Hall of Famer Reveals Why He Signed With Phillies

Hallof Farmer gives reasons why he ……

Philadelphia has a reputation as a tough city to play in, but it can’t be that bad. If it was, then why did Aaron Nola take less money to stay with the Philadelphia Phillies? MLB Hall of Famer Jim Thome could have played anywhere after the 2002 season. A 32-year-old free agent at the time, he was coming off a monster 52-homer season where he led the American League in slugging percentage (.677) and OPS (1.122) en route to a seventh-place MVP finish.

Thome, who signed a six-year, $85 million deal with Philadelphia that December, cited a few different reasons that motivated his decision. He mentioned Citizens Bank Park, which was under construction at the time and would open in 2004.

He also mentioned the team’s “vision” and, most importantly, the people. At the time, moving to Philly was a big change for Thome. He had spent his entire 12-year career with the Cleveland Guardians at that point after being drafted by the franchise in 1989. He was a key part of two AL pennant winners there in the 1990s, while emerging as one of the best sluggers in baseball, making three straight All-Star teams from 1997-99.

Moving to the National League was a big jump for Thome, but the move ended up working out well for both sides. He immediately led the majors in home runs in 2003 with 47 and swatted 42 homers the following year, earning his first and only NL All-Star selection. After Thome’s injury-plagued 2005 campaign, the Phillies traded him to the Chicago White Sox to open up first base for Ryan Howard, netting Aaron Rowand and Gio Gonzalez in return. The slugger even returned to Philadelphia during his final season in 2012, signing as a free agent following the 2011 season.


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