As Phillies Nation alum Corey Seidman noted on NBC Sports Philadelphia, Hall of Famer Jim Thome has been named the new president of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association.
Thome — whose 22-year career wrapped up in 2012 — will succeed one of the greatest third baseman in MLB history, Brooks Robinson, who had held the position since 1988.
“With what Brooks has done with his honesty, integrity, and leadership skills for the MLBPAA, I am very fortunate that I will be able to lean on him as well and ask him questions,” Thome said in a press release. “To be the president is a great honor and it’s very humbling.”
For those unaware of the MLBPAA, they were founded in 1982 and define their mission as striving “to promote the game of baseball, raise money for charity, inspire and educate youth through positive sport images and protect the dignity of the game through former players.”
After spending the first 12 seasons of his career in Cleveland, the Phillies lured Thome to Philadelphia with a six-year/$85 million deal ahead of the 2003 season. In his first two seasons with the Phillies, Thome hit 89 total home runs, finishing fourth in National League MVP voting in 2003.
Thome was traded to the Chicago White Sox after the 2005 season, when in his absence Ryan Howard emerged as the NL Rookie of the Year. He would return for a relatively forgettable 30-game stint in 2012, serving mostly as a pinch hitter before a July trade to the Baltimore Orioles.
Still, Thome’s decision to sign with the Phillies ahead of their final year at Veterans Stadium is credited with getting the ball rolling on the greatest era in franchise history, even if he was gone by the time that the team returned to the postseason in 2007.
Now 51, Thome hit 101 home runs as a Phillie, part of the 612 career homers that he hit, a mark that’s eighth in MLB history. He was inducted onto the Phillies’ Wall of Fame in 2016, two summers before he would be enshrined at Cooperstown.
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