Last night Jim Thome hit his 600th home run. I was glad to see The Thomeinator — an inspired nickname applied to the Tribe’s power hitter by the Jacobs Field scoreboard in one game I attended, long ago — reach a true milestone.
Although Thome left Cleveland and has continued to crush home runs for the Phillies, Dodgers, White Sox, and Twins, I’ll always think of him as one of my favorite members of the Indians. He started out as a third baseman for the great Tribe teams of the ’90s and then moved to first base. All along, Thome was one of the most durable, and dependable, hitters in the Cleveland lineup. As he matured, he came to look like an oak, and he belted the ball about as hard as anyone ever has. Thome’s familiar left-handed swing — taken after a few trademark cup adjustments, followed by holding the bat outstretched toward the field — was a pure and beautiful and brutal thing to see.
Not many people have hit 600 home runs. It’s one of the most exclusive clubs in baseball, and Jim Thome belongs there. It’s nice to see such a nice guy achieve such a landmark.