Like fine wine, Jim Thome seems to be getting better with age.
The Chicago White Sox designated hitter had a career night against the Baltimore Orioles this week, slamming two home runs and driving in seven runs.
Thome’s two homers improved his career total to 557.
“As you get older, you definitely savor every moment,” Thome told reporters after the Sox beat the Orioles 12-8 at U.S. Cellular Field. “You don’t know how many more you’re going to have, so you try to take advantage of it every time. I felt like a little kid tonight.”
Thome, who will turn 39 next month, hit a grand slam and a three-run homer for his career-best 7-RBI game.
“You don’t feel it off the bat. When you hit a ball like that, everything kind of stops,” said Thome, who is just six homers behind Reggie Jackson, who is 12th on the all-time list.
The White Sox continue to challenge for the American League Central lead, so the talk of shedding the big contracts of veterans such as Thome, Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye seems to be dwindling.
"There is that old cliché that you don't have to have a lot of career years. You just have to have guys who are around the years that they've had,” says Thome. "You just move on and you try to get better and go out there and bust your butt every day. That's ultimately what it's about."