Thome is Back!

As I woke up yesterday morning, I checked my BlackBerry for emails and saw one had come through overnight from the Cleveland Indians. I was still a little groggy but still managed to read the headline:

“Cleveland Indians acquire Jim Thome from the Minnesota Twins.”

I had heard the rumors that the Indians had expressed interest in bringing the former Tribe first baseman back to Cleveland and what started out as a rumor had become reality. After several years, Jim Thome was finally coming back to the place he called home for his first 12 Major League seasons.

When he left in 2002 via free agency to sign a big contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, Indians fans considered him to be a traitor. Thome had said he wanted to play the rest of his career in Cleveland, however, signing a big deal with the Phillies caused some resentment amongst Indians fans. Many though Thome was out for money and thought the loyalty he expressed was fake and it was doubtful Indians fans would ever see him return.

On occasion, Thome did come back as a player with other teams and the reception was usually negative. Thome was booed on occasion when he came back as a member of the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins. Even though it had been years since Thome left, fans still felt he took the money and ran.

As rumors of his return started swirling, I couldn’t help but think of how great Thome was to the fans in Cleveland during his time here. He always took time to sign autographs, participated in charity functions and camps around Northeast Ohio and many who saw him in the Blockbuster Video in Solon (he had a house in Aurora) said he was one of the nicest gentleman you would ever meet. Thome never said unkind things about Cleveland or the fans when he left and Cleveland sports fans had been deceived much worse in the past.

When I woke this morning to read the paper, it put a smile on my face to read Thome got a standing ovation in his first plate appearance as a member of the Indians since 2002. Thome was always a class act as a member of the Indians during his first tenure here and it is great to see him back.

 

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~ by jeffrsabo on August 27, 2011.

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