Jim Thome was a rookie in 1991, and one of Don’s all-time favorite Indians players. He led the Tribe to two world series, and was a true class act. Because he did everything the right way, and was never involved in steroids or other scandals, he has always been a fan favorite.
Roger Clemons, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa never came close to making it into the Hall of Fame because of their steroid use. Pete Rose was banned from baseball because of gambling – a very sore subject with Don. All of the stats that Rose put up are real, but he will never be considered for the Hall of Fame. Clemons, Bonds and Sosa cheated their way to fantastic stats, so clearly they should not be considered Hall of Fame players. However, they are still getting votes every year. Should they even be allowed on the ballot?
Not very many players make it into the Hall of Fame their first year of eligibility. Jim Thome became eligible this year, and was voted in to become a first ballot Hall of Famer. Thome played twenty-two seasons, six teams, 612 home runs. He was on five All-Star teams and won a Silver Slugger Award.
Tribe fans claim Jim Thome as “ours”. He spent over a decade as an Indian, and Cleveland still considers him part of the Tribe. Congratulations Jim Thome! We are proud of you and everything you stand for.