Jim Thome 600 Home Runs: Ranking All 8 Sluggers to Reach No. 600

Andy VanfossanContributor IAugust 16, 2011

Jim Thome 600 Home Runs: Ranking All 8 Sluggers to Reach No. 600

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    Monday night was a very special night for the Thome family. His father along with his wife and kids were all in Detroit to witness not only number 599, but also 600.

    Thome joins an elite group of only eight other players to reach this magic number. Unfortunately, Thome's run towards 600 didn't get much media attention, until now.

    The following is one man's opinion on who are the greatest of the eight 600 club members. The order goes from eighth place to first place. 

    Let's have a spirited debate and congratulate Jim Thome on being the newest member of the 600 home run club.

Sammy Sosa (609)

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    I put Sosa at No. 8 because of his history. True, he is the only player in history to hit 60 home runs three years (1998, 1999 and 2001).

    He averaged 58 home runs from 1998-2002 and drove in an average of 119 runs. What makes him No. 8 is his alleged steroid use.

    You will see that the other “users” are are going to be toward the bottom of this list, and I truly think without the alleged use he wouldn’t have come close to the magic 600.

Ken Griffey Jr. (630)

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    As much as it pains me to put Junior here, I had to because of his injury-plagued career. When he was on (days in Seattle), it could be argued there wasn’t anybody better.

    His days with the Reds were a different story. I truly believe that if he would have either stayed in Seattle or was healthy throughout his days with Cincinnati, he would be at the top of the home run list.

Alex Rodriguez (626 and Counting)

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    A-Rod’s three MVP’s and his two second-place finishes are impressive and his numbers across the board are amazing. The issue with A-Rod is the same as it was with Sosa, and that is his alleged steroid use.

    I will give credit though and say A-Rod’s numbers throughout his career are very consistent top to bottom, and I think (along with Bonds) would have been a Hall of Fame player anyway without the alleged use of PED’s.

Jim Thome (600)

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    I will be honest and say that I didn’t appreciate what Thome did with Cleveland and in his days with the Phillies. As a Twins fan, I despised him in Chicago because he always got the big hit to beat the Twins. And he is now the eighth member of this exclusive club.

    To put Thome’s career in perspective, according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, he is only behind Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds with regards to on-base percentage amongst the members of the club.

    Congratulations again, Jim Thome.

Barry Bonds (762)

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    I am putting Bonds down the list simply because of his alleged use of PED’s. I truly think he would be in the hall without the PED’s as shown by his major league record seven MVP’s.

    Bonds could hit for power, run and was a solid defensive players. He could have, and still may, go down as the best player to ever play the game, but until he is proven innocent, I will put the next three Hall-of-Famers ahead of him.

Hank Aaron (755)

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    In some people’s eyes, Aaron is still the career home run record holder. His career was a model of consistency averaging 98.4 runs batted in to go along with 32.8 home runs in his 23-season career.

    He won only one MVP throughout his career and never hit more than 47 home runs in a season. It was tough to put him here, but the next two members were pretty good in their own right.

Willie Mays (660)

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    The ‘Say Hey Kid’ hit 660 home runs throughout his career, and it has been argued he would have hit many more if he wouldn’t have played in the spacious Polo Grounds in his days with the New York Giants.

    Mays won two MVP awards and hit a career-high 52 home runs in 1965. Ironically, Mays is Barry Bonds’ godfather but is held in a higher regard than his godson.

Babe Ruth (714)

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    “The Babe” is No. 1 when it comes to this elite club. Ruth held the title of career home run leader until Hank Aaron topped it in 1974.

    Ruth put up staggering numbers all throughout the 1920’s, capping it off in 1927 with a 60 home run season.

    He is second on the all time RBI list with 2,213 (trailing only Hank Aaron). When people talk home runs even today, Babe Ruth is usually the first thing that comes out of their mouths.