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Jim Thome's Chase For 600

I jumped up and went crazy watching Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit sail over the left center field wall. His march to that historic mark garnered the Yankee shortstop headlines, magazine features and even an HBO special. Don't get me wrong. It's an amazing accomplishment and Jeter deserved the press he was receiving. He's always been known as one of baseball's true good guys, and Yankee fan or not, people seemed genuinely happy for him.

I've said it before, it's easy to root for the good guys. And when they are on the brink of an historic, career milestone most of us follow along with great interest. So why does it seem that is not the case for Twins' DH Jim Thome?

This season,Thome will, unless he decides to bunt every at-bat, reach 600 career home runs…once again, 600 CAREER HOME RUNS! It is an amazing achievement. Very few in the game's history can say they have reached that number and yet, somehow, Jim is a back page blurb rather than a front page story.

I think the thing that bothers me most about the lack of fanfare the slugger is receiving is that Thome is and has always been a guy who plays the game the right way. Throughout his career, he has been known as a team guy, well liked by both the players in the home and away clubhouses. Jim has always been consistent and lead by example on the field. He's a likable competitor, never one to show up a pitcher or jaw with umpires. It can be argued that Jim Thome might be the most popular man in baseball for the kind of guy he is, and yet it doesn't seem, outside of Minnesota, that many are paying attention to what he is on the brink of doing.

Yes, he has played in some smaller markets, but those late 90's Tribe teams hardly flew under the radar. They were playoff regulars and nearly won it all in 1995. Jim Thome had a lot to do with that.

He also played in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago and now with the Twinkies, and has always put up numbers. In a time when we are looking to the world of sports to produce some heroes, Thome is the shining example we don't seem to notice.

I was speaking to a friend of mine from Minneapolis not too long ago about Thome, and we both agreed that if we asked everyone we knew if they'd want to have Jim on their team, we'd get a resounding YES from everyone. He makes the guys around him better. He is there to help with the rooks, welcome the new acquired and help the struggling teammate. I know, I'm making him out to be somewhat of a saint…but maybe he is. Maybe St. Jim Thome is the patron saint of the Major League Good Guy. The ones we all root for.

I hope fans everywhere start to take notice of what Thome is about to do and stand up and cheer for him when it happens. He is coming to the end of an outstanding career. Players that hit 600 career home runs don't come along everyday, and neither do players like Jim Thome.

I jumped up and went crazy watching Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit sail over the left center field wall. His march to that historic mark garnered the Yankee shortstop headlines, magazine features and even an HBO special. Don't get me wrong. It's an amazing accomplishment and Jeter deserved the press he was receiving. He's always been known as one of baseball's true good guys, and Yankee fan or not, people seemed genuinely happy for him.

I've said it before, it's easy to root for the good guys. And when they are on the brink of an historic, career milestone most of us follow along with great interest. So why does it seem that is not the case for Twins' DH Jim Thome?

This season,Thome will, unless he decides to bunt every at-bat, reach 600 career home runs…once again, 600 CAREER HOME RUNS! It is an amazing achievement. Very few in the game's history can say they have reached that number and yet, somehow, Jim is a back page blurb rather than a front page story.

I think the thing that bothers me most about the lack of fanfare the slugger is receiving is that Thome is and has always been a guy who plays the game the right way. Throughout his career, he has been known as a team guy, well liked by both the players in the home and away clubhouses. Jim has always been consistent and lead by example on the field. He's a likable competitor, never one to show up a pitcher or jaw with umpires. It can be argued that Jim Thome might be the most popular man in baseball for the kind of guy he is, and yet it doesn't seem, outside of Minnesota, that many are paying attention to what he is on the brink of doing.

Yes, he has played in some smaller markets, but those late 90's Tribe teams hardly flew under the radar. They were playoff regulars and nearly won it all in 1995. Jim Thome had a lot to do with that.

He also played in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago and now with the Twinkies, and has always put up numbers. In a time when we are looking to the world of sports to produce some heroes, Thome is the shining example we don't seem to notice.

I was speaking to a friend of mine from Minneapolis not too long ago about Thome, and we both agreed that if we asked everyone we knew if they'd want to have Jim on their team, we'd get a resounding YES from everyone. He makes the guys around him better. He is there to help with the rooks, welcome the new acquired and help the struggling teammate. I know, I'm making him out to be somewhat of a saint…but maybe he is. Maybe St. Jim Thome is the patron saint of the Major League Good Guy. The ones we all root for.

I hope fans everywhere start to take notice of what Thome is about to do and stand up and cheer for him when it happens. He is coming to the end of an outstanding career. Players that hit 600 career home runs don't come along everyday, and neither do players like Jim Thome.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.