Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Jim Thome, The Phillie

A look at Jim Thome's career in Philadelphia.

Jim Thome, The Phillie

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Charlie Manuel and Jim Thome maintain a close relationship from their time in Cleveland together. (Charles Krupa/AP)
Charlie Manuel and Jim Thome maintain a close relationship from their time in Cleveland together. (Charles Krupa/AP)

It is not a stretch to say that, even though he hasn’t played a game for them in over six years, Jim Thome had a lot to do with the transition of the Phillies from “sometimes-rans” to the perennial NL power they have become.

So, since he launched his 599th and 600th career home runs Monday, we thought we’d take a statistical look at his career, from a Phillies perspective:

♦ He played just 2½ seasons for the Phillies, but is 24th on their all-time home run list (96).

♦ He hit career home runs 335 through 430 as a Phil, including No. 400, on June 14, 2004, against the Reds (circling bases at right).

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♦ He homered once every 3.76 games as a Phil, the highest percentage of any of his five career franchises.

♦ He is the only member of the 600-homer club to win just one league home-run title, and he did that as a Phillie in his first season here (2003). His 47 round-trippers is tied for fourth on the Phillies’ single-season list.

♦ His only career home run against the Phillies came on June 19, 2010. His ninth-inning, two-run center-field blast ignited a five-run rally in which the Twins overcame a 9-4 deficit en route to a 13-10, 11-inning victory.

♦ Finished fourth in balloting for the 2003 NL MVP (behind Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols and Gary Sheffield), his highest showing.

♦ Of the five teams he has played with, the Phils are the only one for whom he did not appear in the postseason. (Perhaps the baseball gods would care to correct that injustice over the next 15 days.)

♦ Belted 28 home runs at Veterans Stadium in its final season (2003), a club record.

♦ Homered in the first inning of the very first game at Citizens Bank Park (an April 3, 2004, exhibition), depositing one into Section 205 against his former team, the Cleveland Indians.

♦ Homered in the first inning of his first game in his first spring training with the Phillies (Feb. 27, 2003).

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About this blog

Boop – who goes by Bob Vetrone Jr. when he is undercover or paying bills – has been at the Daily News since 1982, after working for five years at the Philadelphia Bulletin up to its closing. Along with helping to build the sports scoreboards most nights, he has had great input into the papers’ special sports pullouts – March Madness, Broad Street Run, Record Breakers, Greatest Moments – as well as its day-to-day, award-winning event coverage.

A 1980 graduate of North Catholic, he took some evening college courses. Those lasted right up until the first conflict with a Big 5 doubleheader.

His favorite books growing up were the NBA Guide and the Baseball Encyclopedia, which was, for all intents and purposes, the Internet before there was an Internet.

He has been immersed in sports statistics since the early 70s, when his father (long-time sports writer, broadcaster and the Daily News’ Buck The Bartender), would take him into the Bulletin newsroom overnight in the summer and let him update the Phillies statistics in a little, black spiral notebook. But things have changed tremendously in the decades since … He now uses a big, black spiral notebook.

To listen to Boop on 94WIP, click here.

Reach Bob at vetronb@phillynews.com.

Bob Vetrone Jr.
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