Jim Thome………..An Overlooked Slugger

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On July 9th 2011, Derek Jeter homered to become the 28th member of the 3,000 hit club. The media attention that this milestone received was off the charts. The fact that he was a “clean” player in the steroid era, in our opinion, fueled the media attention to any even higher level. After the Jeter milestone, we thought the media attention would be passed to Jim Thome, who is approaching an even more exclusive club the 600 home run club. The media attention which has been given to Thome thus far is not even close to that received by Jeter. We do realize one played in New York, while the other spent most of his career in Cleveland, but why is one milestone being held in such high regard while the home run milestone is being tossed aside? We do feel that the career and accomplishments of Jim Thome are being viewed unfavorably because he is a slugger who played in the steroid era. Should a player who has never been found or even suspected of steroid use, have his career numbers downplayed simply because he played in the era of inflated stats? Three of the last four members of the 600 home run club have admited or been suspected of steroid use, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Sammy Sosa, while the 28 members of the 3,000 hit club has one member Rafael Palmeiro linked to steroids. At baseballsgreatesthitters.com prior to the 2011 season, we do rank Jim Thome as one of the greatest 60 hitters of all-time, as well as, the 13th greatest hitting first baseman. We feel Major League Baseball and the media should applaud the hall of fame career of Jim Thome and give him his due as a “clean” player who put up great numbers in the steriod era. In conclusion, when we examine this era, more focus should be placed on the players who did it the right way…it seems that the negative aspects of this era continue to grab the headlines.

Comparisons with some Hall of Fame sluggers.

PlayerA.B.RunsHits2B3BH.R.RBI’sAve.O.B.%Slg.%
Harmon Killebrew814712832086290245731584256376509
Reggie Jackson986415512584463495631702262356490
Willie McCovey819712292211353465211555270374515
Willie Stargell792711952232423554751540282360529
Mike Schmidt835215062234408595481595267380527
Ken Griffey Jr.980116622781524386301836284370538
Jim Thome842215832328451266121699276402554

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