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Jim Thome putting up historic production for a 40-year-old

Aug 19, 2011, 2:16 PM EDT

Jim Thome Reuters

Jim Thome ruined the Twins’ plans to have him reach 600 career home runs at Target Field by being too damn good, hitting his 599th and 600th homers Monday night in Detroit and then delivering No. 601 against the Tigers two nights later.

Thome has been deserving of the Hall of Fame for years already, but hopefully becoming the eighth member of the 600-homer club will ensure his place in Cooperstown.

With the way he’s hitting, though, that can probably wait. Thome hasn’t been able to duplicate his ridiculous 2010 numbers, but he’s having one of the greatest seasons in baseball history by a 40-year-old.

In fact, last season his .283/.412/.627 line added up to the fourth-highest adjusted OPS+ of all time by a 39-year-old and this season his .259/.365/.513 line would be tied for the fourth-highest adjusted OPS+ from a 40-year-old. Here are the age-39 and age-40 leaderboards for adjusted OPS+:

AGE 39           YEAR     PA    OPS+        AGE 40           YEAR     PA    OPS+
Barry Bonds      2004    617    263         Willie Mays      1971    537    158
Ted Williams     1958    517    179         Carlton Fisk     1988    298    155
Hank Aaron       1973    465    177         Edgar Martinez   2003    603    141
JIM THOME        2010    279    161         JIM THOME        2011    226    139
Babe Ruth        1934    471    161         Dave Winfield    1992    670    137

If you’re curious, here’s the adjusted OPS+ leaderboard among 41-year-olds:

AGE 41           YEAR     PA    OPS+
Ted Williams     1960    390    190
Barry Bonds      2006    493    156
Brian Downing    1992    391    138
Stan Musial      1962    505    137
Carlton Fisk     1989    419    136

I’d love to see Thome take a run at that list in 2012 for the Twins and even in a part-time role he’d move past Sammy Sosa for seventh place on the homer list. My favorite stat: Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds are the only hitters in baseball history with more homers and more walks than Thome.

  1. Jonny 5 - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    A WS ring could really look good on his finger too. I wonder if that might be enough bait to draw the big lug back to a city that still loves him? The Phillies are sniffing the possibility so let’s just sit back and see. He has full no-trade clause so if he wanted to, he could jump on the Philly bandwagon for one last hoorah if he really wanted to. I know there are some AL teams who probably want him more and will give him more AB’s, but if he decided to he could block it all and come back.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:28 PM

      He should absolutely come back and play for his mentor one last time. Here is a link to an article explaining what Jonny 5 is saying:

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:31 PM

        “Batting 5th, for the Philadelphia Phillies…Designated Hitter Jim Thome…..”

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:35 PM


      • Jonny 5 - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:52 PM

        Donald duck says shwiiiingg!!!

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:42 PM

        1.) There’s just something wrong with Thome being 2011’s Matt Stairs. But sometimes wrong is right…right?

        2.) Jonny, do you get paid to find these things on the interwebs?

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:46 PM

        Answer to question #2) Yes I do. But it’s not in my title, or job description. And my boss probably wouldn’t agree.

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:47 PM

        Well, then, party on, Jonny.

    • ThatGuy - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:47 PM

      As a Twins fan, I would be more than happy to send Thome to the Phillies for an A ball reliever so he can get his ring. But only if we resign him in the offseason.

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Cue that steroid guy about to come in and say I told you so…

  3. SmackSaw - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    It would be epic if the Phighten’s got him back. Dump that load Gload.

  4. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    I’m rooting for Mr. Incredible, myself. Go Thome go!

  5. drmonkeyarmy - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    Howard is back in the line-up following a minor hand injury and Chooch is back following the problem with his testicles.
    Rollins, Mayberry Jr., Utley, Howard, Pence, Ibanez, Chooch, Valdez, Osawalt

    • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:29 PM

      Obviously there is not 2 A’s in Oswalts last name. I’m confused as to why the ground swell for an edit function is not swaying the bloggers to comply with this reasonable request.

      • FC - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:40 PM

        One day I hope to stumble in the edit function. I think the fact that the server (or whoever did it) can correct the tag injection and repair the italics terrorism acts is proof that it IS possible to edit comments in some fashion.

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

        It’s because Craig hates Phillies Phans.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:49 PM

        Yeah, one time somebody said something completely irrelevant and inflammatory about the residents of Philadelphia, to which I replied something…next thing I knew, that part of his comment was removed by the blogger. My comment was not removed and made little contextual sense. So, it is possible. Good luck on your quest FC.

  6. FC - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    Go THunderdOME!

  7. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 19, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    Would you guys really want another LH bat off the bench? Setting him up with Utley and Howard is just asking for a LOOGY to pitch an entire inning.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 19, 2011 at 5:40 PM

      Yes, would like LH off bench. For me, strictly for pinch hitting purposes. Gload is awful and is the option right now.

    • FC - Aug 19, 2011 at 6:07 PM

      Assuming he comes in to pinch hit for the Pitcher, the next two hitters are Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino (switch hitters both), so I fear no LOOGY.

  8. opiedamus - Aug 19, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    Just did a little bio fact checking on Mr. Thome – just as I suspected, tough s.o.b. However, I had no idea the guy was that good of an athlete! Juco hoops and baseball is no joke. Have enjoyed watching him play for a long time. I’ve got a buddy who is a dead ringer for him, which is what got us all watching him while we were in college.

    The fact that he has a twin sister makes me pause for a second……but, he’s a solid dude. Long been a favorite player, but now may be my favorite player!

    Baseball players aren’t athletes….but, Mr. Thome definitely is an athlete in every sense of the word. Plus, it helps that his family brawled in softball leagues as I’ve been involved in more than a few softball leagues like that!

    Kudo’s, sir, Cooperstown awaits and I can’t wait for the speech!

    • mynicklesworth - Aug 26, 2011 at 2:03 PM

      Jen, Jim’s sister, is a very adorable person. I worked with her a long while before I knew who her brother is. He has made a point of giving back to the Peoria area community. Super family.

  9. purnellmeagrejr - Aug 20, 2011 at 7:55 AM

    I was thinking historic has become one of those words like “epic” and then reading the posts I saw somebody posted “it would be epic.” Guess I’m a word fan as well as a baseball fan. Have an awesome day everybody!

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