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That is an absolutely beautiful cover may just have to go pick that one up.
Eddie Mathews, 2010.
Glen F: also like Thome at Jacobs Field circa 1995.
Good call on the Eddie Mathews cover comparison. He finished his career on a World Series winner, the '68 Tigers. We'll see if Thome does the same.
I'm excited to pick up my copy of the magazine tomorrow. I'm sure it will be great.
This is fucking dope.
Refreshing to see a picture of an athlete doing what he does, rather than staring into a camera in some lame pose unrelated to his career.
I'm convinced that anybody who doesn't like Jim Thome is dead inside.
Dope is seconded. That is an epic cover.
I, for one, am dying to know what 'The Jeter Quandary' is. My money is on "First ballot hall of famer or first unanimous hall of famer?"Congrats, Joe, sweet cover.
The Jeter Quandary is probably 'do we pay a guy legacy money to play several more years as a sub-replacement shortstop, or make a sound financial decision and either sign him for less and reduce his role or somehow arrange his departure..
As a Twins fan, I have always had a deep respect for Jim Thome, even though he has spent much of his career playing against division rivals. Along with Ken Griffey Jr, Jim Thome has always been one of my two favorite non-Twins. I was so ecstatic in the off-season that Jim Thome joined the Twins, just for the simple fact that he really exemplifies the Twins way and I thought he would be a great fit in the clubhouse. I never ever expected the kind of production that he has provided this year. It would be so great to see him lead the Twins to some postseason wins and hopefully a World Series title.
Looking forward to seeing it whenever it lands in my mailbox in Korea. The series will be over as long as it takes sometimes.
As another Twins fan, I completely agree with Brian in Bismarck. I thought it foolish of the Sox to let him go, and was ecstatic when the Twins picked him up, even though it was assumed he'd play a pinch-hitting/platoon-DH role. Just a classy guy all around.I was at the game at Target Field (what a great stadium!) when Thome hit the walkoff against the Sox. It's saying something about the guy's character when the Sox fan standing next to me turned to me and said, "Sucks that the Twins won, but I'm really glad for Thome."
I think I speak for most Twins fans when I say we are proud to have Thome playing here in Minnesota. He just lends real gravitas to the team. Nice SI cover shoot. The ballpark is a beauty. I was there on Sunday afternoon to see Thome hit homer #588. Way cool! Go Twins!
Best cover in years! What a photo! This is what baseball should "look" and "feel" like. Makes me feel like a kid again. All baseball fans will love this photo/cover! Nice work.
That's fantastic. I've always been a Thome fan, dude is first class. Hope he goes out in style... heck, I hope he doesn't go out. He can still swing the stick!
That cover looks like something out of the 1950's. Truly a classic.
Is that the one he hit off the top of the flagpole? Longest home run I've seen.
I suspect that must be Thome's 3rd inning solo HR vs the Rangers on Sat Sep 4, as it looks like Benji Molina is behind the plate and 1st base is unoccupied (he later hit a 3run HR with runners on 1st & 2nd in same game).
The only thing wrong with this picture is that the abominably ugly ex Multi Foods Tower (now renamed 33 South 6th) completely conceals the gorgeous Norwest Center (I refuse to call it the Wells Fargo Center). The IDS Center on the right is still awesome. Minnesota nice - when they built the Norwest tower they purposely built it just a little shorter than IDS not to be pushy. Magic number is 2!
As a White Sox fan I'm confused, what is our DH doing hitting home runs for the Twins?
I don't see anything in there about Tom Brady or the Hoosiers
I don't want to be a fly in the ointment...but other than a couple good series(against the Yankers in 1998 and the Red Sox in 1999) Jim Thome has been a below average postseason performer. So I honestly don't see him bringing any more October Magic to Minnesota...unless you think him and his .222 career postseason average will actually help them get over the hump of losing in the ALDS the last 4 times they made the playoffs???
Now that 'instant analysis' is available all over cable and the Web, SI should keep in mind that this kind of cover is exactly what they have to sell: gorgeous photography that is 'art' but also takes you into the moment visually.Well, that and Joe Poz.
5:58You're no fly in the ointment. To achieve that status, you would have to make a pertinent point.Kind of a small sample size - among many points one might make
I didn't realize the Eddie Mathews cover was from the very FIRST SI issue, back in 1954. (Thank you, SI vault!) This is a nice throwback homage, featuring a player who's a bit of high-sock throwback himself. JoPo always delivers that classic baseball vibe!
I don't want to be a big d-bag and rattle off pointless stats based on small sample sizes like Chris but Thome had 2.000 OPS in the playoffs. Twins are going all the way baby.
Is there anybody here who knows anything about photography and explain how this effect was achieved?Absolutely gorgeous cover. Has to be one of the best in SI history. I thought of Mathews right away too. Inspired callback.
Hey Laura, in 238 playoff PAs he is hitting .222. That's a pretty good sample size.Hey BCTF, he has a CAREER .809 OPS in the playoffs. You want to go with his 2.000 OPS in 2 PAs against the Phillies, you go right ahead.Man, you Twinkies fans are really sensitive, aren't you?
Joe: In all seriousness, do you happen to know whether SI do covers as poster-sized prints? This would be a great one to frame and hang up on the wall! I know you can get smaller 11x14 ones from the site eventually, but a bigger one would be even better.
I'm going to get a copy, just to be able to post that cover on my bulletin board at work in anticipation of the day that I can make it back to Minneapolis for a game, and maybe get my own photo of that viewpoint.My fantasy World Series: Twins vs. Reds. That would absolutely kill the TV audience, but since I live an hour away from Cinci, I might be able to scalp a ticket, if it happened.
