Saturday, December 9, 2017

2018 HOF Candidate: Jim Thome

On December 6 2002 the Philadelphia Phillies announced that the long struggling club was ready for big time when they signed free agent slugger Jim Thome.

Things didn't work out as well as Phillies fans would have liked but the short-lived Thome era did have some fun moments. Over the course of his first two seasons in Philadelphia Thome hit 89 Home Runs including a league leading 47 in 2003. 

2004 Topps #1 Jim Thome (image swiped from Dean's Cards)

Topps honored the league leading season by putting Jim Thome on the #1 card of it's 2004 set (AL HR Leader Alex Rodriguez got 2004 Topps next hero card #100).

Good looking card and I am glad that Thome was recognized by Topps while he wore a Phillies uniform. The team didn't make the playoffs while Thome was here, but it is my opinion he was a key stepping stone to getting the team to a competitive level.

One of my favorite moments of Jim Thome's tenure in Philadelphia was his 400th career Home Run which came during a Phillies 10-7 victory over the Reds on June 14 2004. The game is briefly discussed in our 2006 Wall of Fame posting.  

2004 Topps #1 Jim Thome (b-side image swiped from Dean's Cards)

On the top left of the back of the card we can indeed see that this is the #1 card in the set. 
It also shows Thome's inaugural Phillies stat line which notes his league leading 47 homers in red (as well as his 182 Ks). The short text blurb touches on Thome's other strength, getting on base. The 60 game on-base streak was stopped by pitchers Kris Benson and Scott Sauerbeck during a 2-0 Pirates victory over the Phillies.

Phun Phact
Topps also put Jim Thome on the #1 card of the 2004 Heritage set.

Phungo Verdict
HOF - Big Fan, 600 Home Runs, Great Guy.

Sources and Links
2018 HoF Candidates
Jim Thome Player Collection Index
Dean's Cards
#1 Club


1 comment:

Brett Alan said...

Yeah, if a guy who hit 600 home runs clean doesn't get in on the first ballot, something is wrong.

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a thousand words
2008 World Champions