Jim Thome, a fan favorite in both Cleveland and Philadelphia, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in his first year of eligibility. Thome’s career spanned 22 seasons after he was taken by the Indians in the 13th round of the 1989 Draft.
After spending his first 13 season with Cleveland, where he played under Charlie Manuel while Manuel was a hitting coach and later manager of the Indians, Thome signed with the Phillies as a free agent in December of 2002 and was reunited with Manuel. 2003 was the first season in Philly for both Thome and Manuel.
In his four seasons with the Phillies, Thome hit 101-281-.260/.384/.541 in 391 games. The Phillies then dealt him to the Chicago White Sox in November of 2005 for outfielder Aaron Rowand and pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Daniel Haigwood. Thome re-signed with the Phillies following the 2011 season, but was dealt to Baltimore in June, 2012 for catcher Gabriel Lino and reliever Kyle Simon. Thome retired following the 2012 season.
Overall, Thome was a five-time all-star and finished as high as fourth in MVP balloting. He tied for the major league lead in home runs with 47 in 2003 and three times led the league in walks. He also led the American League in slugging percentage and OPS in 2002. In over 2,500 games, Thome hit 612-1699-.276/.402/.554, with the 400th home run of his career coming in a Phillies uniform.
In addition to Thome, Braves infielder Chipper Jones was also elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman were also elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America.