(Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
It only seems like yesterday that Jim Thome hit his 400th home run in Philadelphia back on June 14, 2004.
“Could it be, could it be? It is outta here! Number 400 for Jim Thome!”
That call by Harry Kalas still rings in our ears. It makes me emotional to hear it.
Over seven seasons later, Thome, who may still be a shell of his former home run hitting machine-like self, battled the test of time to reach a milestone only seven other players have reached.
Thome’s 600th home run landed in the bull pen in left field, an inning after #599, in Minnesota’s win over the Tigers last night. The ball was served up by Tigers reliever Daniel Schlereth.
“It’s an unbelievable night, obviously,” Thome said. “I think it’s something you never dream of doing. You dream about it, but when it finally happens, it’s kind of surreal. It’s a neat thing, it really is. Hitting home runs can be very difficult.
“You sit in bed at night and you think how’s it going to be. How are you going to do this? It goes back, it goes back to trying to slow yourself down and not being too antsy, too hyped up, and it’s just a great night. To share it with my teammates there at home plate, my family, obviously, I love you. It’s a very, very special night.”
Only seven other men in the history of baseball reached that plateau (we all know what the asterisk denotes): Barry Bonds* (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714 home runs), Willie Mays (660), Ken Griffey Jr. (630), Alex Rodriguez* (626), Sammy Sosa* (609) and now Thome.
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