Jim Thome joined rare company on Monday night when he became just the eighth player in MLB history to hit 600 career home runs. Thome became a member of the exclusive club in style by stringing together home runs number 599 and 600 in back-to-back innings. Considered by many to be one of the nicest players in the game, Thome turns 41 this month and is the oldest player to ever reach the esteemed mark.
Although it's hard to compare achievements, Thome didn't receive nearly the same build-up and response as Derek Jeter did earlier in the season leading up to his 3,000th hit. Thome has operated strictly as a designated hitter for two seasons and the Minnesota Twins don't command the same following as the Yankees. Estimates for the 600th home run ball vary from a few thousand to upwards of fifty thousand. However, the market value will not likely be tested any time soon since the home run landed in the Detroit Tigers' bullpen and was returned to Thome.
In his 21st season, Thome is a well-known baseball fixture. The achievement should put a final exclamation on a Hall of Fame career but likely won't lead to much of a boost in hobby value because the achievement has been inevitable for some time and his career is nearing an end. As far as cardboard goes, Thome's two rookie cards (1991 Bowman and 1991 Upper Deck Final Edition) are hugely over printed and will never command more than a few dollars. Even high-grade versions are readily available at reasonable prices. You can check out our full Jim Thome rookie card guide here.
Other players to reach the 600 home run mark include Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds. The next player to join the group will likely be Albert , who currently stands at 437 home runs.