I bet he doesn’t have a twitter account, Facebook page or weekly blog and you’ll never see him in a reality show. He doesn’t have it in him to say look at me like so many of today’s sports stars slash entertainers.
What Jim Thome does have is 600 career home runs. He’s only the 8th player in MLB history to do that and unlike at least three others in the group (Bonds, Sosa, A-Rod) he’s never been linked to performance enhancing drugs.
Jim Thome hit 599 and 600 Monday night in Detroit and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. That “nice guy” can be overused but it’s right-on this time.
I’ve never heard or read a bad word about Jim Thome. From the time he showed up with the Indians in 1991 (the last year of Memorial Stadium) the kid from Peoria, Ill. has worked hard, respected the game and treated teammates, the media and fans with a smile and a too rare form of genuine class.
Around here Brooks Robinson and John Unitas were superstars whose egos didn’t know it. Jim Thome could play on their team. Twins closer Joe Nathan spoke for so many saying of Thome, “He is the world’s nicest man.”
After hitting 600 Thome thought about his Mom as he rounded first base, she was watching from heaven. His teary eyed Dad, wife, two children and teammates were there to hug him when he reached home plate.
This was a celebration of a home run milestone and affirmation that nice guys don’t always finish last. I’m with that Tigers fan who celebrated the moment waving a sign that read “Thome is my Homey.” Score one for the good guys!