Former Chicago White Sox great Jim Thome was elected to the MLB Hall of Fame in the first year he appeared on the ballot, garnering 89.8 percent of votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
The longtome first baseman joined the White Sox in 2006 and started his time with Chicago with a hot streak, setting a team record for most home runs in the month of April with 10. Thome spent four seasons with the Sox, where some of the key key moments of his career took place. In 2007, he joined the 500 home run club.
During his time in Chicago, he hit 134 home runs, 369 RBIs, and had a .933 OPS. In the major leagues, Thome would become one of the best hitters of his generation and has hit the eighth most home runs in MLB history.
Thome was born in Peoria and graduated from Limestone High School. While in high school Thome excelled at baseball and basketball and was named to all-state teams in both sports. He also played baseball for the American Legion team Bartonville Limestone Post 979.
After finishing high school, Thome attended Illinois Central College. After one season at ICC, Thome was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 13th round of the 1989 MLB draft and would play professional ball for 22 years.
In addition to his time in Cleveland and Chicago, Thome played for the Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins and the Baltimore Orioles. He was named to the All-Star team five times and won the Silver Slugger Award, the Roberto Clemente Award, NL home run leader and was inducted into the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame.
Currently, Thome works for the White Sox organization as a special assistant to General Manager Rick Hahn.
While Thome was the only member of the White Sox to be elected into the Hall of Fame this year, he wasn’t the only Sox player to be on the ballot. He was joined by Omar Vizquel who played for Chicago during the 2010-11 season, and Carlos Lee, who spent six years in Chicago where he racked up 957 hits and 152 home runs.
Manny Ramirez, who played with the White Sox in 2010, also appeared on the ballot. Vizquel, Lee and Ramirez all fell far short of the 75 percent of votes required to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
Former Chicago Cubs Sammy Sosa, who played three seasons with the Sox, received 33 votes in his sixth appearance on the ballot.
Joining Thome in the class of 2018 for the Hall of Fame are Chipper Jones, Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero.
The four players will be inducted into the hall on July 29 in Cooperstown, New York, during the Hall of Fame Weekend.
In addition to the induction ceremony, fans can watch the Parade of Legends, take part in a charity event with Ozzie Smith and visit the museum.
According to the Hall of Fame website, at least 50 Hall of Fame members are expected to be at the induction ceremony.