Originally written on Bush League Chronicle  |  Last updated 1/27/13
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Former MLB slugger Frank Thomas feels pretty good about his Hall of Fame chances when his name appears on the ballot for the first time next year. Thomas is among the many players during the Steroid Era who boasted big power numbers, and some of those players are believed to have been aided by performance-enhancing drugs. However, Thomas claims his numbers are legitimate."Watching all the nonsense unfold and not really knowing what was going on, it makes me much more proud of my career," he said. "I competed in that era. I played at a high level in that era. There are a lot of great players, but as it unfolds, a lot of it was not the real deal. I know 100 percent I was the real deal."No candidate considered for induction into the Hall of Fame on this year's ballot garnered the needed 75 percent of the vote needed for election. This includes alleged steroid-users Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa, who all appeared on the ballot for the first time. Mark McGwire, another alleged steroid-user, failed to gain election in his seventh year of eligibility as well.Thomas, or "The Big Hurt" as he became to be known, finished his professional career with a .301 batting average, 495 doubles, 1,704 RBIs, and 521 home runs. He also won the American League Most Valuable Player Award on two separate occasions. Are his credentials enough to get him into Cooperstown?"I think I've done enough to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer," he said Saturday at the team's fan convention."Any time you look at the PED situation, you look at the Lance Armstrong situation — you look at stuff like that, it's serious out there," Thomas said. "Thank God I'm blessed I did it the right way. I had a good family base that made me outwork everybody else because that's the only way I made it to the big leagues."How does he feel about the retired sluggers who didn't make it into the Hall of Fame, yet?"I wouldn't say I feel bad for them," Thomas said. "I respected them on the field, but they chose this. They made their own decisions off the field and they've got to live with it."Thomas will join former Atlanta Braves pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux as first-time players on next year's ballot.Via USA TODAY
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