A significant milestone in Major League Baseball was achieved on Monday night.
Minnesota Twins’ designated hitter Jim Thome became the eighth player in Major League Baseball history to collect his 600th home run.
Thome actually hit two home runs in a 9-6 Minnesota win in Detroit. He hit his 599th career home run in the sixth inning off of Tigers’ starter Rich Porcello and then his 600th home run in the seventh inning off of reliever Daniel Schlereth. His home run in the sixth inning broke a 3-3 tie and his three run home run in the seventh inning put the Twins up 9-5.
Thome also had five runs batted in during the game and raised his batting average to .254.
It is interesting that Thome’s home run milestone wasn’t given as much hype as Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit earlier in the season, even though Jeter became the 28th player to accomplish his offensive achievement, compared to Thome being the eighth. I have three explanations:
1) The New York Yankees simply get more press and are in a larger baseball market than the Minnesota Twins.
2) It was difficult to promote Thome’s milestone in the making because he wasn’t playing everyday, and at the age of 40, wasn’t getting as many at bats.
3) A significant amount of Jeter’s at bats are meaningful than Thome’s because the Yankees are in a playoff chase, while the Twins are not.