Thome Trivia

This is a compendium of the Twins-related Jim Thome trivia that appears in my Twins Almanac spreadsheet. Contribute your own Thome trivia in the comments below.

Jim Thome hit .314 with 218 hits, 61 home runs, and 156 RBI in 196 career games vs. the Twins. That’s his highest average vs. any team he played at least 30 games against, second-most home runs (66 vs. Detroit), and the most hits and RBI he had against any team.

He hit .321 with 28 home runs at the Metrodome, the most he hit at any visiting ballpark.

He hit .365 with 11 home runs in 19 games vs. the Twins in 2002. An astonishing seven of those home runs came off Rick Reed. He hit two homers off Reed in 2001, for a total of nine, the most he hit against any pitcher. Next on the list is Roger Clemens (8), and Justin Verlander (7). He hit six off several pitchers, including Eric Milton.

The Twins set a club record for margin of victory, beating Cleveland 23-2 on June 4, 2002. Cleveland’s two runs came on solo home runs by Jim Thome in the fourth and seventh innings off none other than Rick Reed. Reed only allowed three hits and no walks in seven innings pitched, improving to 6-2 on the season. He would end up leading the team with a 15-7 record.

Thome homered in seven straight games for Cleveland in 2002. The Twins record is five games: Harmon Killebrew (twice in 1970), Marty Cordova (1995, in just his 23rd MLB game), and Brian Dozier (2016). The major league record is eight (Dale Long 1956, Mattingly ‘87, and Griffey Jr. ‘93).

Tony Oliva, Bob Allison, Jimmie Hall, and Harmon Killebrew went back-to-back-to-back-to-back in the eleventh inning in Kansas City on May 2, 1964. Eight teams in major league history have hit four consecutive home runs, most recently the Nationals on July 27, 2017. The last American League team to do so was the White Sox in 2008 when Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez, and Juan Uribe went back-to-back-to-back-to-back.

Twins five-hitter Bob Allison struck out five times in five at-bats on September 2, 1965, still tied for the major league record in a nine-inning game. Jim Thome tied that record on April 9, 2000. Thome had 20 four-strikeout games, third-most in major league history behind Reggie Jackson (23), and Ryan Howard (27). I suspect that includes extra-inning games, but I’m not sure.

Who remembers Game 163? No, not that one; the year before that, when the White Sox beat the Twins 1-0 on September 30, 2008. Chicago’s only run came on a Jim Thome solo home run off Nick Blackburn leading off the seventh. That game was in Chicago by virtue of a coin flip, despite the Twins having the better head-to-head record. Major League Baseball changed the rule, and the very next season the Twins hosted the Tigers in a Game 163 for the ages.

Fun Fact: The Twins also played 163 games in 1962. Camilo Pascual pitched a three-hit shutout to become the first 20-game winner in Twins history.

Thome had already hit 564 home runs when signed with the Twins on January 26, 2010 at age 39.

Thome had the first walk-off hit in Target Field history on August 17, 2010. Obviously it was a home run.

It was the first of a three-game series vs. the Chicago White Sox, over whom the Twins held a three-game lead in the Central Division. With the Twins trailing 5-6 in the bottom of the tenth, Delmon Young led off with a single off Matt Thornton. Thome then deposited the All-Star closer’s 1-0 offering, a belt-high fastball, onto the plaza.

It was Thome’s 12th career walk-off homer, tying Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle, and Frank Robinson for the major league record. He broke that record on June 24, 2012 while playing for the Phillies.

September 4, 2010 was a day Greg Gagne will never forget. He was inducted as the 22nd member of the team Hall of Fame before a game between the first-place Twins and Rangers. Carl Pavano picked up his 16th win in the 12-4 Twins victory. Matt Tolbert had two triples (very Gagne-esque) and drove in five runs, while Thome hit a pair of homers, passing Mark McGwire for ninth on the all-time list.

Just two days later—Labor Day—Thome hit a memorable blast off the flagpole, eventually estimated at 480 feet.

On July 17, 2011, Thome hit a staggering three-run 490-foot bomb, still the longest ever hit at Target Field. His 596th career home run helped the Twins to a 4-3 win over Kansas City.

Thome hit his 599th and 600th home runs in Detroit on August 15, 2011. Pay attention to this, kids: both were to the opposite field.

The Twins sold Thome’s contract to Cleveland 10 days later. In total he hit 37 home runs in a Twins uniform.

Thome, whose final season was 2012, officially retired on August 2, 2014 with 612 home runs, eighth-most in major league history.

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