Jim Thome hit a home run tonight that probably sealed his spot in Cooperstown. It really wasn’t one home run, but two in the same game. On the same day the Minnesota Twins dealt starting left fielder Delmon Young to the Detroit Tigers, Jim Thome hit home run number 600.
At the beginning of the game, it looked like it would be a night that highlighted Delmon Young, who on his first swing as a Tiger, hit a solo home run against former teammate Francisco Liriano. Then in the sixth inning, “Big” Jim Thome stepped up to the plate in a 3-3 tied game and hit a two-run blast off Rick Porcello to take a 5-3 lead. If that wasn’t enough, Thome did it again.
In the next inning, with the score 6-5 in favor of the Twins, Jim Thome stepped up to the plate to face Daniel Schlereth with two men on and sent a blast out into the bullpen. The home run not only put Thome in the very exclusive 600 homer club, but it also helped the Twins seal a 9-6 victory.
Thome’s blast put him in the 600 home run club which includes Hall of Famers such as Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays. Thome and Alex Rodriguez are the only active players that are members of the 600 home run club.
Thome made his major league debut in 1991 with the Cleveland Indians where he hit 334 of his home runs. In 1996, he won the Silver Slugger award. Thome led the National League in home runs in 2003 as a member of Philadelphia Phillies when he hit 47 homers. In 2006, Thome won the AL Comeback Player of the Year award as a member of the Chicago White Sox. In 2007, Thome hit home run number 500 which happened to be a walk-off home run. Thome is currently tied for first in most career walk-off home runs, which he has hit 12 of.
Not only is Jim Thome a great baseball player, but he is also a great man off the playing field. Thome is a two-time winner of the Marvin Miller Man of the Year and he is also a recipient of the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award. The Marvin Miller Man of the Year is given to players who inspire others to higher levels of achievement due to their on the field performance and their contributions to the community. The Lou Gehrig Memorial Award is given to a player who has great character both on and off the field.
Not only is Jim Thome a Hall of Fame player, but he is also a Hall of Fame citizen.