LADY AT THE BAT: Jim Thome: A Walk-off For The Record Books

Monday, September 17, 2007

Jim Thome: A Walk-off For The Record Books

What a way for a player to hit his 500th career home-run! Jim Thome became the 23rd player yesterday to hit 500 career home-runs and he did it in dramatic fashion: a walk-off job in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the White Sox a 9-7 victory over the Angels. Congratulations, Jim!

When I heard about the home-run last night I started thinking about those epic battles between the Yankees and the Cleveland Indians a decade ago when the Indians were such tough opponents. Thome was on those teams, and whenever he came up to bat I cringed. He'd stand in the batter's box holding his bat straight up and down with his left hand, his "at-bat" face firmly set, looking as if he was communicating telepathically to the pitcher, saying, I've got your number, pal. He would then go into his stance and, more often then not, do some serious damage to a pitch delivered by a Yankee hurler. He'd run around the bases on those piano legs of his and I would, once again, be tempted to throw the remote across the room.

Thome is still a dangerous hitter but, from all accounts, a great big sweetheart as well. I wasn't surprised to hear that there will be no debate or long, drawn out negotiation between him and the fan who caught the home-run ball. The fan will get season tickets (which he'll actually donate to Thome's charity) and Thome will get his ball. Nice stuff.

In other news: After a bad time at work last night there was no way I was going to turn on the Yankees-Red Sox game. But I heard about the heroics of Captain Clutch and the Yankee win. The war is finally over. Hooray. Will there be a seven day one next month? We'll see.

The Lady

[Photo: Jerry Lai/AP]

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