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It's not as if steroids invented the idea of a big, strong guy who could slug homers. They just enabled guys who weren't naturally big to enter the club.
He's not a statue guy, but the team is desperate to win the fans back, and the town is still stuck in the 90s. There's even an Orel Hershiser (played all of three seasons with the team) bobblehead this season. Thus Thome gets the statue before a lot more qualified guys. I think it's Chief-Wahoo-is-still-your-mascot level pathetic that this isn't for Doby, and that Doby is frequently overlooked by the team.
I can't be the only person who read this as "The AIDS killed him". Yikes!
Thome had hit two mammoth home runs off Pettitte in game 3, and when that first inning ball took off, nearly everyone in the park thought that he'd hit another, and that the Indians had the Yankees on their heels. But when O'Neill grabbed it against the wall to retire the side, Hernandez then settled down and wound up with a 4 hit shutout. How often history can ride on an almost unnoticed fraction of an inch.
Both seemed like ordinary, Midwestern guys who rarely caught headlines for anything besides their play on a baseball field.
When Thome left for a 6/$85 contract in Philadelphia after 2002, the Indians' final offer was 5/$60 and a statue at the ballpark.
And yet if in the bottom of the first inning of this game he'd hit one warning track fly ball just a quarter of an inch up on his bat, he might well have derailed the Yankees' historic 1998 season. The Yanks were down 2 games to 1,
I always think of that game when people debate clutch and the role that the media plays in building narratives. This guy, in a win or go home playoff game, twice hit the ball to the moon to give his team the lead. But because other guys on the team didn't have their best stuff, and a player on the other team had an even more historic moment, hardly anybody remembers it.
You can't buy groceries with a statue.
When Jim Thome played first base for the Phillies on April 8, 2012, it marked the first time he'd played a defensive position since June 13, 2007.
Has any player ever had a longer gap than that?
For some reason, I thought Killebrew was from Iowa, not Idaho.
Also, I'll be many people here at BBTF have similar (on a different scale from Thome, obviously) stories about how our bodies have changed as we age. At 19 years old, I was 5' 9", 160 lbs soaking wet. I couldn't gain weight no matter how much I ate. 21 years later, I run marathons, swim extensively, definitely not "chiseled", am in good shape...and weigh 195.
escape that Idaho weather
I guess you've never read Terry Pluto's bestselling book, And God Created Midges.
It's pandering to a bitterly disappointed, kicked-dog of a fanbase. They'll get a bump in public perception and attendance from it, but if they don't win it won't matter and in the long run it'll actually be a reminder of how far the franchise has fallen (especially for the casual fan).
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