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Jim Thome hits 610th home run, passes Sammy Sosa on all-time list

Jul 20, 2012, 9:18 PM EDT

Jim Thome Getty Getty Images

Jim Thome just keeps mashing those taters.

Thome connected for a solo home run off Derek Lowe in the top of the fourth inning this evening against the Indians.

It was Thome’s first home run as a member of the Orioles and the 610th home run of his career, passing Sammy Sosa for sole possession of seventh place on the all-time list. Just icing on the cake, it happened in Cleveland, where he began his career and amassed 337 of those home runs over parts of 13 seasons.

Thome, who turns 42 next month, has six home runs this season. The future Hall of Famer is now staring up at Ken Griffey, Jr., who ranks sixth all-time with 630 home runs.

  1. cosanostra71 - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Thome is a likable player. Keep “mashing those taters”!

    • borninfellspoint - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:35 AM

      Didn’t Sosa hit his last homer (609) for the Orioles? I hope he has 21 more in him for the rest of the way! Go Thome!

      • randomdigits - Jul 21, 2012 at 9:05 AM

        Sosa finished his career in Texas, he had 21 HR for them in 2007 after being out of baseball in 2006.

  2. royalsfaninfargo - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    Its to bad Sosa is so high on this list.

    • Glenn - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:37 PM

      Passing Sosa for homers is like selling your 20 millionth album and being told that you just passed Slim Whitman (or Zamfir, or Kenny G, etc.) God, I’m old.

      Go Thome.

  3. hammyofdoom - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    I remember when he was at about 550 home runs and there were still annalists who were debating whether or not he was a hall of famer. This is one of the most likeable dudes in baseball who also has ridiculous numbers, good for him

    • Kleinz 57 - Jul 21, 2012 at 11:37 AM

      I see what you’re saying about his likeability, and while I wholeheartedly agree, that should have little basis on his HoF status.

      • jon623 - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:07 PM

        I’m right there with you. Totally agree.

  4. warpd - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    First ballot Hall of Fame.

  5. metalhead65 - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Imagine how many he would have if he juiced and used corked bats like sammy did.

    • hammyofdoom - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:42 PM

      Just curious, has it been proven that corked bats HELP people? If I remember correctly the myth busters said it actually made things worse, while I read a “study” that said it helps a ton due to bat speed, so I have no clue

      • raysfan1 - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:03 PM

        Jun 2011 issue of The American Journal of Physics article “Corked Bats, Juiced Balls, and Humidors: The Pysics of Cheating in Baseball”…corked bats do not help with hitting home runs. The increased bat speed is offset by the lighter weight of the bat resulting in lower inertia and thus less energy transferred to the ball. However, the increased bat speed does enable the batter to get around on the ball quicker and thus have a higher batting average.

    • hammyofdoom - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:51 AM

      Okay thanks thats what I thought! I remember batspeed being the whole idea behind corking, but the cork would absorb the impact so the ball essentially died on impact. So while you could GET to balls quicker, it would actually be a disadvantage power wise, thanks now I remember better

  6. hojo20 - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    When I think of all time great players, Jim Thome is not on the list.

    • hammyofdoom - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:46 PM

      Well… he kinda should be. a career .400 OBP and .550 slugging with the players most comparable to him being guys like Mike Schmidt, Reggie Jackson, Harmon Killebrew and Willie Mccovy. A lot of guys who we see as all time greats werent looked upon like that in their time, I mean look at how under appreciated Schmidt was for so long

      • hammyofdoom - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:47 PM

        Ugh… McCovey, damn my east coast bias

      • mybrunoblog - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:32 PM

        I think your wrong about Mike Schmidt being “under appreciated”. Schmidt was a 3x MVP, 12x all star, 10x gold glove winner, MVP of the 1980 WS and is generally regarded as the greatest third baseman of all time.
        The fans and media knew how great Schmitty was while he was playing. I just think Philly fans are a very fickle group and they are very hard to please. Also, Schmidt was classy player but would not patronize fans with phony platitudes and BS like some other superstars of the 1970s, 80s.

      • hammyofdoom - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:53 AM

        Well yeah I was referring to the fickleness of Philly fans (misspelled “Fickleness at first, was almost quite an oopsie). I think certain guys dont act like a superstar so some fans dont see them as an all time great while they are playing. I mean Bonds, Jr, Arod, they all had the personality of a “star” while guys like Schmidt, Thome and others who go about their job quietly may seem a little less “spectacular” because they dont go about showing it off

      • tomtravis76 - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:02 AM

        “generally regarded as the greatest third baseman of all time”

        lets not forget so easily the guy who really is considered the greatest 3b of all time…Brooks Robinson.

    • handsofsweed - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:07 PM

      You have a short attention span. Problem solved.

      • hammyofdoom - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:09 PM

        Well not only that but the “eye” test doesnt do him a ton of favors. Yeah he hits bombs, but hes pretty slow and lumbering and always has, its not like Griffey Jr. Where he had speed, arm, fielding AND power which all looked real pretty like.

      • hammyofdoom - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:55 AM

        That being nothing against Thome because I obviously believe him to be a first ballot HOF-er, but I think a slow lumbering guy will always get less love in baseball when it comes to being seen as “great”. You wont believe how many people I’ve talked with dont immediately think of Frank Thomas as an all time great. Its… really dissapointing.

    • jon623 - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:21 PM

      Then you need to brush up on your history, because Thome is a going to Cooperstown, no doubt about it. I would say probably first ballot. ^Hammyofdoom paints it in a really purty picture for you.

