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Jim Thome signs one-day contract, officially retires as an Indian

jim thome indians

Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer reports that former 1B/DH Jim Thome has signed a one-day contract to officially retire as an Indian. It coincides with the organization’s unveiling of a Thome statue at Progressive Field.

Many former Indians showed up at Progressive Field to help honor Thome, including managers Charlie Manuel and Mike Hargrove, GM John Hart, and infielder Carlos Baerga. Manuel and Thome, as expected, were effusive in praise of each other:

“Cleveland got better when Jimmy Thome came to town.” Charlie Manuel. #Indians #ThomeStatue

— Chris AssenheimerC-T (@CAwesomeheimer) August 2, 2014

Thome starting to choke up when talking about Charlie Manuel. #ThomeStatue and thanking fans. #Indians

— Chris AssenheimerC-T (@CAwesomeheimer) August 2, 2014

Thome played parts of 22 seasons between 1991-2012. He retires with 612 career home runs, which ranks seventh all-time behind Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez, and Ken Griffey, Jr. He wore the uniforms of the Indians, Phillies, White Sox, Dodgers, Twins, and Orioles.

Hall of Fame voting has been wonky as of late, so one hesitates in calling Thome a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but he certainly is in a just society.

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