Box-Toppers’ Stick-A-Fork-In-Them series looks at 14 players whose careers are done or may be done. Included is a look at how they have fared in Box-Toppers points over their careers, reflecting their impact on the game over time. This is the fifth of the series:
5. Jim Thome
Jim ThomeHere are Jim Thome's Box-Toppers statistics. The third column shows his Box-Toppers points (BTP) per season. The final column shows his All-Star Selections, his Box-Toppers key season rankings and his standing in key postseason awards voting.
|1996||cle al||16.2||BTP-6, BTP-AL bat-3, MVP-15|
|1997||cle al||8.5||AS, BTP-65, BTP-AL bat-18, MVP-6|
|1998||cle al||8.5||AS, BTP-82, BTP-AL bat-19, MVP-21|
|2000||cle al||11.5||BTP-27, BTP-AL bat-8|
|2001||cle al||9.2||BTP-78, BTP-AL bat-16, MVP-7|
|2002||cle al||16.0||BTP-7, BTP-AL bat-2, MVP-7|
|2003||phi nl||10.5||BTP-40, BTP-NL bat-8, MVP-4|
|2004||phi nl||6.5||AS, BTP-127, BAT-NL bat-33, MVP-19|
|2006||chi al||7.7||AS, BTP-104, BTP-AL bat-24, MVP-12|
|2009||chi al/lad nl||10.4||BTP-45, BTP-NL bat-7|
|2010||min al||5.2||BTP-190, BTP-AL bat-41, MVP-18|
|2011||min al/cle al||5.5|
|2012||phi nl/bal al||2.5|
|2013||did not play||0.0|
* Box-Toppers record keeping began in 1995. Thome played 27 games in 1991, 40 games in 1992, 47 in 1993 and 98 in 1994.
AS All-star selection
BTP Finish among all players in Box-Toppers points
BTP-AL bat Finish among all AL batters in BTP
BTP-NL bat Finish among all NL batters in BTP
MVP Finish in league Most Valuable Player Award voting
Source: Information for player awards comes from Baseball-Reference.com
Jim Thome, who ranks sixth among all batters in career Box-Toppers points (since 1995), was among the season’s overall top 10 players twice and among his league’s top 10 batters in five different seasons.
Thome, 43, last played in the Major Leagues in 2012 for the Baltimore Orioles, worked in the front office for the Chicago White Sox in 2013 and in 2014, the Cleveland Indians will erect a statue in his honor. He seems retired. But during 2013, he was listed as a free agent all season. And in December, he said he would not rule out a comeback in 2014.
So if he is done, he leaves among the top 10 of all batters in Box-Toppers points. He has 146.7 points, ranking sixth among all batters and 17th among all players. (Box-Toppers record keeping began in 1995, so Thome’s first four seasons in the big leagues are unrecorded by Box-Toppers—he played 27 games in 1991, 40 games in 1992, 47 in 1993 and 98 in 1994.)
Thome never won a league Most Valuable Player honor (his highest finish in voting was 2003, when he finished fourth in National League voting with the Philadelphia Phillies). Thome also never ranked first among batters in his league in Box-Toppers points (his best finish was ranking second among American League batters in 2002 with the Cleveland Indians).
Among Thome’s best seasons:
• 1996 with the Indians: He had 16.2 Box-Toppers points, a career-high for a season. He ranked sixth among all players and third among AL batters—finishing behind then-teammate Albert Belle (20.4) and Mo Vaughn of the Boston Red Sox (18.6). Thome finished in 15th place in AL MVP voting.
• 2000 with the Indians: He had 11.5 Box-Toppers points, finishing eighth among all AL batters and 27th overall. (Frank Thomas of the White Sox was first among AL batters with 17.9 points.)
• 2002 with the Indians: He had 16.0 Box-Toppers points, ranking seventh among all players and second among AL batters. (Jason Giambi of the New York Yankees finished ahead of him with 17.0 Box-Toppers points.) Thome finished seventh in AL MVP voting that year.
• 2003 with the Phillies: He had 10.5 Box-Toppers points, ranking eighth among NL batters and 40th among all players. He finished fourth in NL MVP voting.
• 2009 with the White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers: He had 10.4 Box-Toppers points, ranking seventh among NL batters and 45th among all players.
Thome had 10.0 or more Box-Toppers points in a season five different times. He scored more than 15.0 in a season twice.
Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. Players earn Box-Toppers points for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.