Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory will honor National Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Thome with the prestigious 2022 Living Legend Award. Thome will be recognized at a ceremony on Friday, November 11th at the museum in downtown Louisville. The event will also serve as the kick-off to the 19th Annual Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory Live Auction in partnership with Hunt Auctions, Inc.
“It’s an honor to be recognized as a Living Legend, joining some of my own childhood heroes who make up this list,” said Thome. “The Louisville Slugger name has a long and storied history with baseball and served a critical role in my own baseball story throughout the years. It’s humbling to be honored with this award.”
Thome signed his bat contract with Hillerich & Bradsby Co. in 2001 and most used an M356 model that measured in at 34.5”, 32 oz.
Jim Thome Highlights
Jim Thome played 22 MLB seasons, boasting an impressive 612 home runs (the eighth-most ever), 2,328 hits, 1,699 runs batted in (RBI), and a .276 batting average. Throughout his career (1991 – 2012), Thome played for six MLB teams, spending the majority of his years with the Cleveland Guardians (formerly Indians).
Known as a high-volume power-hitter, he is a member of 5 All-Star teams and won the Silver Slugger Award in 1996. In 2006 Thome won the American League Comeback Player of the Year Award. He is also the career leader in walk-off home runs with 13. In 2018, his first year of eligibility, Thome was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Thome was born in Peoria, Illinois, and attended Illinois Central College. In 1989 he was drafted by Cleveland and went on to play with the team for over a decade including two World Series appearances. In 2002 he joined the Philadelphia Phillies where he played for three seasons before being traded to the Chicago White Sox for another three seasons. Thome also briefly played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins, ultimately retiring after playing for the Baltimore Orioles.
While the Living Legend Award is reserved for the most successful players of our time, honorees are also celebrated for their noteworthy philanthropic efforts. Thome has made a commitment to give back to the cities for which he played over the years, including disaster relief efforts and supporting organizations serving underprivileged children. For his humanitarian efforts, Thome was given the Marvin Miller Man of the Year award in 2001 and the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award in 2004.
“The Living Legend Award is reserved for those players who exhibit larger than life abilities – both on the field and off the field,” said Deana Lockman, Executive Director of Experiences at Hillerich & Bradsby Co. “Jim Thome’s distinguished baseball career makes him one of the greatest in sports, but it’s his on-going commitment to community that makes him a true Living Legend.”
Living Legend Past Recipients
With this Living Legend recognition, Thome joins a prestigious group of baseball Hall of Famers to receive the award. Past recipients of Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory’s Living Legend Award include: Derek Jeter (2021), Mike Schmidt (2019), Frank Thomas (2017), Dave Winfield (2016), Andre Dawson (2015), Ozzie Smith (2014), Cal Ripken, Jr. (2013), Tony Gwynn (2012), Johnny Bench (2011), Ernie Banks (2010), Hank Aaron (2009), Frank Robinson (2008) and Ken Griffey, Jr. (2007).