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Indians Indians Archive 25 Ways to Celebrate the Return of Jim Thome
Written by Jonathan Knight

Jonathan Knight

Imagine if Abraham Lincoln were put on waivers by Death and returned to Washington to be the President of the United States.large_jim-thome

Sure, he’d be older now and maybe he couldn’t suspend the writ of habeas corpus the way he used to and yeah, maybe he’d ooze brain matter and bone marrow all over the carpet in the Oval Office. Of course, he’d also terrify children what with his face having evaporated about a hundred years ago.

But tell me you wouldn’t get excited about that opportunity, no matter what your political persuasion.

In the world of Cleveland sports, it’s actually happening. One of our greatest folk heroes is coming home.

Jimmy is back.

And in that spirit, here are 25 ways you can celebrate the return of good ol’ No. 25:


1. Pull your socks up.

2. When you go to unlock your car, stop, hold your keys outward with one arm, bounce lightly on your knees for a second, and then open the door.

3. Listen to the song “Solsbury Hill” and imagine that instead of Peter Gabriel singing about leaving Genesis and going solo, it’s Jim Thome singing about leaving the Twins and re-joining the Indians. “‘Hey,’ he said, ‘Grab your things I’ve come to take you home.’” Then try not to cry.

4. Figure out the last time the Indians were the ones giving away rather than receiving a player to be named later. Then try to find out the last time they did it in exchange for a Hall of Famer.

5. Do 334 push-ups - one for each home run Jim Thome has hit for the Indians. Afterward, your arms will likely look like Jim Thome’s - huge, hairy, and all lumberjacky.

6. Don’t ’roid up to accomplish your goals. He never did.

7. Walk 511 feet from your front door, then turn back and consider how far away it is. Then remember Jim Thome once hit a ball this far - the longest ever hit at Jacobs Field.

8. Follow Bernie Kosar on Twitter and try to convince him to come out of retirement so our lives will be complete.

9. Close your eyes and remember the last time Jim Thome was with the Indians: Jacobs Field sold out every night, the Indians battering opponents into submission with the best offense in baseball, and an October to remember every single year. And then don’t open your eyes if you don’t want to.

10. Take bets with your friends over how many at-bats it takes Jim Thome to exceed Austin Kearns’ season home run and RBI totals. Maximum guess is ten.

11. Apologize to Larry Dolan for everything nasty you’ve said about him in the last year.

12. Apologize to Mark Shaprio for everything nasty you’ve said about him in the last year.

13. Send a thank-you note to the Twins for sucking.

14. Ask Jimmy if he has Omar Vizquel’s phone number and see if the White Sox would be interested in a player to be named later.

15. Listen to “Touch of Grey” to commemorate the Grateful Dead playing at Richfield Coliseum the night of Jim Thome’s major-league debut in 1991. Then read Bill Clinton’s autobiography and consider that he announced his bid for the presidency the same day Jim Thome hit his first major-league home run.

16. Think about how you reacted at work the last time you were asked to do something you didn’t want to. Then think of how Jim Thome didn’t bat an eye when asked to move from third base to first base to make room for Matt Williams in 1997.

17. Call up Albert Belle and ask him how he feels about Jim Thome padding his lead over Belle as the Indians’ all-time home-run leader. Then hang up.

18. Arrange an arm-wrestling contest between Jim Thome and Peyton Hillis.

19. Don’t at all feel embarrassed that although he turns 41 on Saturday and was playing Major League Baseball before most of the current Indians could tie their own shoes, Jim Thome is still no worse than the third-best player in the Cleveland lineup.

20. Rent a power washer from Home Depot and begin cleaning off the empty spot on the white concrete pillar in right field at Progressive Field where the Indians’ retired jerseys are memorialized - right beneath “455: The Fans.”

21. Start preparing yourself for the emotional seizure you’re going to have when Jimmy hits his first home run in Cleveland.

22. Try to predict Tom Hamilton’s call when that happens.

23. Create a countdown tear sheet as Jim Thome closes in on Sammy Sosa’s 609 home runs for the No. 7 spot on baseball’s all-time list. (Or, if you prefer to eliminate the cheaters, for Jimmy’s pursuit of Ken Griffey for the No. 4 spot).

24. Use his return as a reason to get excited about football - keeping in mind that the last year the Browns made the playoffs was also the last year Jim Thome was an Indian.

25. Go see him. Cheer him. And cherish this moment.


Welcome home, James Howard Thome. It’s been a long nine years without you.


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