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Ten Best Seasons: First Base

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You probably have a good idea who's on this list, so the only real surprise is where each season was ranked.

(10) Jim Thome, 2000

557 AB, .269/.398/.531, 33 2B, 37 HR

Honors: 3rd BB

Thome's second-worst season at first base rounds out the top 10. Pretty impressive. Even more amazing is that he didn't make the AL All-Star team his final three seasons in Cleveland. Or that he never won a Silver Slugger for first basemen. 2000 marked the first time Thome's OBP dipped below .400 since 1994.

(9) Hal Trosky, 1938

554 AB, .334/.407/.542, 40 2B, 19 HR

Honors: 13th MVP Voting, 6th AVG, 9th SLG, 9th Games, 7th Total Bases, 3rd 2B, 9th 3B, 10th ADJ OPS, 6th Extra Base Hits

Before there was Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, and Rocky Colavito, there was Hal Trosky. Born Harold Trojosky, Hal shortened his name shortly after signing with the Indians.

(8) Hal Trosky, 1940

522 AB, .295/.392/.529, 39 2B, 25 HR

Honors: 6th SLG, 6th OPS, 7th 2B, 8th HR, 7th Adjusted OPS+, 7th Extra Base Hits, 8th AB/HR

The "Crybabies" season. Several Indians players, led by Trosky, mutinied against manager Oscar Vitt, who was blamed for keeping the Indians from winning the pennant. 1940 also marked the end of Trosky's peak. The migraine headaches he suffered throughout his career were now affecting his vision. After missing half the 1941 season, he retired to his Iowa farm at age 28. He returned in 1944 and 1946 to play with the White Sox.

(7) Hal Trosky, 1939

448 AB, .335/.405/.589, 31 2B, 25 HR

Honors: 30th MVP Voting, 4th AVG, 5th SLG, 5th OPS, 6th HR, 10th RBI, 6th Adj OPS+, 9th RC, 9th Extra Base Hits, 5th AB/HR

The Indians voted Trosky team captain in 1939, mainly to serve as a buffer between the players and Vitt. During this season Trosky would sit for periods because of his headaches, which accounts for the low at-bat totals. But still, he posted tremendous numbers.

(6) Jim Thome, 1997

496 AB, .286/.423/.579, 25 2B, 40 HR

Honors: 6th MVP Voting, 3rd OBP, 5th SLG, 5th OPS, 4th HR, 1st BB, 5th ADJ OPS+, 9th RC, 10th Times on Base, 2nd AB/HR

After the Indians acquired Matt Williams after the 1996 season, Thome agreed to move to first base, which in retrospect probably would have happened eventually. His defensive numbers that first season were poor, as might be expected, but his offensive numbers certainly did not suffer much. Yes, his average slipped under .300, but his walks spiked, but his power numbers didn't suffer a bit.

(5) Jim Thome, 2001

526 AB, .291/.416/.624, 26 2B, 49 HR

Honors: 7th MVP Voting, 3rd OBP, 2nd SLG, 2nd OPS, 8th Total Bases, 2nd HR, 5th RBI, 2nd BB, 2nd ADJ OPS+, 3rd RC, 6th Extra Base Hits, 8th Times on Base, 5th Int BB, 1st AB/HR

Thome struck out a league-leading 185 times (and yes, I remember the radio talk shows where people criticized him for it), but Jimmy also blasted 49 home runs, a (then) career high. With Manny Ramirez gone to Boston, Thome was now the team's key run-producer, and he was up to the challenge, ranking third in the league in runs created.

(4) Jim Thome, 1999

494 AB, .277/.426/.540, 27 2B, 33 HR

Honors: 6th OBP, 1st BB, 10th ADJ OPS+, 5th Int BB

1999 was Thome's best defensive season at first base, so this season nudges out 2001 for fourth place. Jim appeared in 36 games as DH this season because of the emergence of Richie Sexson.

(3) Andre Thornton, 1978

508 AB, .262/.377/.516, 22 2B, 33 HR

Honors: 20th MVP Voting, 9th OBP, 5th SLG, 4th OPS, 4th HR, 4th RBI, 4th BB, 4th ADJ OPS+, 7th RC, 8th Extra Base Hits, 9th Sac Flies, 4th AB/HR

One of the few good position players to suit up for the Indians between 1970 and 1990, Thornton spent the majority of his career DHing for the Indians because of injuries. His defensive numbers at first base really helped him out here, although his offensive statistics match up well against Thome and Trosky when you take the era into account. Thornton had the unfortunate luck to play in probably the worst ten-year stretch in franchise history, yet faithfully put up good numbers each year.

(2) Hal Trosky, 1934

625 AB, .330/.388/.598, 45 2B, 35 HR

Honors: 7th MVP Voting, 9th AVG, 4th SLG, 4th OPS, 1st Games, 2nd AB, 7th Runs, 3rd Hits, 2nd Total Bases, 4th 2B, 8th 3B, 3rd HR, 2nd RBI, 5th ADJ OPS+, 3rd Extra Base Hits, 6th Times on Base, 5th AB/HR

Trosky did all this at 21 years of age. Unfortunately for Trosky, the MVP race was extremely tough, with players like Lou Gehrig (winner of the Triple Crown), Mickey Cochrane, Hank Greenberg, and Lefty Gomez also having incredible seasons.

(1) Jim Thome, 2002

480 AB, .304/.445/.677, 19 2B, 52 HR

Honors: 7th MVP Voting, 2nd OBP, 1st SLG, 1st OPS, 8th Total Bases, 2nd Home Runs, 7th RBI, 1st BB, 1st ADJ OPS+, 2nd RC, 9th Extra Base Hits, 5th Times on Base, 2nd Int BB, 1st AB/HR

Thome's swan song with the Indians was (probably) his career season. It was an impressive effort considering he had little protection in the lineup. His 52 home runs is still a team single-season record. Thome's 18 intentional walks also is a team record (tie with Andre Thornton).