September 4, 2009

Thome deserves more respect

There are many things this generation of baseball players will be remembered for and, good or bad, there are some baseball players that may be forgotten altogether.

Jim Thome is one of the best home run hitters in the game, but it's seemingly rare that he gets enough credit for what he does. Part of the problem may have been where he has played. He spent most of his career in Cleveland, went to Philadelphia for big money in the early part of this decade and spent the last couple of years with the White Sox.

Thome was recently traded to the Dodgers where he's expected to be a pinch hitter, the nasty hitter who can crush a ball in the blink of an eye.

However, Thome has 564 career home runs, which is 12th on the all-time list.

For someone with as many home runs as has, I feel he hasn't gotten enough attention over the years. If I am off base, please let me know. But I don't recall Thome being mentioned in the same breath as Mickey Mantle or Jimmie Foxx or Mike Schmidt.

According to Beckett, he only has two rookie cards: 1991 Bowman #68 and 1991 Upper Deck Final Edition #17F. Both come at a steal on eBay.

A PSA 10 of the Bowman (pictured) recently ended at $20, but you can get one ungraded for just a few bucks.

A 100-card lot of his Upper Deck FE cards went for under $100, all ungraded.

For a member of the 500 home run hitter club, Thome doesn't get enough respect or credit for what he has done. And, from everything I've heard, Thome is one of the good ones.


  1. The good ones rarely get enough attention, because they aren't usually loudmouth self-promoters. They just get the job done.

  2. Thome IS the proverbial "good guy" who pulled himself up by his bootstraps, practiced hard to become a passable fielder, worked harder to cut down on his K's, and is genuinely a nice guy who doesn't chew the head off of reporters or teammates. I have been a fan of his since he came up to Cleveland, and love watching him hit. He deserves more respect than he gets, but I bet that he is OK with that. His peers recognize it.

  3. Big fan of Thome as well. We saw him at Toledo on a rehab assignment a few years ago and he was accommodating with the fans before the game and seemed to genuinely like the interaction.

    As to his rookie cards, when they are 10 million of them out there of the same card, how much could one be worth?

  4. Thome is one of the good guys and I am very confident he never got caught up in the performance enhancing thing. I think the knock on Thome unfortunately is he plays DH. Very one-dimensional. However is baseball is going to allow the DH, it needs to be treated as anyother position in terms of respect etc. Thome is not the kind of guy that can hit without getting his AB's. I think the move by the Dodgers was an Ace in the hole type move, becasue if they make it to the World Series, having Thome as their DH will be HUGE

  5. Like all great players who don't get enough media attention, those in the know get to enjoy the fruits of his labors. When it comes time for the Hall of Fame, I'm sure his detractors will label him a one dimensional player, but he is so much more.

    I rarely follow a player's career closely after they leave my favorite teams. I will be following Thome's. He's just that special.

  6. Also a big fan of Big Jim, but the reason why his rookie cards get no respect is because he came of age in the era of cardboard overproduction.

    Think about it: When was the last time you saw a 100-count lot of a current-year player's rookie cards?

    It's a shame because 1991 Bowman is a loaded set. They just overproduced the shit out it.

  7. Thome is a great guy, and a fine acquisition by the Dodgers to be sure.

    But underappreciated? Doubtful. Did anyone watch Wednesday night's ESPN broadcast of the Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks? Of course not, the Red Sox game ended prior and the Yankees had already played.

    Anyway, ESPN's Steve Phillips, Dan Shulman, and Orel Hershiser spent a good chunk of the game fawning over Thome and what a good influence he'd be, and how awesome he was to listen to Joe Torre and Don Mattingly, how he would be a mentor to Manny and the Dodgers' young stars, and how he would find a cure for the common cold, and so on.

    Thome is plenty appreciated. 564 home runs is no small accomplishment. But because he made the mistake of only playing a few years for a northeast team, he doesn't demand headlines the way Clay Buchholz and Jacoby Ellsbury do.

  8. I think plenty of people appreciate Thome's ability and nature. I hear him mentioned all the time when they're talking about the top home run hitters of our era.

    And his reputation for being a good guy is certainly out there. I wouldn't have gone so crazy on my blog when the Dodgers acquired him if I didn't know about his reputation.

  9. This guy is one of the best of all-time. He is the consummate professional. He even takes the time to sign his mail as I have been lucky to get him a few times TTM. Hopefully he can get to a World Series, and if the Yanks aren't in it, win it.

  10. One problem Thome had was his teammates. In Cleveland, he shared billing with Manny and Albert Belle. Manny was a better hitter, and Belle was a better story. When he went to Philly to shine, he was hurt and eventually shoved out by some Howard guy. Hard to remember that he's one of the best ever when he was rarely the best on his team.

  11. I've always been a fan of Thome even before he went to Philly. I agree, he doesn't see to get his share of attention.