Thome Elected to the Hall of Fame
Jim Thome, who shined with the Charlotte Knights in 1993, was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. Thome becomes the first player in Charlotte Knights franchise history to earn entrance into the Hall.
Thome made his mark on the Charlotte area in 1993 — his one and only season with the Knights. At the age of 22, he hit .332 and clubbed 25 home runs while driving in 102 RBIs in 1993 with the Knights. He earned the International League’s Most Valuable Player Award and a trip to the majors with the Cleveland Indians later that year. Thome helped lead the Knights and manager Charlie Manuel to the 1993 Governors’ Cup Championship in their first season as a Triple-A franchise. The Knights were the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians in 1993 and 1994.
For his career, Thome mashed 612 career home runs at the major league level over 22 seasons — four of those with Manuel at the helm. A five-time All-Star, he led the National League in home runs in 2003 with an impressive 47 while playing for the Philadelphia Phillies, one of six teams he played for in his major league career (Indians, Phillies, White Sox, Dodgers, Twins and Orioles). He finished his illustrious big league career with 2,328 career hits and 1,699 RBIs. Since 2013, he has worked with the Chicago White Sox as a special assistant to general manager Rick Hahn, working with minor league players in the organization — including the Charlotte Knights.
On Wednesday, July 13, 2016, Thome and Manuel were honored at BB&T Ballpark as the first two inductees into the Charlotte Baseball Round Table of Honor — the newly re-introduced form of the original Charlotte Baseball Hall of Fame (1983–1987).
Thome threw out the first pitch at BB&T Ballpark on April 11, 2014 — the first day in BB&T Ballpark history. He threw out the first pitch once again — along with his manager, Charlie Manuel, at the 2016 Sonic Automotive Triple-A Baseball All-Star Game on July 13, 2016.
Item of Note: Frank Thomas, who was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014, rehabbed with the Charlotte Knights in 2005, but did not play for the Knights on his way up to the majors. He appeared in 10 games with Charlotte on a Major League Rehab Assignment.