Current Minnesota Twins slugger (and beast) Jim Thome is truly an extraordinary man. Though he is 40 years old, slow as molasses, and probably thinking of retirement, he continues to be a very productive ballplayer. He is probably respected by every player he has played with during his long and illustrious career. This is the story of Jim “The Thomenator” Thome.
It all started back in 1989, when Thome was selected in the 13th round of the MLB draft by the Cleveland Indians. On September 4, 1991, he made his Major League debut with the Cleveland Indians against none other than the Minnesota Twins! He was a third baseman. When the Indians traded for Matt Williams in 1997, Thome became a first baseman to let Williams play third. Once, Thome hit a monstrous 511-foot homer while playing for Cleveland! In 2002, he hit a career high (so far!) of 52 home runs!!
Following the 2002 season, Thome signed a six-year, $85 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. On June 14, 2004, he hit his 400th career home run at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies home ballpark. Thome developed injury problems in Philadelphia, so when Ryan Howard emerged as the first baseman of the future for Philadelphia, Thome was no longer valuable for them.
On November 25, 2005, Thome was traded to the Chicago White Sox. He was the regular designated hitter with Chicago. On September 16, 2007, he hit his 500th career home run. On September 30, 2008, Thome hit the home run that was the only run in the tiebreaker against the Minnesota Twins (who else?) and sent Chicago into the playoffs.
On August 31, 2009, Thome was traded (again!) to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was used there only as a pinch-hitter (a player who comes into the game to hit for someone else) because there is no DH in the National League, where the Dodgers play. He only had 17 at-bats with them.
On February 4, 2010, Thome signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Minnesota Twins. With the Twins he has returned to being the DH. On July 3, 2010, he hit the 573rd and 574th home runs of his career, passing Twins legend Harmon Killebrew for 10th on the all-time home run list.
As of today, September 6, Thome has a whopping 585 career home runs! Currently, he is 9th on the all-time list, just one home run away from tying Frank Robinson’s total. On September 4, Thome passed Mark McGwire on the list. Today, Thome launched a home run that was measured at 480 feet! The ball would have landed on Target Plaza in right field, except it hit the top of a flagpole. Thome also hit two home runs Saturday.
Besides Thome’s many accomplishments on the field, he is widely known for being a great man off the field, too. He has been a role model for other players and how they should act. He is also widely appreciated by all his former and current teammates and coaches, as well as by the fans.
I hope he decides to keep playing after this season, but when he retires, Jim “The Thomenator” Thome should be inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame. He is that good.
For more info on Thome, click here!
Written by: Sam Graves
*All info gotten from Wikipedia.