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Jim Thome having one of the best age-39 seasons of all time

Aug 25, 2010, 2:58 PM EDT

Not only has Jim Thome switching from the White Sox to the Twins had a massive impact on the AL Central race, Baseball-Reference.com’s blog points out that he’s having one of the best seasons ever by a 39-year-old. Here are the all-time leaders in adjusted OPS+ at age 39:

AGE 39              YEAR      PA     OPS+
Barry Bonds         2004     617     263
Ted Williams        1958     517     179
Hank Aaron          1973     465     177
JIM THOME           2010     273     162
Babe Ruth           1934     471     161

Thome has fewer plate appearances than everyone else on that list, but he’s on pace to finish with approximately 350 and any time you can make a top-five list alongside Barry Bonds, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, and Babe Ruth you’re doing something really right.
And since Minnesotans are already thinking about the Twins possibly re-signing Thome for next season, here are the all-time leaders in adjusted OPS+ at age 40:

AGE 40              YEAR      PA     OPS+
Willie Mays         1971     537     158
Carlton Fisk        1988     298     155
Edgar Martinez      2003     603     141
Moises Alou         2007     360     137
Dave Winfield       1992     670     137

That’s a much different and less impressive list in terms of both names and numbers, which is a good reminder of how tough it is to dominate at age 40. In fact, based on OPS+ no hitter in the history of baseball has ever been as productive as a 40-year-old as Thome has been as a 39-year-old, which is something to keep in mind when it comes to 2011 expectations for the future Hall of Famer.

  1. tiger prez - Aug 25, 2010 at 3:43 PM

    Imagine the kind of numbers Bonds could have put up if he was using some sort of performance-enhancing agent (alas, none exist). Now that would have been a season!
    For now, I’ll guess we’ll just have to be happy that he was the greatest player ever (twice the player Ted Williams was, obviously) at an age when most players are cashing their pension checks.

  2. Schlom - Aug 25, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    tiger prez:
    You do know that steroids have been around since the late 50’s right? Are you 100% sure that Aaron wasn’t using as well?

  3. tiger prez - Aug 25, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    You do know that people have bet on baseball since the beginning of the sport, right? How do we know that all players don’t bet on baseball? Perhaps we should ban all players from baseball until we can prove that they don’t.
    Also, if Hank Aaron had outproduced all other players in the history of baseball by nearly 100 OPS points at the age of 39, I would have to say, yes, he used steroids. Since he didn’t do that (and didn’t have his feet grow three sizes when he was 36), I’m going to guess he didn’t. If you have evidence to the contrary, please post it in the space below. Thanks.

  4. JBerardi - Aug 25, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    Won’t someone PLEASE think of the children!?
    .
    Seriously, this has nothing to do with Bonds. Please spare me the outrage.

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