Sunday, January 28, 2018

Thome in The Hall!

When Jim Thome first showed up on the Indians roster, I felt it. I knew that no matter what he did with his career, he would always be one of my all-time favorites. He was likeable. He was a Triber. And, in very short order, he showed he was also a player.

Over his years in Cleveland, I loved watching him on TV when the Indians were on where I could see them. Throughout his career, he remained one of the “good guys.” I don’t mean in playability. He was way more than “good” in that regard. But, he was the guy who came to work and put in the effort when several other players were growing big heads, fighting drug use accusations and causing many fans to turn away from America’s pastime.

When he left Cleveland, many fans turned their anger toward Thome. Sure, he played a part in his $89mil contract with the Phillies, but I was angry with the Cleveland office who had once again turned the Tribe into the farm team to the rest of the league. The Indians continued their notoriety for dumping star players and perpetually existing in a state of “starting over” after having a great season.

From the beginning, I maintained he was one of the most underrated and unappreciated players in the league. He hit 300, 400, 500 homers and it went largely unreported, unnoticed. When he cracked 600, people finally started paying attention and heaping accolades on the “good guy of baseball” that were long, long overdue.

When talk of the Hall started before his retirement, I was convinced that he would probably never make it simply because he was so underrated. Fortunately, he had put is head down and gone to work throughout his career. As it turns out, a lot of folks in the BBWAA knew this work deserved to be recognized and rewarded. Thome entered the Hall with 89.9 percent of the vote, placing him between two other former Tribers: Roberto Alomar and Frank Robinson.

Mighty fine company.

Note: This post was supposed to go out on Thursday after the HOF announcement. I was in Orlando on business and forgot to push publish. D'oh!

1 comment:

  1. Congrats! I'm just as happy for Thome, as I live in his hometown of Peoria. I've long been a fan... great ballplayer, terrific guy, and gives back to the community.