Jim Thome’s thank-you tour of his former homes came to Target Field on Saturday, and a few of his ex-Twins teammates, among them Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel, visited to congratulate the new member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. That’s an example of what made his 2010 season, in which he hit 25 of his 612 career home runs, so memorable, Thome said.
“Chemistry like no other,” Thome said of that team, the first to play in Target Field and the Twins’ most recent division winner. “From teammates to the front office, to [then-manager Ron Gardenhire] to the coaches to the fans — it’s got that special feeling here.”
Thome, who hit a series of memorable home runs in Minneapolis including the longest one in the stadium’s history, is currently a special assistant to White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn, a job he says he’s still getting used to. “I’m learning the sabermetrics, the analytic parts of the game. I was so blessed to grow up in the old-school kind of time, so having that, and now wanting to learn that [analytics] side of it is very unique,” said Thome, who was inducted in Cooperstown late last month. “Just seeing all the great young athletes, and to have a little bit of input, whether it’s sitting in a meeting with our president, our general manager and our owner, or going out to the affiliates and offering a little bit of advice — [it’s fun to] watch that kid succeed. … Having a little part of it is something cool.”