The Cleveland Indians used six runs over the first three innings to roll to a 7-0 win over the Seattle Mariners in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. The win tied the series at two wins each as the teams trade off wins.
With a 3-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles, the Cleveland Indians clinch the American League Central Division crown. With the season shortened at the front-end of the schedule, it was the 123rd game of the season, the fastest that any team has won a title in Major League history. The Indians improve to 86-37 with the win.
Indians legend Jim Thome turned 48 on Monday, capping off nearly a full month of celebration for the longtime big league slugger. Just over a month earlier, he was honored in Cooperstown, New York, as part of the newest Major League Baseball Hall of Fame class, and two weekends ago, that accomplishment was recognized at Progressive Field with a jersey giveaway day in Cleveland when the team also formally retired his number 25.
In honor of the birthday of the Indians’ newest Hall of Famer and the eighth former Tribe player to have his number retired by the club, here are a few more tales from the latter years of Thome’s first decade of action in the Majors with the Tribe.
The Indians celebrated the career of Jim Thome on Saturday afternoon in front of the eighth sellout crowd of the season at Progressive Field, but the visiting Orioles opted to play the spoiler as a pair of home runs provided all four Baltimore runs and starter Alex Cobb handled the rest in a complete game effort in a 4-2 win over Cleveland.
Thome was the man of the hour pregame as the Indians honored his Hall of Fame induction last month with a pregame ceremony at the center of the diamond led by emcee Tom Hamilton. A host of former Tribe teammates of the slugger were present to recognize his career, and Thome was treated to several gifts, including a pair of seats bearing his old jersey numbers with the Indians and a large photo mosaic in the shape of the number 25. To cap the festivities, the Indians unveiled Thome’s retired jersey number among the names and numbers of other retired Cleveland legends in the upper deck in right field.
After all the pomp and circumstance, the Orioles had the rest of the fun on the day while ending the Indians’ six-game winning streak behind nine strong innings from the right-hander Cobb, who shined behind a five-hit complete game with minimal resistance from the Tribe bats throughout the afternoon.
Longtime Cleveland Indians slugger Jim Thome and five other legends of Major League Baseball’s storied history took their places in the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 29 as their successful careers earned them a place among the immortals of the game.
On Saturday, August 18, Thome returned home to Cleveland as the Indians organization honored him in a ceremony prior to the team’s game against one of his other former clubs, the Baltimore Orioles.
During the ceremony, the team announced the formal retirement of Thome’s jersey number 25, which has been in unofficial retirement since Jason Giambi last wore the number in 2014.
We rely on baseball, Bart Giamatti said, to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive.
Sunday was one of those moments – while also a harsh dose of reality that time marches on.
Jim Thome was among the six inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend. He was a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, probably because he’s a great guy in addition to being a prodigious power hitter. He went in as an Indian, something that hasn’t happened in 20 years (twice that long if you’re talking about a candidate elected by the writers).
While the offseason has been historically slow and the winter has crawled along at an even slower pace, we at Did The Tribe Win Last Night look ahead to the warmer days of the 2018 season by remembering Tribe players past and present.
Countdown to Opening Day – 25 days
On July 29, Jim Thome will take his place among the other baseball immortals in Cooperstown’s National Baseball Hall of Fame. Three weeks later, Thome will return home to Cleveland for part of the club’s Hall of Fame celebration in his honor on August 18. On that date, fans in attendance will receive a Thome giveaway jersey in a gesture that would seem to be linked to the likely retirement of his number 25 that evening.
While the Cleveland Indians have not formally announced that Thome’s jersey retirement will be part of the weekend ceremony honoring the club’s first Hall of Famer since Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven gained entrance in 2011, it seems a forgone conclusion that the Tribe will take the opportunity with the slugger in town to place his number among other Indians legends honored in such a way.
A path to baseball immortality began on June 5, 1989, when the Cleveland Indians selected an 18-year-old Peoria, Illinois, native in the 13th round of the amateur draft out of Illinois Central College.
Less than two weeks later, the ink was dry on Jim Thome’s first professional contract and he began his long march to Cooperstown, New York, a voyage that included 24 years on the field and five years of waiting for one humbling phone call.
It took little time for Thome to burst onto the Major League scene. After a homerless first season in the minors, Thome hit .340 with 16 homers and 50 RBI in 67 games in low-level action in 1990. The next year, he hit .337 at Double-A Canton-Akron in 84 games and .285 in 41 more games at Triple-A Colorado Springs. While his budding power was lacking that season, he still got the call to The Show, appearing in 27 games for the Tribe while hitting .255. The scrawny third baseman notched his first homer in New York against former Indians pitcher Steve Farr with a majestic blast to the upper deck at famed Yankee Stadium.