Monday, August 15, 2011

#600 for Jim Thome

And here I was thinking the big story regarding the Twins today was going to be that they traded Delmon Young to Detroit. Jim Thome, the 40 year old left-handed slugger from Peoria, Illinois has left his indelible mark on the game of baseball with his 600th career home run. Thome entered the game with 598, but connected in the top of the 6th for a 2-run homer off of Rick Porcello for #599 and immediately followed that up with a 3-run shot off of lefty Daniel Schlereth an inning later to become just the 8th player in baseball history to hit 600 home runs.
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With all of the negative publicity generated by steroids in recent years, and with so many of the game's sluggers (McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, A-Rod, Bonds etc.) having their numbers tainted, it's nice to see one of the game's good guys hit this milestone. Like Ken Griffey Jr., Thome has been one of the few sluggers of the "steroid era" to go largely untouched by accusations of using. I had the privilege of seeing Thome play in person when he was with the Phillies back in 2004-2005 and my brother and I saw him hit home run number 590 this April up in Minnesota against Oakland. When he hit it back in April, it was the longest home run in the history of Target Field (454 feet), just an absolute blast to center field.

And that in a nutshell was Thome's career. Everywhere he went, he hit a ton. He started his career in Cleveland as a member of two World Series teams, then going to Philadelphia, the Whitesox, the Dodgers and finally the Twins. He eclipsed the 40-homer plateau 6 times in his career, made 5 all star teams and currently holds a career on base percentage over .400. He was a part of 9 playoff teams and while he only hit .217 in the postseason, he did hit 17 home runs in 67 playoff games.

While 2011 has been a disappointment for the Twins with the injuries to Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, this is a bit of a silver lining for the Twins faithful. Congratulations Jim Thome on a great accomplishment and a great career.


Barry Bonds 762
Hank Aaron 755
Babe Ruth 714
Willie Mays 660
Ken Griffey Jr 630
Alex Rodriguez 626
Sammy Sosa 609
Jim Thome 600

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