Ted Thome – Baseball Hall of Famer
Quiet and humble, Thome often fell into the shadow of his star teammates Albert Belle, Carlos Baerga, Kenny Lofton and Manny Ramirez on the 1995 Indians squad – but was actually their 2nd best player according to wins above replacement (WAR, an indicator not available back then).
He holds the MLB record for regular season walk-off homers with 13, trailed only by Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Stan Musial.
Early Life and Education
Thome made waves during his high school career in Bartonville, Illinois by excelling at both baseball and basketball. Following that he went onto Illinois Central College before being selected by Cleveland Indians in 1989 as an amateur draft pick.
Over 22 seasons, Mel Ott hit 612 homers and 1,699 RBI to place eighth on MLB’s all-time home run list, trailing only Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Mel Ott.
Thome’s playing resume speaks for itself, while his people skills were equally impressive. Beat writers can remember him taking time out to greet anyone who came through the clubhouse or on-deck circle, as well as engaging in charity and community service efforts which won him awards named in honor of Lou Gehrig and Roberto Clemente. Today he continues this work.
Thome earned his Hall of Fame spot thanks to a huge home run total and career unmarred by any allegations of PED use. Furthermore, he was one of the best all-around hitters during his era and earned two Marvin Miller Man of the Year Awards as well.
Thome retired as one of only nine players to hit over 600 homers; he achieved that mark after 8,167 at-bats – making him the oldest to do so. Thome excelled as both first baseman and designated hitter/left-handed batter; his 17 seasons of 20+ homers included six that saw over 40. Furthermore, his walk rate and on-base percentage were both very respectable.
Achievement and Honors
One of the most prolific power hitters in MLB history, hitting 612 home runs and 13 walk-off slams over his 13 seasons is one of the most consistent power hitters of all time. He ranks eighth on all-time home run list and was inducted as a first ballot Hall of Famer. Musial also known for his character and integrity – qualities recognized with him receiving his named award – named after baseball great Stan Musial himself.
Thome’s 500th home run was truly inspirational, ending with him letting a fan from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania catch it and giving the ball directly back.
Thome was recently honored by Maryville University with the 2018 Musial Award for Sportsmanship, an accolade honoring those who epitomize class and character within sports.
Thome entered Perkins Investment Management after his retirement as a player and is a Chartered Financial Analyst with 8 years of financial industry experience. He received his bachelor’s degree from West Point’s life sciences program as well as an MBA with concentrations in finance and accounting from University of Chicago.
Thome quickly gained fame across the Midwest thanks to his welcoming nature and charming farmerboy looks, particularly in Peoria where he was born. His six-foot four height, 250-pound frame and popeye forearms only added to his celebrity status; during his career, Thome made five All-Star teams and finished in the top ten of MVP balloting four times; additionally he is one of only seven MLB players ever with 500 home runs and an OPS+ of 140 or higher – an achievement no other player has accomplished since Thome!
Thome is estimated to be worth an estimated net worth of $80 Million, earned through both his successful baseball career and joining Perkins Investment Management LLC as a research analyst in 2002. He also serves as special assistant to the general manager for Chicago White Sox. Thome’s easygoing demeanor and ability to hit homers at ballparks historically difficult for most hitters has made him popular with Minnesota Twins fans; in one promotional campaign he dressed up like Paul Bunyan and led Babe the Blue Ox on leashes behind him for promotion!