Cleveland Indians great Jim Thome could be joining the Major League Baseball any year now, but first, he will be recognized for a tremendous 1993 season he had in the minor leagues. Thome and then-Charlotte Knights manager Charlie Manuel are set to be inducted into the Charlotte Baseball Hall of Fame later this summer.
Thome and Manuel will be the first inductees in the newly revitalized "Charlotte Baseball Roundtable of Honor," which is a long-winded way of say Hall of Fame. They will officially be inducted at the Triple-A All-Star Game Luncheon on July 13 at the Charlotte Convention Center. Tickets for which are on sale now, if you happen to be in the Charlotte area.
Back when the Charlotte Knights were the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, Thome led the offense with a .332/.441/.585 slash and 25 home runs in 115 games. It was the most games he played with any one minor league team in a single season and he made a major impression on the Charlotte area. Managed by Manual and led by the explosive bat of Thome, the Charlotte Knights went on to win the Governors' Cup that season -- the only championship the Knights won in the brief two years they were affiliated with the Tribe.
Charlie Manuel managed the Indians from 2000 to 2002 (two of which were 90-win seasons) before managing the Philadelphia Phillies from 2005 to 2013.
Thome finished his major-league career with 612 home runs and a 145 wRC+ over 22 seasons. It was difficult to stand out in the steroid-fueled 90s without cheating, but so far all signs point to Thome being clean. This year will be his first of Hall of Fame eligibility since his retirement in 2012. We will find out in January if he makes the cut when the 2017 inductees are announced. Other notable first-year candidates include Vladimir Guerrero, Mike Cameron, Tim Wakefield, Pat Burrell, and another former Indians great, Manny Ramirez.
(h/t Matt Bretz)