The man with a statue in center field stood alongside manager Mike Hargrove and former teammates Kenny Lofton, Carlos Baerga, Sandy Alomar, Charles Nagy, Dennis Martinez, Paul Assenmacher, Julian Tavarez, Chad Ogea, Eric Plunk, Herbert Perry and Alvaro Espinoza as part of a reunion ceremony honoring the legendary 1995 Indians team.
"It's like we're in the same clubhouse again," Thome said. "Guys still look great, some of them look like they could still play. It's going to be a great weekend. I was really excited when, first of all, they were doing this and to be able to spend time and hang out. I know it's exciting for the fans as well. They'll get a kick out of this."
The '95 team is most remembered for winning 100 games and the American League pennant, thanks to a historic stretch of 12 walk-off wins that culminated in the club's first visit to the World Series in 41 years.
"So much happened," Nagy said. "So many come-from-behind victories. The playoff run. Dennis' game against Seattle. Kenny stealing third and then home. The season Albert [Belle] had. Every time he stepped to the plate, magic was going to happen. Manny [Ramirez], you can go down the list. Thome. Sandy. Omar [Vizquel] at short. It was a fun time to come to the ballpark."
But beyond the wins, what's resonated throughout time from the players' point of view is the people with whom they shared the memories.
"We were very special at the time," Lofton said. "We had some characters that were a little different. I think that was the thing, though -- we had so many different personalities."
The '95 reunion festivities will carry through the weekend. On Saturday, the group will be back in attendance and will be honored before the game. The first 12,500 fans will receive an exclusive 1995 T-Shirt, and there will also be a separate reunion event at PlayhouseSquare's Connor Palace Theatre, which will include a Q&A session with members of the team and a screening of "Wahoo! What a Finish!"
August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.