Jim Thome was one of four players elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, and the only one inducted to Cooperstown in 2018 who played for the Dodgers.
Thome received 89.8% of the vote from the Baseball Writers Association of America, joining longtime Braves third baseman Chipper Jones as first-ballot inductees. Joining that pair will be former Expos and Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero and Padres closer Trevor Hoffman.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held in Cooperstown on Sunday, July 29. Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez fell just 20 votes shy of induction though if history is any indication he will likely be inducted in the class of 2019, his final year on the writers’ ballot.
Most Dodgers PA without playing the field
Thome clubbed 612 home runs in his 22-year career, good for eighth all-time. But none of those came with the Dodgers, for whom he played briefly in 2009. Thome was an Aug. 31 trade acquisition by Los Angeles, on their way to winning the NL West. But Thome, who turned 39 four days before the trade, was dealing with a back injury at the time and couldn’t really play the field.
Limited to pinch-hit duties with the Dodgers, Thome was 4-for-17 (.235) with three RBI in his 17 games during the regular season, one that saw him hit .249/.372/.493 with 23 home runs for the White Sox. In the postseason with the Dodgers Thome appeared five more times as a pinch hitter, going 1-for-3 with a walk and a hit by pitch.
Thome played three more seasons after his Dodgers dalliance, hitting .265/.378/.527, a 146 OPS+ with the Twins, Indians, Orioles and Phillies from 2010-12, hitting 48 more home runs in 259 games from ages 39-41.
He played 55 total innings in the field over the final seven seasons of his career (2006-12).
Manny Ramirez, who played for the Dodgers from 2008-10, received 22% of the vote in his third year on the writers’ ballot. Other Dodgers to receive Hall of Fame votes were Fred McGriff (23.2% in his ninth year), Jeff Kent (14.5% in his fifth year) and Gary Sheffield (11.1% in his fourth year).
Andruw Jones, who had a disastrous 2008 with the Dodgers, got just 7.3% in his first year on the ballot. By reaching at least the 5% threshold, Jones will be on the ballot next year.