A patient man at the plate, Jim Thome did not have to wait one extra second to gain entrance into the Hall of Fame.
Move over, Leo Durocher. Nice guys do finish first. And on his first year of eligibility, Thome finished third when voting totals were announced Jan. 24 after Chipper Jones and Vladimir Guerrero to garner nearly 90 percent of the vote. All-time closer Trevor Hoffman slipped in as the fourth 2018 inductee.
Thome was baseball fan who mimicked childhood idol Dave Kingman’s swing long before he slugged the first of 612 career homers. But after already touring Cooperstown with father Chuck Thome, he’ll enjoy sports’ greatest museum in his next visit as a fan as much as a fresh inductee.
“There were so many, many things,” he said in a teleconference about the Hall’s top attractions. “Walking through the front doors gives you chills enough. Going into the basement and putting on the white gloves and touching Babe Ruth’s items…and Lou Gehrig’s. The Hall of Fame is so magical. It’s the greatest place there is. One day doesn’t do it justice. You need to spend two or three to truly understand the great things in their place. It’s truly special.”
Character should count for a lion’s share of an inductee’s votes. Thome is the pride of Peoria, who grew up as a Cubs fan in the central Illinois city and starred for the White Sox from 2006 to 2009. He had baseball good-citizen status in gobs.
STORYCategory Chicago Baseball History Feature Tags Baseball Hall of Fame, Chicago White Sox, Jim Thome