I want to start out by congratulating Jim Thome for hitting his 600th homerun last night. It is an accomplishment only seven other human beings can claim they did while playing in the Major Leagues, and only Babe Ruth did it in fewer at-bats than Jim Thome. Wow! Thome has been a man that has stayed out of the limelight and flown under the historic radar while his numbers soar high above most hall of fame careers.
He never played for the Yankees or Red Sox. His .277 batting average, while decent, is not great. He is still more than 700 hits from reaching the magical 3000 for his career. He has been a full-time DH since 2006. He has over 2400 strikeouts. He is not a larger-than-life personality. Yada-yada-yada. If you fail to mention Thome as one of the best hitters to grace Major League batter’s boxes then you must not have been paying attention. Take a look at his career numbers:
|Times on Base||4041||42nd|
And if RBI and runs scored are your thing he ranks 27th all-time with 1662 RBI and 53rd all-time with 1553 runs scored. And to top it off he averaged a homerun once every 13.6 at-bats. Only Mark McGwire, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, and Ryan Howard (who will drop below that total with career regression) have homered more frequently than Thome has but you rarely hear Thome’s name when mentioning the most feared hitters of all-time.
Thome may have flown under a lot of people’s radars for one reason or another but one thing is for sure, the man belongs in Cooperstown and should only take him one try to get in. Take a look at his career and be thankful that we were privileged enough to be alive when the mighty Jim Thome played the best sport on the planet.