Kenny Williams and Frank Thomas. Two names, that when spoke in the same company, can ignite a whirlwind of commentary. As Scot Gregor from The Daily Herald is reporting, cooler heads may be prevailing among the heated rivalry. On Monday, Williams admitted to Gregor that the White Sox organization would be more than happy to retire the number 35 whenever the 41 year-old Thomas is ready. "My voice message to him was, our feelings for each other aside, if he wanted to retire as a White Sox, be it this year, next, etc.," Williams said, "I would not stand in his way, and in fact think that he deserves and our fans deserve to see him retire as a White Sox. He is the greatest hitter in Sox history, and that must be recognized." Thomas has not returned Williams' phone call.
Among all of the statues erected for former Sox icons, Thomas' will undoubtedly be the most labor intensive, and former teammate Ozzie Guillen says Thomas may not embrace the idea of a bronze icon. "If we try to do something for him, he might get offended, like, 'I'm not ready to quit, I still want to play.' That's why the White Sox have to be careful about what they want to do, what they say, and let Frank make the first decision."
Thomas is the all time White Sox leader in runs scored (1,327), home runs (448), doubles (447), RBI (1,465), extra-base hits (906), walks (1,466), total bases (3,949), slugging percentage (.568), and on-base percentage (.427). In total, Thomas is the all-time White Sox leader in 12 offensive categories.
Perhaps Thomas' best shot at Williams came on May 22, 2006 as a member of the Oakland Athletics. Thomas would hit two home runs against his former team that night. It was the first time in 16 years that Thomas would hit home runs at Comiskey and not set off fireworks.