Jim Thome is a man headed for the baseball Hall of Fame. It seems that this is inevitable. He has been a steady influence on a number of teams. He has also become a beloved influence on nearly every team he has ever played on. These days, the 41-year-old, is trying to make a difference with the Baltimore Orioles, a team that, not very long ago, was considered a joke in the major leagues. Now, however, the Orioles are making a serious run for the postseason. The one thing that remains a question is whether or not Jim Thome can remain healthy to help them through it.
Thome has been working steadily in baseball for years now, and he is known for having a solid work ethic. He started out slugging out the homers for the Cleveland Indians between 1991-2002. He then moved over to the Phillies from 2003-2005. He was with the White Sox from 2006-2009, then the L.A. Dodgers, back to the Indians and, now, back to the Phillies. During that career he has amassed 605 home runs, 2,295 hits, 1,677 RBI and 2,500 strikeouts.
After being released from his contract in 2011, he was snatched up by the Orioles. The Orioles was a team in trouble, and they were looking to make an addition that would change things for the team. They hoped that Thome would be part of it.
Thome did not disappoint, but things did not start out smoothly. Thome got his first hit on July 2 against the Seattle Mariners. During that same game he got his first run of the season when his teammate Chris Davis drilled a three-run homer off of Hisashi Iwakuma. Then Thome decided it was time to hit another one out of the park.
On July 20, against the Cleveland Indians, the team where he made his name and became the fearsome presence he is today, Thome belted one into the stands. Not only was it an impressive feat, it was one that helped push him past Sammy Sosa into the 7th place slot in all-time home run hits.
Things were going great until the beginning of August. Thome was being used exclusively as a Designated HItter by the Orioles. However, he injured his back during a game. He was then placed on the disabled list. The team doctors have suggested that he take 30 days off and not participate in any baseball activities. Considering that would require him to swivel at the hips, it seemed likely that he would be out until mid-September.
If Thome can stay healthy, he may enjoy another trip to the postseason. He has been there several times before. It may also be the boost the Baltimore Orioles need to make a complete turnaround.