by Kelly Vance
A's designated hitter Frank Thomas has won the American League Comeback Player of the Year award, chosen by the MLB Players Association. The Big Hurt, picked up for a song by Billy Beane & Co. when the White Sox unceremoniously dumped him because of a leg injury (he got better), started the 2006 season in lackluster fashion then came back mightily in the second half - hitting .298 with 20 home runs and 68 RBI in 72 games after the All-Star break -- to help propel the A's into their best post-season showing since 1992. The 2006 Comeback is Thomas' fourth Players Choice award and his second AL Comeback award - he won it in 2000, after capturing the 1993 and 1994 AL Outstanding Player honors. In 2005, A's second baseman Mark Ellis deserved the AL Comeback trophy, but he wuz robbed by reformed druggie Jason Giambi. So the Oaklands were due for some respect. Now quick, let's get busy and sign the Hurt to a contract extension.