Our congratulations go out to Minnesota Twins designated hitter and former White Sox slugger Jim Thome, who became just the eighth player in Major League Baseball history to reach the 600 home run plateau Monday night.
Thome homered twice in Minnesota's 9-6 victory at Detroit. The 40-year-old hit a two-run blast off Detroit right-hander Rick Porcello in the sixth inning for No. 599. The very next inning, he added a three-run shot off left-hander Daniel Schlereth. Both of the home runs were hit to the opposite field.
It was fitting Thome achieved the milestone in Detroit. He has always killed the Tigers -- as a member of the Indians, the White Sox and now the Twins. Here is a breakdown of Thome's top home run victims:
1. Detroit Tigers 65
2. Minnesota Twins 57
3. Kansas City Royals 48
4. White Sox 43
5. Boston Red Sox 35
1. Rick Reed 9
2. Roger Clemens 8
3. Justin Verlander 7
4. Eric Milton 6
4. Bobby Witt 6
4. Mike Mussina 6
7. Brad Radke 5
Thome's pursuit of this milestone received surprisingly little coverage from the national media. That's unfortunate and disappointing. Derek Jeter recently joined the 3,000-hit club and I feel like I watched every one of his at-bats for a month leading up to him accomplishing the milestone.
There were no ESPN live look-ins on Thome until tonight. After Thome cracked No. 599 in the sixth, the Worldwide Leader cut away from its coverage of the San Francisco-Atlanta game to show his at-bat in the seventh. Fortunately, a national audience was able to see Thome hit No. 600.
The whole thing is a little odd because the 600-homer club is much more exclusive than the 3,000-hit club (Jeter became the 28th).
In any case, tonight was a great moment for Thome, an Illinois native and one of the nicest men in the game.