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Phillies name Thome 2016 Wall of Fame inductee

thome.jpgOne year after inducting Pat “The Bat” Burrell into their Wall of Fame, the Phillies announced Jim Thome as the 38th recipient of the organization’s prestigious honor.

The induction ceremony will take place before the Phillies’ 7:05 p.m. game against the Colorado Rockies on Friday, Aug. 12.

Thome played just parts of four seasons with the Phillies, but while his time in Philadelphia was limited, his impact was undeniable.

After becoming an agent following the 2002 season, Thome rejected an offer to return to the Cleveland Indians to sign a lucrative six-year, $85 million contract with the Phillies.

Thome earned every penny the Phillies gave him in 2003 by posting a slash line of .266/.385/.573 to go along with a league-leading 47 home runs and 131 RBIs. Despite his torrid production, Thome would finish fourth in NL MVP voting behind the likes of Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols and Gary Sheffield.

The slugging first baseman followed his 2003 campaign with another 40-plus home run and 100-plus RBI season in 2004, finishing with 42 home runs and 105 RBIs while also earning his fourth All-Star selection.

Oh, and he hit his milestone 400th home run.

However, Thome’s 2005 season was a lost one as he played just 59 games due to nagging back issues and would finish with just seven home runs and 30 RBIs. During the off season, the Phillies would trade Thome to the White Sox for Aaron Rowand and Gio Gonzalez. The move would open the door for Ryan Howard, who would go on to fill the big shoes left behind by Thome in MVP fashion.

After spending six seasons with the White Sox, Dodgers, Twins and Indians, Thome returned to the Phillies in 2012 for what would be his final MLB season. Over 30 games as a backup first baseman and pinch-hitter, Thome hit five dingers, including a walk-off that would spell the final time he left the yard in a Phillies uniform.

The Phillies would trade Thome in late June to the Orioles for catching prospect Gabriel Lino.

Thome hit 101 home runs and drove in 281 RBIs as a member of the Phillies. While he may not have the longevity to necessarily warrant a spot on the Phillies’ Wall of Fame, he was undeniably productive, a lot of fun to watch and a fan favorite among the Phillie faithful.

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