I put up this simple 1991 Bowman card for a reason.  That’s been Jim’s career in a nutshell, nothing fancy, but gets the job done.  He has always won over the blue collar fan, because they see him as a n average Joe a hero of the working class. Nothing flashy, not a prime-dona, just shows up, and leads his team.  Last night Jim hit his 599th and 600th home runs of his career and becomes the 8th member of the 600 home run club.

I feel like Thome has never gotten the respect he deserved through his career.  He was a super star in Cleveland until they didn’t want to resign him to a big deal because of his age.  In Philly he was never truly embraced because he was a place holder for Ryan Howard. White Sox fans never really took to him since he was effectively taking over for fan favorite Frank Thomas.  I feel like the only team who has embraced him since Cleveland is Minnesota.

His entrance into the 600 homer club pretty much guarantees his place in Cooperstown.  In an era where PED was the common denominator in home run hitting, Thome’s name was never mentioned.  Players like Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds will all be tied to the steroid era.  Griffey Jr. will not and now neither will Thome.  I look at Thome as your classic old school power hitter, like Harmon Killebrew or Ralph Kiner.  A name that will stand the test of time.

Unfortunately the hobby world never saw Thome like that.  Go back two weeks and none of his signed cards were fetching more than $35.  To me that is amazing, is it because he was never flashy?  Probably.  In fact you could have had the card pictured below for $33.

JIM THOME 2008 SWEET SPOT AUTOGRAPH /358In the end, Thome’s place in history will be remembered and celebrated.  He may never have the adulation of Mays or Griffey Jr. but he certainly should have.  A hard nosed player who played gritty defense and could hit the ball into low orbit.  I’ll definitely remember Thome as one of the greats.

How do you think his career stacked up against the greats?

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7 responses »

  1. My sentiments, exactly!! I have always liked Thome. You are 100% correct in that he gets no respect. That is because he is not a “look at me”, “look what I can do” kind of guy. He just goes out there, does his job, does it well, and then walks off into the sunset. This time, the sun will set over Cooperstown.

  2. Mike D says:

    Thome does represent the “every man” – I know him commercially for doing a Lunkers commercial, which is a local fishing and hunting shop. He doesn’t demand attention, he stays out of the SportsCenter leads (case in point last night – NFL preseason analysis buried his 600th homer), and by and large he has played his baseball in markets where players don’t get the attention they deserve, save for Chicago. Even there, the Sox are second fiddle to the Cubs. Four games out versus Zambrano, guess who is stealing the headlines right now.
    And that’s exactly it with Thome. He reminds me a lot of Eddie Murray in the sense that Thome could care less about being a media darling or flashy, just goes out and does his job.
    Congrats to Thome on his milestone!

  3. R.N. Coyote says:

    I always liked Jim “Thunder” Thome. No flash, no frills, just hit the ball and take names.

  4. jj says:

    When he was in Philly, I remember the last day at the Vet when Mike Schmidt held his arms up and was like passing the torch, then they let him go. I living in the Philly area was upset, only cause if you would have seen the media hype to have him sign here it was awesome, then Howard comes along and he’s replaced. Always loved Thome as a person and player, he just knew how to motivate a team. When he goes into the hall would love to see the team he goes in under.

  5. Brian B says:

    Blue collar, lunch pail kind of guy, went to work everyday, didnt cause trouble, didnt want to be “THE MAN” but at the end of the day, good ole Jim some how popped, 600???? It was a very quiet 600, I guess thats how he will be remembered, until they call his name that July afternoon ib Cooperstown, then we should all stand up and cheer, I think each of us wiuld have loved to have had him on our team, and cheered for him, looking at his career, how could we have not?

  6. Chris says:

    All we can do now is tip our caps off to the wonderful career he has had….

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