MLB Network today announced that five-time All-Star Jim Thome has joined its lineup of on-air personalities as an analyst appearing across the network's studio programming. Thome, whose 612 career home runs rank him at 7th on the all-time home runs list, will make his debut on MLB Tonight on Monday, May 1 at 6:00 p.m. ET alongside former teammate Sean Casey and host Fran Charles.
"I watch MLB Network 24/7, so this is a natural fit for me. I'm excited to get started and hopefully share some insight from my playing days and recent front office experiences. Most importantly, I look forward to beating Sean Casey in a home run derby in Studio 42 and finally hitting Dan Plesac's breaking ball," said Thome.
"Not only is Jim Thome one of the most accomplished offensive players of all time, he is widely known throughout Major League Baseball as someone with a big heart and a passion for the game that he shares with everyone he meets," said MLB Network President Rob McGlarry. "We're thrilled to welcome him to MLB Network and, in particular, to Studio 42, where he will undoubtedly take our retired left-handed pitchers deep."
Thome is eligible for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame starting in 2018. A former infielder and designated hitter for more than 22 seasons, Thome began his career with the Cleveland Indians (1991-2002, 2011) and was a member of the Indians' 1995 and 1997 American League champion teams before joining the Philadelphia Phillies (2003-2005, 2012), Chicago White Sox (2006-2009), Los Angeles Dodgers (2009), Minnesota Twins (2010-2011) and Baltimore Orioles (2012).
Thome finished his career with 1,583 runs scored, 1,699 RBI and 1,747 walks. He is a 1996 Silver Slugger Award winner at third base, and in 2003 he led the National League in home runs with 47. Thome is a four-time American League All-Star (1997, 1998, 1999, 2006) and was a National League All-Star in 2004. Thome's 337 career home runs as a member of the Cleveland Indians are the most in franchise history. A member of both the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame, Thome received the Roberto Clemente Award in 2002 for his community service and philanthropic efforts.
Thome first appeared as a guest analyst on MLB Network in February 2017, and he joined MLB Tonight on-set at Progressive Field in Cleveland before Game Seven of the 2016 World Series. His new position with MLB Network is in addition to his role with the Chicago White Sox as a special assistant to SVP and GM Rick Hahn, which he began in 2013.