here and there.
TPG: How do you feel about Barry Bonds being kept out of the Hall of Fame?
THOMAS: You know, it’s tough, man. He made his bed and now he has to lie in it. He's one of the best players of all time. But he made the decision to take those actions late in his career and now they're affecting him. But it's tough.
TPG: Who would you add to the Hall of Fame?
THOMAS: Well there's a ton of guys. But right now the two guys that I feel need to be in are Mike Mussina and Tim Raines. I think they deserve to be in there.
TPG: Any good stories from "Mr. Baseball" and working with Tom Selleck?
THOMAS: Well, at the time Tom was big movie star but he really did care about the game. He was a quality guy who wanted to emulate the game and made sure it didn’t look bad. He made sure to get in the cages so he didn't embarrass baseball and could make it real.
TPG: Who's going to win this year’s home run derby and who is the best home run hitter in the league right now?
THOMAS: Hooo, well. There's guys like Albert Pujols who have the experience doing this before. A guy like Pujols can come out and knock a ton out of the park, so you gotta watch for him. But at the same time you have to be watching for guys like Prince Fielder. He could win it too.
TPG: Are you allowed at public batting cages?
THOMAS: Nope. Too dangerous. (Laughs).