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Indians to honor Jim Thome with statue

Sep 23, 2011, 9:31 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins v Cleveland Indians Getty Images

There was some bitterness when Jim Thome bolted for Philadelphia following the 2002 season, but it hasn’t taken long for him to be embraced in his second act with Cleveland.

According to the Associated Press, the Indians announced plans before tonight’s game to honor Thome by erecting a bronze statue of his likeness in Heritage Park beyond the wall in center field. The statue will depict Thome doing his trademark bat point.

Jordan Bastian of reports that the statue will be in the same area where his 511-foot home run landed on July 3, 1999, which is the longest home run in the history of the ballpark.

Too soon for a Thome statue? Maybe. Others (Larry Doby, hello?) who are also deserving? You bet. But including his two-run blast in the bottom of the third inning tonight — the 604th home run of his career — the 41-year-old slugger holds the Indians’ franchise record with 337 home runs.

  1. derekjetersmansion - Sep 23, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    Yeah, too soon.

  2. Gordon - Sep 23, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    Pretty silly

  3. dclogicatlast - Sep 24, 2011 at 12:20 AM

    No way. Thome is first class and i totally believe he’s clean. He’s a big time home
    run hitter and should have been a career Indian. As a big time Phillies fan, l wanted to see Thome come back to Philly and win his first ring. Only thing better is him becoming a Cleveland legend. He deserves it.

  4. jwbiii - Sep 24, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    Does this mean the Indians are not going to honor Thome with a 2012 contract offer?

  5. Lukehart80 - Sep 24, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    I’d rather they wait until he’s retired for this honor, but I certainly think he’s deserving of it. Bob Feller is the greatest player in franchise history, Thome is the team’s best player of the last 50 years.

    Larry Doby absolutely deserves a statue too, not only for his tremendous historical significance and the integrity he showed while becoming the first African American in American League history, bu also for being a fantastic player.

  6. dracko19 - Sep 24, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    This is like watching the perfect marriage that went awry due to infidelity and now the couple is back together to live out their golden years. Thome should have never left. CLE is trying to give this the storybook ending, but it will always feel “tainted”.

  7. Detroit Michael - Sep 26, 2011 at 9:05 AM

    Here’s a suggested rewrite of your first sentence:
    “There was some bitterness when the Cleveland Indians refused to pay competitive wages to Jim Thome following the 2002 season, forcing him to seek employment elsewhere unless he wanted to give the Indians a substantial discount …”

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