  7. buccaneerz78 - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Yea,,, like he has 20 more in his tank to catch the kid… 6 on the year?? 42 years old?? Good luck.

    • dan1111 - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:42 AM

      He has just over 100 at bats on the year, since in Philly he was mainly a pinch-hitter who started a few games. If he plays the rest of the year as the Orioles’ DH and comes back next year, 20 would be reasonable.

      Still, I think it is a long shot.

  8. watermelon1 - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    Thome might end up passing Griffey Jr., but his swing will never be anywhere near as pretty! Griffey Jr. could be HOF because of his swing, alone!

    • jon623 - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      The Kid’s injuries are the only reason he isn’t the all time home run king, instead of that blowhard Bonds. So upsetting. That swing was the smoothest of all time. Nobody’s swing will ever look as nice as his.

  9. dannythebisforbeast - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    Not many people are ken Griffey jr.
    Doesn’t mean he doesn’t belong in the HOF.

    who cares about corked bats Sosa was juiced out of his mind. My roommate was a huge baseball fan I remember he never liked Sosa earlier in his career and I remember him being this skinny center fielder. Then watching a game couple years later I could t believe it was the same dude he was huge.

    • ezthinking - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:28 AM

      BS

  10. ezthinking - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Amazing how steroids helped Sosa, Bonds, and McGwire and no one else. Alex Sanchez, Randy Velarde, Marvin Benard, Alex Cabrera, David Bell, etc… didn’t catch the benefit. There is no magic pill. Not for superstars, not for league-average players, not for average joes.

    In the good ol’ days they called it the Fountain of Youth. Great story for kids. Ponce de León struck out in the 1500’s looking for it. Kids learn this story at about 12. As it concerns steroids, so should everyone else.

    • aceshigh11 - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:54 AM

      Well, as you’re implying, steroids won’t turn an decidedly average player into a superstar.

      They simply makes players stronger and shorten the recovery time between strenuous workouts and games, which is a godsend for a sport with 162 games every season.

      However, I do think they’re capable of pushing players with a fair amount of talent past the threshold of being merely “good” into superstardom, or near-superstardom.

      Players like Sosa and Palmeiro fit that category in my opinion.

      • ezthinking - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:03 AM

        “Players like Sosa and Palmeiro fit that category in my opinion.”

        You don’t like history or facts then. Cool enough.

      • dan1111 - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:01 AM

        “You don’t like history or facts then.”

        What are the “history or facts” that show Sosa and Palmeiro were not helped by steroids?

        More generally, your argument is bunk. You have proven an obvious point that everyone agrees with anyway (steroids alone can’t make someone good at baseball) and then act like this shows that steroids have no effect. It does not follow.

        I understand why people react against the self-righteousness of the anti-steroid crusaders, but I think that in denying that steroids have any effect, you are over-reacting.

      • aceshigh11 - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:14 AM

        Sosa and Palmeiro were both VERY GOOD players, especially Palmeiro.

        However, many sportswriters feels that Sosa in particular was merely a good power hitter who transformed himself into a freak of nature with ungodly power for a few years.

        Palmerio…okay, he was a great player. 3,000 hits and over 500 home runs is a huge achievement.

        But still…contrast those two with, say, Barry Bonds. Bonds was already a HoFer before 1998. He had that natural, once-in-a-lifetime baseball talent that Sosa didn’t have.

      • ezthinking - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:00 AM

        Are you sure on Sosa, 12 seasons 1993-2004, 33, 25, 36, 40, 36, 66, 63, 50, 64, 49, 40, 35. His peak was at age 29 with 66 jacks. Pretty good bell curve there.

        Maris was 27 when he hit 22 more HRs than he ever hit and then never came within 28 jacks of it in a season. Must have juiced in ’61.

    • metalhead65 - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:10 PM

      so we are to believe as you do that a player like bonds who had a career high of 48 homers suddenly shows up overnite twice as big as ever was and hits what 20 or more homers year and roids had nothing to do with it? or that guys you never heard of like brady anderson suddenly got bigger and stronger over nite and started hitting homers without the help of roids? hey I have some swamp land in arizona I would like to sell you when have time give a call please.

  11. aceshigh11 - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    Awesome achievement. A hearty congratulations to Jim.

    Frankly, any time someone passes Sammy Sosa on the all-time HR list is a good day for baseball, particularly when it’s a great guy like Thome.

  12. ezthinking - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    I don’t know, if you’re a “steroids changes the game guy” (which I am not) then you should look at the guys named or busted for ‘roids that played with Jimmy. Manny comes to mind. How about Belle and his supposed corked bat advantage?

    As Top Gun taught us:

    Slider: Goose, whose butt did you kiss to get in here anyway?
    Goose: The list is long, but distinguished.
    Slider: Yeah, well so is my Johnson.

    Good job by Jim. Good job by Sammy.

  13. smackingfools - Jul 21, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Had he juiced?? He’s always been a major suspect to me.

    • jon623 - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:35 PM

      No. Next question please.

  14. dannythebisforbeast - Jul 21, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    It’s really not a good curve. You don’t go from averaging 38-40 to averaging 60 sorry. Maris had a career year. Any other examples in the 100 years of baseball?

    Are you really saying Sosa didnt take steroids? I personally don’t care baseball did this to themselves.

  15. dannythebisforbeast - Jul 21, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Oh yea and he even jumped to the 30-40 range around 2003. When I believe he tested positive?

    Ezthinking google sammy Sosa steroids.
    Your at the top of the list lol

  16. yahmule - Jul 21, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Sammy Sosa saved baseball. Just ask him.

    • jon623 - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:15 AM

      Really? I thought that was Canseco…

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