Jim Thome becomes the eighth player to reach the 600 career home runs mark when he hits a two-run homer in the sixth (599), followed by three-run blast an inning later off Detroit’s Daniel Schlereth. Needing fewer at-bats to reach 600 than anyone except for Babe Ruth, the 40-year-old Twins slugger accomplishes the feat in his 8,167th at-bat, compared to the Bambino’s 6,921.
This article by Tim Kurkjian came through at ESPN.com a few short moments after Jim Thome smacked his 600th career home run—a milestone that has been reached only seven times before in the history of the game.
“He is the world’s nicest man,” said Twins closer Joe Nathan. “He’s one of those guys that the hype is so great before you meet him, then he lives up to the hype, and more. When you see him from across the field, you think, ‘He can’t be that nice,’ but he is. He is so genuine. There are other players that will be forgotten when they leave, but he will not be. We will be talking about him for years to come. To me, he’s like [Hall of Famer] Harmon Killebrew. They are one in the same. When you meet both of those guys for the first time, you think, 'Wow, this is someone that I will be wanting to talk to on a daily basis.’”
Start engraving that plaque, Cooperstown: Jim-Jam’s a-comin’.