words // Brandon Richard
Yesterday, former Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas was one of three players elected to the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame class. In 19 seasons, also spent with the Oakland Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays, Thomas recorded 2,468 hits, 521 home runs, 1,704 runs batted in and a batting average of .301. He won two MVPs in 1993 and 1994, was named an All-Star five times, Silver Slugger four times and won the AL batting title in 1997.
With his popularity soaring in the early 90s, Thomas signed an endorsement deal with Reebok in 1993. Highlighting a partnership that would last 5 years, the brand released Frank’s signature Big Hurt cleat and trainer in 1996.
The Big Hurt was part of Reebok’s Mobius Collection, which consisted of shoes with unique 50/50 black and white counterblocked uppers. In line with Chicago’s pinstriped uniforms, the Big Hurt featured a fully striped upper, three Vectors along the side and a Big Hurt logo on the tongue.
Today’s Eastbay Memory Lane celebrate’s Frank’s HOF election with a look back at the Big Hurt from our Spring 1996 catalog. What’s interesting about this two-page spread is seeing the different versions of the Big Hurt ranging from pro level to beginner. The version Frank wore on field was equipped with Insta Pump technology, which with the aid of a manual inflator, enhanced cushioning and support. Takedown versions for novices or softball players were made without the steel cleats you’d find on a pair of pro levels.
Check out the catalog pages below and if you’re a fan of the Big Hurt, you’ll be happy to know that the training sneaker version is being re-released this year.