On Monday night, Minnesota's Jim Thome became the eighth player in MLB history to hit 600 career home runs. Sports media has declared that not enough people noticed his feat (to its credit, though, the condom sector did). So let us humbly praise the humble man who is, in the immortal words of Tim Kurkjian, a "good dude."
From Tim Kurkjian, ESPN:
world's nicest man,
as genuine as they come,
a good dude,
the kind of guy who would embrace a 9-year-old who had somehow infiltrated the dugout, then promise to hit a homer for him that day,
just a guy who loves to hunt,
a soft-spoken guy from Peoria, Ill.
From Joe Nathan, Twins teammate:
the world's nicest man,
he lives up to the hype, and more,
he's like Harmon Killebrew.
From Matt Capps, Twins teammate:
just a regular guy,
a role model,
like every one of us would like to be.
From Ron Gardenhire, Twins manager:
He's like Babe Ruth,
From Michael Cuddyer, Twins teammate:
the nicest, gentlest, kindest guy you will ever meet,
has great fire,
When he walks in a room, everyone watches everything he does,
the definition of class, talent, work ethic, and longevity... a true superstar
From Rhett Bollinger, MLB.com:
one of baseball's good guys,
a family man,
From Joe Lemire, Sports Illustrated:
an earnest son of the Midwest,
consistent and country strong,
one of the nicest men in baseball,
the 21st century's clean champion of power-hitting,
isn't one for flash or fame.
From Daniel Schlereth, Tigers pitcher:
there's not a better guy than Jim Thome.
From Rick Lubbers, Duluth News
a Teddy Roosevelt kind of baseball player,
doesn't carry the stench of steroids with him,
a better fit for the golden age of baseball than these post-steroid years.
From Don Mckee, Philadelphia Inquirer
big, friendly farm boy,
brought honor to his game.
From Jim Souhan, Minneapolis Star Tribune:
without a hint of complaint or artifice, scandal or recrimination, hype or self-promotion,
has become more beloved with every move,
He's from the school they torn down to build the old school,
like a shy prodigy who practices the piano only when alone in the house.
From Bill Plaschke, L.A. Times:
his presence left the yard,
[he] won with not only kindness, but integrity,
We hardly knew him; we've never known anyone like him.
From Larry Fine, Canada Reuters:
an honest, old-fashioned slugger,
integrity and determination.
From Jim Ingraham, Morning Journal:
a genuine American sports hero,
The only things Thome has been linked to throughout his career is hard work and humility,
worth rooting for,
[reminds] us why baseball is still worth caring about.
From Terry Pluto, Cleveland Plain-Dealer:
one of the strongest men ever to swing a baseball bat — and one of the most sincere,
From Ken Rosenthal, FOX Sports:
as distinguished a representative of the game as Jeter,
Midwest humble, a product of Peoria, Ill.
From Scott Miller, CBS Sports:
such style, such flair,
one man you cannot say enough about, [Ed. note: No, you can.]
fueled by strength built on the farm,
a work ethic surpassed by few others,
That's the kind of guy Jim Thome is.