Columbus, Ga (WRBL) – There’s another big honor being given to one of the best baseball players in Auburn University’s history. On Friday, school officials have approved the plan to dedicate a statue to Frank Thomas. The statue will be next to Plainsman Park and there will be a dedication ceremony during the 2023 season. The “Big Hurt” played on The Plains from 1987-89. He also played on the grid iron for the football team.

Eventually Thomas had a Hall of Fame career in Major League Baseball. He played the 15 seasons for Chicago White Sox, and eventually played for the Oakland A’s and the Toronto Blue Jays. Thomas is still the only former SEC baseball play that has been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.


Before all of those accomplishments, Thomas was an outstanding baseball player for Bobby Howard’s Columbus High Blue Devils. His former high school coach talked about what made Frank a standout player when he was playing in the Fountain City.


“Frank kept getting better at every level. I mean every level he got better. Some of them get stuck. Some of them don’t excel at the next level. But Frank not only excelled but he kept getting better. He had a passion and even when played basketball he would start hitting and practicing in January. Frank would hit every day. It didn’t matter if he had a game day. The work ethic proved itself and you throw those combinations with a great attitude, a servant’s heart and he’s super talented,” said Howard.


Coach Howard and Thomas still remain very close to this day.