Jim Thome is going into the Hall of Fame on Sunday and, as Thome's dad once explained, Charlie Manuel might be the biggest reason why.

Thome wasn't a Phillie for very long, but his impact here was substantial. He didn't play on the teams that won five consecutive NL East titles, but he did influence the core that did.

Here then are 25 things to know about Gentleman Jim, one of the most approachable sluggers of all-time.

1. In his first minor-league stop, after he was drafted in the 13th round by the Indians in 1989, Thome had 213 plate appearances for the club's Gulf Coast League team and hit zero home runs.

2. ''One juncture I remember well is that at the end of Jim's first spring training with the Indians, in 1990, he still was assigned to no minor-league team," Chuck Thome, Jim's father, told the Chicago Sun Times in 2006.

"Instead, the Indians put him in extended spring training and had Charlie Manuel, then a minor-league instructor, working with him. The team had paid much more for some highly touted guy, but Manuel kept telling them about this kid from Illinois who was the first to the ballpark and the last to leave every day. Manuel told management: 'This kid will be a hitter. Whatever you do with the other guy, get Jim someplace where he is going to get to swing the bat. He will be a big-league hitter."

3. Thome hit .340 with 16 home runs in 292 minor-league PAs in 1990. He made his major-league debut as a September call-up the following season.

4. Thome has four siblings, including his twin sister Jennifer. Jim was born three minutes after Jen.

5. Thome played for six teams in his 22-year career, including two seasons with the Twins. He hit 37 home runs for the Twins and 61 against them.

6. When Thome was 8 years old, he tried to get an autograph from his favorite player, Cubs slugger Dave Kingman, but Kingman "blew him off," Chuck Thome told USA Today in 2003. Thome even snuck into the Cubs dugout, but couldn't get Kingman to sign. The episode stuck with Thome, who has always been cordial to fans.

7. When Thome visited the Phillies as a prospective free agent on a cold November day in 2002, he spontaneously stopped to visit electricians outside the Citizens Bank Park visitors center. The crew, from Local 98, had spray-painted signs, and made up hats designed to help recruit Thome to Philadelphia. "That's Jim," agent Pat Rooney said. "He just said, 'Let me get out and shake these guys' hands.' He said they reminded him of the guys he knew growing up in Peoria."

Jim Thome, a free agent who was touring the Phillies facilities in 2002, stopped to chat with electricians from Local 98. He said the workers reminded him of his own friends back in Peoria, Ill. where he grew up.
Charles Fox / Staff
Jim Thome, a free agent who was touring the Phillies facilities in 2002, stopped to chat with electricians from Local 98. He said the workers reminded him of his own friends back in Peoria, Ill. where he grew up.

8. When Thome tied Kingman with 442 career home runs in 2006, he made sure to retrieve the ball. "My dad brought me to Wrigley Field as a kid and, you know, Kingman was the guy who always hit the long, towering home runs," Thome told the Chicago Daily Herald. "Kingman always was a guy I personally idolized because of that. To look back as a kid and then now, wow, you tied somebody that you always admired as a kid. I always (collect) the ones that I tie, because I want to remember the guys that (I) tie."

9. Thome hit 101 home runs for the Phillies in his four seasons here (2003-05, 2012). He hit 337 for Cleveland, 134 for the White Sox, 37 for the Twins, three for the Orioles and none for the Dodgers. He hit another 17 for Cleveland in the postseason.

10. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Thome earned $142,711,667 in salary during his career, which works out to about $22,292.32 per home run.

11. His only home run against the Phillies came in 2010 when he was playing for the Twins and connected off reliever Jose Contreras.

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12. Despite his status, Thome volunteered to take long bus rides during spring training when he joined the Phillies. He figured it would be another way to bond with his new teammates.

13. Thome was a 24-year-old third baseman who hit 25 home runs in 1995 when the Indians won the AL Central to end a 41-year postseason drought. Cleveland lost the World Series in 1995 (to Atlanta) and 1997 (to Florida). He hit .211 in 71 career postseason games with 17 bombs.

14. Chase Utley was a big Jim Thome fan in high school, long before they became Phillies teammates. "I remember waking up in the morning, watching SportsCenter until the Indians highlights and then jumping in the shower and getting my [stuff] together," Utley said in 2005. "I liked that team. They had everybody on that team."

15. Thome is the only player to hit his 300th (Indians), 400th (Phillies), 500th (White Sox) and 600th (Twins) home runs for different teams.

All-time HR leaders Final year No.
1. Barry Bonds 2007 762
2. Hank Aaron 1976 755
3. Babe Ruth 1935 714
4. Alex Rodriguez 2016 696
5. Willie Mays 1973 660
6. Albert Pujols active *631
7. Ken Griffey Jr. 2010 630
8. Jim Thome 2012 612
9. Sammy Sosa 2007 609
10. Frank Robinson 1976 586
14. Reggie Jackson 1987 563
16. Mike Schmidt 1989 548
18. Mickey Mantle 1968 536
t20. Ted Williams 1960 521
t-273. Mike Trout active *229

*Pujols/Trout numbers are through Wednesday, July 25.

16. Thome in 2015 became the fifth member of his family to be inducted into the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. His father, grandfather and uncle are in for baseball and his aunt, Carolyn Thome, was a star softball player in the 1940s and '50s. She's also in the Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame.

17. Pitchers who gave up the most home runs to Jim Thome: Rick Reed 9, Roger Clemens 8, Justin Verlander 7.

18. Jim and wife Andrea will celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary on Nov. 7. They have two children: daughter Lila Grace, son Landon James. Lila was born a little more than a week after the Phillies signed Thome in December, 2002.

19. Thome finished in the top-10 in MVP voting four times, his highest being fourth when hit 47 home runs for the Phillies in 2003. Barry Bonds won it that year.

20. Expect his voice to crack when Thome mentions his late mother Joyce during his induction speech. Joyce died of cancer in 2005. "My mom taught me how to act and to treat people with dignity," Thome told the Allentown Morning Call. "When you hear people say, "Jim Thome is a nice guy and doesn't get upset' — that's from my mom."

21. The only player to hit 600 home runs in fewer at-bats than Thome's 8,167 is Babe Ruth (6,921).

22. The Phillies traded Thome to the White Sox after the 2005 season for Aaron Rowand and Gio Gonzalez. Thome and Rowand are two of the most popular recent Phillies NOT on the World Series teams.

23. Thome was replaced in the Phillies lineup by Ryan Howard. Thome's middle name is Howard.

24. His nephew Brandon was paralyzed after jumping headfirst into a shallow pool in 2001. During that season, 15-year-old Brandon was attending an Indians-White Sox game in Chicago when he asked his uncle to hit TWO home runs. Thome went 3 for 5 that night with TWO homers.

25. Thome was at Lincoln Financial Field in 2005 when Andy Reid and the Eagles beat the Falcons to finally win an NFC title game. "It was awesome. You cannot believe the way these people are. This is another level," he said two days after the game. "This is a totally different level. The intensity of these people. Everything stops. Everything revolves around the sports teams."

Jim Thome, shown here in 2004, hit 101 of his 612 career home runs with the Phillies.
Ron Cortes / Staff
Jim Thome, shown here in 2004, hit 101 of his 612 career home runs with the Phillies.

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