My Hero

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“I sign every autograph I can for kids because I remember myself at that age. I think its ridiculous that some guys won’t sign for a kid.” This is why Jim Thome is my hero. He is one of the nicest players in the game. My hero is Jim Thome. But I call him Big Jim. I call him that because he runs like he’s 50 years old, his age in reality is 42, but he plays the game like he is a 25 year old rookie just getting called up from AAA.


Jim runs like he is 50 years old. ESPN said in one of their broadcasts that he is probably the slowest player in baseball today. When Big Jim gets a hit, there’s a good chance if he hits it on the ground, he will get out, unless there is an error on the play. There is a shift they do when he hits; the infield rotates to the left, because since he is a lefty and pulls the ball, they take that to their advantage. He has to hit it to the outfield or hit a home run to get him on base. Jim runs like he is 50 but he is 42 years old.


Big Jim is 42 years old. In baseball, that’s old. But Jim doesn’t care. He is in the top 10 among active oldest players. He has been playing ball in the big leagues for half of his life:21 seasons. He has played 19 seasons against the Minnesota Twins absolutely destroying the pitchers he faced. He managed to smack 57 home runs against them. He has the most home runs hit by 1 player against one individual team. For Jim, retiring isn’t even a a question. Who wants him to retire, anyway? Jim is 42 years old but plays like he’s a 25 year old rookie.


He plays the game of baseball like he is 25 years old and just got called up from AAA. He works hard on, and off the field. He’s hit the longest home run hit so far at Target Field. It was over a 435 foot blast that hit the flag pole in left field! If it was a foot to the right, that baby would have skipped out of the stadium. Jim currently sits 8th all-time on the all-time home run list with 604. There are a lot of categories that Thome is a part of. He has walked 17.5% of his plate appearances, the highest percent in baseball. Jim is just 1 of 5 players with an OPS (On base + slugging) of over 1.000. 39% of the balls Thome puts in play are fly-balls. 33% of those balls are hit for home runs. That is the highest rate in baseball. Numbers are not the only way to describe Jim’s impact of the game.


From running like he’s 50, to his age of 42, to playing like he’s 25, numbers are not a factor for Jim and baseball. This is why my hero is Big Jim. He just plays the game he loves how he should. Stats are not the most important thing to why he is my favorite baseball player, he is one of the nicest athletes in sports.





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StudMuffin said...
Apr. 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm
Thanks, means alot.
 
Brahski said...
Apr. 13, 2012 at 9:36 am
Amazing article, read it atleast 70 times now.
 
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