Signed in black sharpie
James Howard "Jim" Thome (/ˈtoʊmi/; born August 27, 1970) is a retired American baseball player who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), from 1991 to 2012. He played for six different teams, most notably the Cleveland Indians during the 1990s and the Philadelphia Phillies in the early 2000s. A prolific power hitter, Thome hit 612 home runs during his career—the seventh most all time—along with 2,328 hits, 1,699 runs batted in (RBIs), and a .276 batting average. He was a member of five All-Star teams and won a Silver Slugger Award in 1996.
Thome grew up in Peoria, Illinois, as part of a large blue-collar family of athletes, who predominantly played baseball and basketball. After attending Illinois Central College, he was drafted by the Indians in 1989 and made his major league debut in 1991. Early in his career, he played third base before eventually becoming a first baseman. With the Indians, Thome was part of a core of players that led the franchise to two World Series appearances in three years during the mid-1990s. He spent over a decade with Cleveland before leaving via free agency after the 2002 season to join the Philadelphia Phillies, with whom he spent the following three seasons. Traded to the Chicago White Sox before the 2006 season, Thome won the American League Comeback Player of the Year Award that year and reached the 500 home run club during his three-season tenure with the team. By this point in his career, back pain limited Thome to being a designated hitter. After stints with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins, he made brief returns to Cleveland and Philadelphia before ending his career with the Baltimore Orioles. Upon retiring, Thome accepted an executive position with the White Sox.
Throughout his career, Thome's strength was power hitting. In six different seasons, he hit more than 40 home runs, and in 2003, he led the National League in home runs with 47. His career on-base plus slugging (OPS) of .956 is 19th all time. In 2011, he became the eighth MLB player to hit 600 home runs. One of Thome's trademarks was his unique batting stance, in which he held the bat out with his right hand and pointed it at right field before the pitcher threw, something he first saw in The Natural. Thome was known for his consistently positive attitude and "gregarious" personality. An active philanthropist during his playing career, he was honored with two Marvin Miller Man of the Year Awards and a Lou Gehrig Memorial Award for his community involvement.