Thursday, June 28, 2007
Frank Thomas Hits 500th Career Home Run
Frank Thomas of the Blue Jays hit his 500th career home run (and his 13th of the season) last night in Minneapolis against the Twins in an 8-5 Blue Jay loss. ESPN.com excerpt:
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Thankfully for Frank Thomas, his family had to catch an early flight Thursday. That meant his wife, three children and father-in-law got to see Thomas hit his 500th home run. And they were gone when Thomas got ejected.
"They had to leave for the airport at 1:45. My daughter said, 'Dad, you've got to do it in the first couple of at-bats," he said. Thomas hit a three-run shot in the first inning of the Toronto Blue Jays 8-5 loss to the Minnesota Twins, becoming the 21st major leaguer to reach 500.
But in the ninth, Thomas was ejected by plate umpire Mark Wegner after being called out on strikes for the second time in the game. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons came out to argue and also got tossed.
"I'm probably the first to get 500 home runs and get thrown out of the ballgame," Thomas said. "That's something I didn't want to happen, but the moment just got the best of me."
Next on Thomas' ascent on the career home run list are Eddie Murray (504), Mel Ott (511) and Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews (512 each). Also within reach of 500 this year are Alex Rodriguez, Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez.
Congratulations to Thomas, who also has 468 career doubles. Members of the 500 Homer - 500 Doubles Club: Henry Aaron (755-624), Barry (749-595) Bonds, Babe Ruth (714-506), Willie Mays (660-523), Frank Robinson (586-528), Rafael Palmeiro (569-585), Ted Williams (521-525) and Eddie Murray (504-565).
A-Rod, with 492 homers, has 382 doubles, but at age 31, if he stays healthy, he should be a lock for 500-500. Thome, with 482 homers, has just 356 doubles, and will likely not get to 500 doubles. Manny has 481 homers and 454 doubles, so he is a good bet to join this club some time next season. Gary Sheffield, with 472 homers, has 430 doubles, so he has a chance to join also, but at 38, he needs to stay healthy and productive.
Barry Bonds also has 514 stolen bases, which makes him the only member of the 500 Homers - 500 Doubles - 500 Steals Club. Aaron, Mays and Robinson are the only 500-500 guys with at least 200 career steals (240 for Aaron, 338 for Mays and 204 for Robinson).