Famous Baseball Players
Base Ball Players
James Howard "Jim" Thome [TOE-mee] (born August 27, 1970 in Peoria, Illinois) is a Major League Baseball player who currently plays for the Chicago White Sox.
Thome originally played for the Cleveland Indians, joining the team for the first time in 1991 as a third baseman. In 1997, when the Indians traded for Matt Williams, Thome shifted over to first base. At the plate, Thome began to come into his own by 1995, when he hit 25 home runs and 73 runs batted in with a .314 batting average. Thome then hit 38 home runs in 1996 and 40 in 1997.
Thome became a prolific home run hitter, once hitting a 511-foot shot at Jacobs Field, the longest home run ever recorded at a Cleveland ballpark. By 2001, Thome hit 49 home runs with the Indians and then a career-high 52 homers in 2002. He has been nicknamed 'The Thomenator'.
After the 2002 season, Thome was up for free agency. He pursued a contract with the Chicago Cubs, whom he followed since childhood, but despite Thome's offer to accept a less competitive contract, the organization declined. Instead, Thome accepted a six-year offer from the Philadelphia Phillies. Many thought that he would struggle in the National League, facing an entirely new set of pitchers, but Thome proved the critics wrong, hitting 47 home runs in his first season with the Phillies to finish one behind Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt's single-season team record of 48 in 1980 (and ahead of Schmidt's 45 in 1979).
In 2004, Thome hit his 400th career home run before a home crowd at the brand new Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, surpassing Al Kaline for 37th on the all-time home run list. He ended the 2004 season with 42 homers, giving him 423 for his career, which placed him 35th on the career list.
Off the field, Thome is putting all ten of his nieces and nephews through college. It was reported on ESPN's SportsCenter that shortly after his nephew, Brandon, was paralyzed in a tragic accident, he asked Jim to hit a home run for him; not only did Thome fulfill the request but he hit two homers in the game.
Injuries caught up with Thome during the first half of the 2005 season, where he hit only .207 with seven home runs and 30 RBI going into the All-Star break. He opted for season-ending surgery in July. Ryan Howard proved to be a very successful replacement at first base in the 2005 season, leading all National League rookies in home runs and winning the NL Rookie of the Year award.
The emergence of Howard made Thome expendable to the Phillies. On November 23, 2005, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox along with $22.0 million. The White Sox sent CF Aaron Rowand and minor league pitching prospects Gio Gonzalez and Daniel Haigwood to Philadelphia in return.
In April 2006, Thome became the Chicago White Sox's regular designated hitter.
He holds a White Sox record for most home runs in the month of April (10), beating Frank Thomas' record by one.
He set a major league record by scoring in each of the White Sox first 17 games. The modern and AL record for consecutive games with a run scored is 18 held by Red Rolfe (1939) and Kenny Lofton (2000). On Mother's Day, May 14, 2006, Thome was one of more than 50 hitters who brandished a pink bat to benefit the Breast Cancer Foundation.
Thome up to this point in his career has a staggering .565 career slugging %, and a career .408 on base%. Thome is considered to be one of the most "complete" power hitters of his decade, due to his ability to create extra base hits, maintain a solid batting average for a power hitter (His career batting % is .282), and his ability to get on base.
Thome has been named Player of the Month three times: July 2001, September 2003 and June 2004. He is one of only six players to be named Player of the Month in each league (Vladimir Guerrero, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Gaylord Perry and Dave Winfield are the others). In 2006 he hit 42 homers, batted in 109 runs, and hit .288.
On October 7, Thome was named the American League's Comeback Player of the Year for 2006. Thome received 55,587 votes, leading the American League vote wire to wire