(1991 Classic Best Minor League/Rookie Card)
I have been a Jim Thome fan since the day he showed up in an Indians uniform many years ago. I was upset that he went the way of the Phillies, and ultimately to the White Sox (the friggin White Sox of all teams - like deciding to work for the arch enemy or something, man!). Nevertheless, I remained a loyal fan to Thome because somehow I saw the greatness in him that many, many people did not. In hos first few years, he was at the top (or near it) in many stats, and yet never once had he been invited to the All-Star game. People got wise eventually, especially after he left the Tribe. Thome is rapidly approaching 500 homers, and will most likely smoke past 600 in the coming years. But, even more impressive is the number of STRIKEOUTS he has accumulated. 2000+ whiffs or watches... To put that into perspective, he is now FOURTH on the all-time "most times to strike out list." Number one on that list? Reggie Jackson. Yeap, you read that right. Who is 2nd? How about Sammy Sosa? Big names on a "bad" list. How can that be, you say? Because, it means these guys (for the most part) swing for the fences every time. Well, maybe not even for the fences... They swing (or just stand there, sure, but with 490+ HR's, Thome ain't just standing there too often) to put the ball in play. Now, if Thome had 100-200 home runs and still had that many strikeouts, he'd be laughable. That's not the case, and even though it is a somewhat "notorious" or perhaps "dubious" place to be, it is a record that he can shoot for with pride. He hates to strike out - you can see it in his face and his body language. After 2000 of them, you'd think he might be "used to it." But, he is a player. He loves the game and hates to strike out.
He has come very far since those first years, and I hope he reaches both milestones before calling it quits - 600 HRs and the record for most strike outs. A sign of a true ballplayer! :-) Most fans will boo him every time he strikes out, but I'll be pulling for him to reach the record.
Friday, our systems coordinator (Marilyn) and I went to one of our school districts to help do some work in their distance learning lab. We ran network wiring to the computers in the room (they had been on wireless), and I taught the facilitator and her back-up folks how to use the system they now have in place. Things went very smoothly for the most part, but as 3:00 approached (the time we had said we would leave), we were inundated with questions from different folks, and eventually had to also meet with the guy who was coming to inspect the fiber runs. It was almost 4:00 before we could leave, and the school is 50+ miles from HOPE, let alone the 20 miles to my house. It was a long day. Productive, but long.
Tyler had his orientation Friday night, and the parents were supposed to dance with their kids. Tyler would have no part of that.. :-) He also had a problem with his schedule, so we are getting that fixed. Should be a very interesting school year... :-)