The Baltimore Orioles acquired DH Jim Thome from the Philadelphia Phillies for a pair of single A prospects. The future hall of fame inductee leaves Philadelphia with 5 homers, 15 rbi and a .242 average through 30 games and 62 at bats in 2012. The Orioles hope the veteran slugger can provide power and depth to young team that looks to make a playoff push for the first time in years. The Phillies acquired class A right-handed pitcher Kyle Simon along with 19-year old catcher Gabriel Lino in exchange for the soon to be 42-year old slugger. Thome heads south on I-95 with 609 career homers, good for 7th on the all-time list tied with Sammy Sosa.
I’ve seen the question asked, why does Philadelphia love Jim Thome? In my opinion there are several answers to this question. He chose to come to Philadelphia, performed well & was a class act. Though Thome spent only parts of 4 seasons in Phillies pinstripes he had a major impact on the organization. When the news broke prior to the 2003 season that Jim Thome had decided to sign with the Phillies it brought an infusion of excitement to the franchise. The level of excitement it brought to the Phillies organization at that point was something I’d not witnessed in this city as to that point in my life. A superstar and potential future hall of fame played decided to come to Philadelphia. My family is a baseball family above any other sport and I still to this day remember going out with my dad and brothers for pizza to celebrate the Thome signing. Heading into the final year of the Vet the Phils had a solid nucleus of upcoming young players as well as established stars but Thome was the piece that really captured the cities attention, he helped draw in fans. I could go on for paragraphs with thoughts and memories on the career of Jim Thome as a Philadelphia Phillie. But the bottom line is Thome was a major part of the revitalization of this franchise. He brought back a passion and belief in this team that had been lacking for years. He performed up to expectations crushing 89 homers in his first 2 seasons prior to an injury riddled 2005. He was a class act, and I know you hear that a lot but I had the pleasure of meeting Thome on several occasions and I can agree he was always polite and genuinely very nice. Jim Thome will be inducted into the hall of fame in the next 5 or 6 years. I look forward to making the trip to Cooperstown. I’d like to wish him well in Baltimore and it has been an honor watching him over the years.