Frank Thomas is considered by many to be the greatest White Sox player of all time. He joins us on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm to talk about Going Yard: The Everything Home Run Book. Written by Lew Freedman, the book is a comprehensive history of the home run from baseball’s beginnings in the late 1800s, to the rise of Babe Ruth, to the modern era of heroes such as Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton.
Going Yard includes commentary from White Sox legend Frank Thomas. He provides his own analysis and insight into the home run and its role in baseball.
The following two excerpts are from the book’s Foreword, written by Frank Thomas:
A home run is always something special, a game changer, a momentum changing hit. A lot of things have got to happen before you hit a home run. You’ve got to be focused. The pitcher’s got to throw the right pitch. You’ve got an area with your bat that you can control, and you have a swing line.
I never really went to the plate thinking about hitting a home run. I was always taught that the home run happens. You should focus on hitting the ball hard, and good things happen. That was my goal throughout my whole career. Just to hit the ball hard.
My favorite year was 1994, the strike year. I really think that year would have been my biggest home run year ever. I think I could have gotten 50 that year. I had 38 home runs when we shut down for the strike (in early August). That was my best year, and I only got to finish half of it, basically. The strike year I felt I could have approached Roger Maris’ 61 homers.
That’s a huge amount of home runs. It’s amazing. You have to have that perfect year and that year I was dialing everything. I hit some home runs, got walks, everything was working. Everything I hit well seemed to leave the park. Some years are just great years. You feel it.
There were times when the situation made you think about trying to hit a home run. I’d say it was probably only 10 percent of the time during my career that I ever thought about hitting home runs, which is interesting for a guy who hit so many. And only a few times did it happen. Just a few times that I remember going out and trying to hit one that I did hit one.
This excerpt from Going Yard: The Everything Home Run Book is printed with the permission of Triumph Books/www.triumphbooks.com/goingyard.