Thome On Path To The Hall
Written by Fred Mitchell   
Thursday, 18 December 2008

Jim Thome should be headed to baseball's Hall of Fame after his slugging career is finished.

For now, the Chicago White Sox designated hitter will settle for admission to the "Lou Boudreau Hall of Fame."


Thome will be inducted at the Pitch & Hit Club of Chicago's 63rd annual Awards Banquet to be held on January 25th at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL.


The Pitch & Hit Club, founded in 1942 by a group of Chicago-area professional baseball scouts, has held the  banquet for more than six decades to honor baseball people at all levels, including scouts, players, Chicago White Sox Charities, and the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation.

Thome will become the 29th member of the elite group of baseball players, personalities and sports media, most with Chicago ties, who have been honored by the club.


Signed at the age of 18 by the Cleveland Indians, Thome made his major league debut in 1991. He went on to lead the Indians to six post-season and two World Series appearances in the '90's. He signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2003 after blasting 52 homers with the Indians in '02. Thome joined the White Sox via trade for Aaron Rowand in 2006.


Thome, 38, is currently 14th on the all-time home run list with 541. His 34 homers for the 2008 White Sox moved him past Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Mickey Mantle.   

The Pitch and Hit Club created the Lou Boudreau Hall of Fame originally to honor one of Chicago's own.  Boudreau, born in Harvey, IL., in 1917, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1970 after a spectacular career as both a player and manager, including a brief stint as manager of the Chicago Cubs in 1960.  He is best known as the young player-manager who led the 1948 Cleveland Indians to a World Championship.


Boudreau hit .355 as the Indians' shortstop while managing a club which included the likes of
Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, Joe Gordon and Larry Doby. Boudreau's Indians defeated the Boston Braves four games to two in the 1948 World Series.