Jim Thome, who has been a member of five different teams throughout his prolific MLB career, hit his 600th career home run on August 15. To commemorate Thome’s prolific baseball career, I have created the following list of the numbers often associated with the All-Star designated hitter.
Statistics are current as of August 15, 2011.
August 27, 1970: Jim Thome was born in Peoria, Illinois on August 27, 1970. The 40-year-old was drafted by the Cleveland Indians at the 1989 MLB Draft and played for the Indians from 1991 to 2002.
One: Although Thome is one of the most prolific baseball sluggers of all time, he has only earned the Silver Slugger Award once. The Illinois native received the prestigious award in 1996. On a side note, the last designated hitter to receive the prestigious award was Vladimir Guerrero.
Five: For being one of the greatest sluggers in the late 20th century and early 21st century, Jim Thome has been selected to five All-Star Games. Thome was selected to the All-Star Game in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2006. Unfortunately for the 2002 Gordan Cobbledick Golden Tomahawk Award winner, he should have been selected to many more All-Star Games, but he has been oft-injured.
2002: Named after the late Pittsburgh Pirates great Roberto Clemente, the Roberto Clemente Award is given on an annual basis to the baseball player who best demonstrates camaraderie, sportsmanship, community outreach, among other factors. Jim Thome was the 2002 Roberto Clemente Award winner and the last player who received the admirable award was Tim Wakefield of the Boston Red Sox.
600: Among Jim Thome’s greatest career accomplishments, he hit his 600th career home run on August 15, 2011. The former Indians designated hitter is only the eighth hitter in the history of baseball to ever hit 600 home runs. The seven other baseball players are Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Junior, Alex Rodriguez, and Sammy Sosa as they hit 762, 755, 714, 660, 630, 626, and 609 home runs, respectively. On an interesting note, the five-time All-Star designated hitter hit two home runs on August 15 and his 600th career home run helped the Twins win the game against the Detroit Tigers.
In my opinion, Jim Thome should be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Even though Thome was never known as a defensive genius when he used to play at first base, the fact that he was able to hit 600 home runs and possibly many more, should be a strong enough reason for him to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Noah Trister, “Thome’s 600th homer highlights Minnesota win,” Yahoo! Sports.
“List of MLB players to reach 600 home runs,” Yahoo! Sports.