Considering the iron-clad grip Major League Baseball holds on its highlight footage--unreasonably so, truth be told--so there's no telling how long the lead video will last. So enjoy it while you can. What it is is Jim Thome hitting his 600th home run, only the eighth player in Major League Baseball history to accomplish such a feat.
Considering the statistical nature of baseball, Thome's milestone deserves all the recognition it's receiving. It also doesn't hurt that Thome is thought of as a class guy who was never stained by the steroid debacle that almost ruined the sport.
And now, with the milestone in hand, Thome is the toast of a sports world waiting impatiently for the start of the football. ESPN is all about Thome, and so is the world of Twitter, which is celebrating the man's accomplishments, as well as the class with which he reached the 600 home run barrier. The following excerpt from Tim Kurkjian's article discussing Thome shows just how highly he's thought of:
"He is the nicest, gentlest, kindest guy you will ever meet … to everything except the baseball, he still hits that really hard," said Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer. "He has great fire to him. It's not like, when he strikes out, he says, 'Oh, that was such a good pitch.' It's nothing like that. That's the perception some people have of him, but he hates to lose. When he walks in a room, everyone watches everything he does. It's the way he treats people, it's the way he respects the game."
Thome and his accomplishment received a great deal of Twitter love as well:
Jim Thome is the definition of class, talent, work ethic, and longevity. Congrats to a true superstar, one I will always look up to!
@MLB's 600-homer club to hit numbers 599 and 600 in the same game.Jim Thome is the only member of
Interestingly Jim Thome is the oldest player to join the 600 HR club (40) but needed fewer at bats than every other member except Ruth.
Congrats to Jim Thome on 600 the hard way. One of the nicest guys in sports. Period
Now that's the kind of love you cannot buy. Only hard work and a respectful attitude--not to mention hitting 600 home runs--produce these kinds of responses. To wit, considering the venom with which baseball fans treat Barry Bonds, it's doubtful the Twitter reaction would've been kind when Bonds broke the single-season and the all-time home run records.
It's doubtful Tom Arnold would be singing Bonds' praises in the same manner he did for Thome. In other news, apparently, all it takes to trend on Twitter is either an awesome accomplishment in sports or to be part of a witty "Rise & Grind" saying. I'd prefer the former over the latter.