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Local Sports

January 9, 2014

Maddux, Glavine, Thomas elected to Baseball Hall

Biggio falls two votes short; Morris misses on final try

(Continued)

“I look at that and I think some people tried to make that an issue,” Thomas said, “but I was the every day first baseman for the Chicago White Sox for a very long time.

“I would like to put together a highlight tape of my greatest defensive plays (for the critics),” he added.

In an era tainted by performance enhancing drugs, Thomas has often been lauded as a “clean” player, something he said he took great pride in.

“What I did was real and that’s why I’ve got a big smile on my face,” said Thomas, who spent most of his career with the Chicago White Sox. “I did it the right way.”

Thomas said that he didn’t mind what other players were doing, but he thought that maybe his success, and his strength and size – which he credited to being a college football player at Auburn – caused some players to turn to steroids.

“I look at a couple of guys, one in particular and we all know who it is, who was a Hall of Famer before he ever started using steroids,” he said. “I’ll be honest, I think I was one of those guys, because of my size and strength from football, who caused some of those other players to turn to (steroids.)

“I don’t fault them at all,” he continued, “but it never bothered me because I always knew I was going to get (my numbers). If I didn’t get hurt for a three-and-a-half-year period, I think I would have been right there at the top with some of them in terms of the numbers.”

Maddux, Glavine and Thomas all appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time. They may have hurt the chances of other long-term candidates as all but two returning players – Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza – saw their percentages decline from last year.

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