CHICAGO -- The White Sox’s newest team ambassador said it’s a good feeling to be back on good terms with his former organization and uses the word “we” now when speaking about the club.
Frank Thomas was named team ambassador Tuesday and will join a group of former players to represent the White Sox at community and charity functions.
“I tell people now that it felt like yesterday that I was walking though this dugout right here getting ready for my next at-bat,” said Thomas, who retired officially this past February. “When it’s over, it’s nice to be acknowledged by the organization. We have done a lot of talking over the last year and things are great now.”
Not offered a deal after the White Sox won the World Series following the 2005 season, Thomas felt betrayed. He was injured that year and didn’t even get to participate in the team’s postseason run.
He signed with the Oakland Athletics in 2006 and belted 39 home runs with 114 RBIs. A year later he put up 26 home runs and 95 RBIs for the Toronto Blue Jays. He had two more injury-plagued seasons before not playing last year.
Along the way, he took his shots at the White Sox organization through the media, prompting general manager Ken Williams to fire back even more tersely.
That animosity has long since been left behind. Thomas started the year as a broadcaster for White Sox pregame and postgame shows. Now comes his ambassador role and Frank Thomas Day on Aug. 29 when his uniform No. 35 will be retired.
“I’m really honored about [the retired number],” Thomas said. “Things have come full circle. I put in a lot of work here. I went through a lot of [junk] here. But it was all worth it. I played between these lines with everything I had and it’s a great, great honor to be on the wall out there with those guys.”
Thomas might talk about the some of the unhappy times but he insists he doesn’t dwell on them.
“I’ll be honest, I had more ups than I had downs,” he said. “That’s part of having a long successful career. I’m proud of it. I wouldn’t change it. This is great to be named team ambassador because I really care about this team.”