August 27, 1970 in Peoria, IL
Chicago White Sox
James Howard Thome
Major League Debut:
September 4, 1991
Teams Played For:
Cleveland (12), Philadelphia (3)
Post Season Awards:
American League All-Star (1997, 1998. 1999, 2004, 2006)
Roberto Clemente Award (2002)
Lou Gehrig Memorial Award (2004)
American League Silver Sluggers (1996)
Considered to be one of the most "complete" power hitters of his decade, due to his ability to create extra base hits, maintain a solid batting average for a power hitter, and his ability to get on base, Thome has a staggering .566 career slugging percentage, and a career .410 on base percentage; not to mention that he has as many 100-RBI seasons (nine) as McCovey and Willie Stargell combined, and as many 40-homer seasons (six) as Willie Mays.
Thome was named 2006 American League Comeback Player of the Year by Major League Baseball and The Sporting News after hitting .288 with 42 home runs, 107 RBI, 108 runs scored and 107 walks in his first season with the White Sox. In April, 2006, he set the team record for most home runs in the opening month of the season (10) beating Frank Thomas' record by one. He also set a major league record by scoring in each of the White Sox first 17 games.
Thome originally played for the Cleveland Indians, joining the team for the first time in 1991 as a third baseman. Thome began to come into his own by 1995, when he hit 25 home runs and 73 runs batted in with a .314 batting average. Thome soon became a prolific home run hitter, once hitting a 511-foot (156-meter) shot at Jacobs Field, the longest home run ever recorded at a Cleveland ballpark. He hit a career-high 52 homers in 2002.
On September 16, 2007 Thome hit his 500th career home run off Los Angeles Angels pitcher Dustin Moseley. The home run was a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, which gave the White Sox a 9-7 victory. Thome became the 23rd major leaguer to reach the milestone.