Former Dodger outfielder Jim Thome was just recently elected into the baseball hall of fame. The grizzled slugger spent the majority of his career with the Cleveland Indians but also notched time with the Phillies, Twins, White Sox, Orioles and yes the Dodgers.
Thome crushed 612 home runs and collected 2,328 hits over a 22-year big league career. Thome played briefly with the Dodgers in 2009. The White Sox traded him to the Dodgers that August for cash and a minor leaguer that was named later. Thome primarily served as a pinch-hitter of the bench and his short Dodger career was less than memorable.
Thome tallied 17 plate appearances during the regular season for the Dodgers and was 4 for 17 (.235) with 3 runs batted in. He did have one at-bat as a Dodger that was worth remembering and it came as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the eighth inning of game 2 of the 2009 NLCS against Philadelphia.
Setting the stage, the Dodgers were initially down 1-0 in the bottom of the eighth inning. The home crowd was deflated and the boys in blue were in danger of falling behind 2-0 in the series. There was a Casey Blake ground ball single, a Ronnie Belliard bunt single, A Russell Martin Force play that Chase Utley threw into the Philadelphia dugout and about five Philadelphia pitching changes. The score was tied at 1-1, and the Dodgers had a runner at second. Thome’s pinch-hit single extended the inning which eventually led to the Andre Ethier bases-loaded walk that gave the Dodgers the lead. Watch the highlight below (at 2:39)…..
Jim Thome had 2,328 hits over his lengthy illustrious career. Only five of those came as a Dodger. However one of those hits was pretty darned important. Too bad that game was the lone Dodger win of the series. That doesn’t diminish Thome’s contributions to that rally. Don’t forget that Thome indeed was once a Dodger for a very brief time and he was bad. Except for one useful at-bat.