In the sixth inning of the Minnesota Twins 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals at Target Field on Sunday, Jim Thome launched a three-run home run, the 596th of his career, deep into the second deck in right-centre field, a blast measured at 490 feet.
I can’t recall seeing a player hit ball where the moment the ball made contact with the bat, everyone in the stadium both on and off the field not only knew the ball was gone, but that the blast was going to be a prodigious one too.
Take a look at the video courtesy of MLB and pay special attention to the catcher’s reaction when Thome makes contact. Watch the fans jump up and look up. Listen to crowd roar the moment the ball leaves the bat.
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And look at the still frame picture here of the on-deck hitter Delmon Young. When was the last time you saw a major leaguer in awe of what he was witnessing on the baseball field? Go ahead, click on it and blow it up. Tell me that Young isn’t shocked as hell at what he’s witnessing. He looks frightened!
The fact that Jim Thome hit number 596 Sunday is of no particular significance. I’m sure they’ll make a big deal of it when he gets to 600 though. At 596, Thome is currently eighth on the All-Time HR list with A-Rod at 626 being the only active player ahead of him. Thome’s blast leaves him just 13 behind the steroid using Sammy Sosa (609), which means we are all hoping that Thome sticks around long enough to pass him just on a matter of principle.
Look at where Thome ranks relative to some of the game’s immortal players. Thome even ranks higher than many of the well known PED users.
Rank Player (age) Home Runs Bats HR Log 1. Barry Bonds 762 L HR Log 2. Hank Aaron+ 755 R HR Log 3. Babe Ruth+ 714 L HR Log 4. Willie Mays+ 660 R HR Log 5. Ken Griffey 630 L HR Log 6. Alex Rodriguez (35) 626 R HR Log 7. Sammy Sosa 609 R HR Log 8. Jim Thome (40) 596 L HR Log 9. Frank Robinson+ 586 R HR Log 10. Mark McGwire 583 R HR Log 11. Harmon Killebrew+ 573 R HR Log 12. Rafael Palmeiro 569 L HR Log 13. Reggie Jackson+ 563 L HR Log 14. Manny Ramirez (39) 555 R HR Log 15. Mike Schmidt+ 548 R HR Log 16. Mickey Mantle+ 536 B HR Log 17. Jimmie Foxx+ 534 R HR Log 18. Willie McCovey+ 521 L HR Log Frank Thomas 521 R HR Log Ted Williams+ 521 L HR Log 21. Ernie Banks+ 512 R HR Log Eddie Mathews+ 512 L HR Log 23. Mel Ott+ 511 L HR Log 24. Gary Sheffield 509 R HR Log 25. Eddie Murray+ 504 B HR Log 26. Lou Gehrig+ 493 L HR Log Fred McGriff 493 L HR Log 28. Stan Musial+ 475 L HR Log Willie Stargell+ 475 L HR Log 30. Carlos Delgado 473 L HR Log 31. Dave Winfield+ 465 R HR Log 32. Jose Canseco 462 R HR Log 33. Carl Yastrzemski+ 452 L HR Log 34. Jeff Bagwell 449 R HR Log 35. Chipper Jones (39) 444 B HR Log 36. Vladimir Guerrero (36) 443 R HR Log 37. Dave Kingman 442 R HR Log 38. Andre Dawson+ 438 R HR Log 39. Juan Gonzalez 434 R HR Log 40. Cal Ripken+ 431 R HR Log 41. Albert Pujols (31) 428 R HR Log 42. Mike Piazza 427 R HR Log 43. Billy Williams+ 426 L HR Log 44. Jason Giambi (40) 424 L HR Log 45. Darrell Evans 414 L HR Log 46. Andruw Jones (34) 413 R HR Log 47. Duke Snider+ 407 L HR Log 48. Andres Galarraga 399 R HR Log Al Kaline+ 399 R HR Log 50. Dale Murphy 398 R HR LogTurn to your co-workers in the office today and ask them to name some current players they think will be Hall of Famers. Unless you live in Cleveland, Minnesota and perhaps Chicago, you aren’t going to find many people bring up Jim Thome’s name. They should though.
* Thome’s three-run shot topped his previous Target Field record blast of 480 feet, which hit off the flag pole beyond right field last September. According to records kept by the Cleveland Indians, it was not Thome’s longest career home run as he once hit a 511-foot blast with the Indians that remains the longest in the history of Progressive Field. That home run, on July 3, 1999, also came against the Royals.
The Texas Rangers completed a four-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners on Sunday running their winning streak to 11 games in a row with a 3-1 victory. The victory was led by 7 2/3 strong innings by Matt Harrison as he picked up the win by yielding just one run on five hits, striking out four and walking only one.
I know the Rangers just played four games in a row against the Mariners who have an anemic offence, but the Rangers pitching staff has now allowed just two runs in their last five games. I don’t care if you’re pitching against a Little League team. Giving up just two runs in five games is pretty darn good.
- MLB Power Rankings Week 16
You may email Mike @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @MikeCardano. Listen to Mike Cardano on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew Tuesday mornings at 10am ET.
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