Absolutely perfect cover of a near-perfect hitter at a near-perfect ballpark on a near-perfect day in a really nice town in which to live and work. (By the way, somebody tell Mr. Thome that there's a really nice daycare in the Butler Square West building kitty-corner from the ballpark and several really grade schools within a few miles; he can have his youngest child attend that daycare and his oldest go to school while he plays. Not that I'm trying to talk him into staying another year or anything.)And yes, Ron Gardenhire is the best manager in baseball. Accept no substitutes.
Chris Fiorentino: .222 is not much worse than what Jimmer's hitting now. And there's the fact that when he does hit, he does damage (see cover). It's why Jason Kubel's going to be in the starting lineup.Where is your team in the standings right now, by the way?
That's pretty great. Also thanks for not putting Tulo on the cover--you guys already about wrecked Ubaldo's season by putting him on the cover in July.
Mike in MN.....Great cover. I agree with the BR that said it is nice to have an action shot, instead of another lame staring into the camera shot. And, that stadium is that beautiful. And, as a Twins' fan, I wondered wth they were thinking in signing an over-the-hil, done, player. Boy, was I wrong.Why ruin a perfectly good cover with Jeter...
Awesome!And congrats, Joe!
Before there was LeBron James, there was Jim Thome."They're going to have to rip this uniform off my back," is what he told Tribe fans. And after he took the Phillies offer and left, he said it wasn't about the money.Fucking liar. Douchebag. Phony. And by the way, take a look at a photo of young Thome next to the late-1990s version. That change in body type was hardly due to weight training.
To fly in the ointment Chris: Thome has had some killer post season stats some years, and even with some off years still has a respectable .800+ OPS in 238 post season plate appearances. He's going to be fine.
Phoenixwoman...everybody knows that my team is the Philadelphia Phillies. So my team is in first place, and is the odds-on favorite to win the 2010 WS. Unless you can think of a better 1-2-3 starting pitching punch? LOL. Sorry Twinkies fans...even IF your boys happen to get past the Rays and Yankees...they will lose at the hands of the best team in baseball...the Phightin' Phillies. Good night.
Buddy, he had 2 above average years. And don't forget...this was 10 years ago!!!! When he was in his prime. He is over-the-hill. I love the guy...he is all class. But to say that he "has the power to bring October magic to Minnesota" is absurd. That's all I have been saying. Believe me...as a Phillies fan, I freaking loved Thome. But he is not going to bring any magic to Minnesota. IF the Twins are to beat the Yankees and Rays, they will do so riding the back of Liriano and Mauer. Period.
I say the Phillies choke, just like they did last year. Obviously this Chris cat must be pretty jealous when this cover clearly has NOTHING to do with Philadelphia. Lol.
I agree with Mobutu Sese Seko Everybody in Philly still likes Thome. In a way, leaving when he did, created kind of a Thome snapshot without being there long enough to do anything people wouldn't like. For example, there was no decline or free agent spurning. He was just a nice guy who left town to make way for someone that turned out to play well and was younger. Plus he brought Rowand.
Phillies choked last year? LOL. I didn't realize that Joe's blog was hijacked by a bunch of Twinkie fans. Sorry boys and gals. I'll leave you alone to your 4 consecutive first round ousters...sorry to say that you could have Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron in their primes and the Twinkies STILL wouldn't get past either the Yankers or the Rays. But know that I am rooting for you guys because the Twins will be a helluva lot easier to beat in the World Series than either the Rays or Yankers. Go Twinkies!!!!!
Chris, as a Philly fan, you should be able to cut us some slack, with the Eagles/Flyers/76ers. Here in Minnesota, our basketball team had one deep run, stopped by our (very) old team the Lakers, and now is terrible. Our hockey team lost two cups and moved away, then a new one came back that has made one good run in 10 years. Our football team is on the Mt. Rushmore of chokes-ville -- 0-our last-8 in Super Bowls / NFC Title Games. Our baseball team gets routinely slapped around by the coastal teams come playoff time. We have to be defensive. It's a mechanism.
Chris F, I guess your memory doesn't go very far back, does it? No, the Phillies didn't choke last year, they just got whupped by the Yankees (again -- hello, 1950?).Yankees: Current WS champsPhillies: NotYankees: 27 WS championshipsPhillies: 3 WS championshipsYankees all-time: 2,313 games over .500Phillies all-time: 1,100 games under .500For those of you keeping score at home, that puts the Phillies a mere 1,706.5 games behind the Yankees. Or, to put it another way, if the Yankees lose every game for the next 10 years (0-1,620) and the Phillies win every game for the next 10 years (1,620-0), the Phillies will still be almost 100 games behind the Yankees.Enjoy watching another parade up the Canyon of Heroes on your TV, Chris.And I'm not even a Yankee fan (though somewhat less anti-Yankee ever since Baron von Steingrabber bought the farm).
As a life long Indians fan let me say.........Boooooo Thome!
My extended family are harcore Indians fans, and I think they have it right in blaming Mark Shapiro and the general financial state of the franchise for the departure of Jim Thome.
Anonymous @ 7:32 AM: it looks like what they call "high dynamic range," which is to say this is most likely NOT the photo as it came out of the camera. The darkest shadows are brightened and the brightest brights are darkened, making everything a bit more visible but lending the whole thing a surreal painting-like quality. It's even possible that this is a careful composite of more than one photo taken with different exposures.
wavydavy, what the hell are you talking about? Why did you proceed to quote me all the historic facts about the Yankers, and basically do a Phillies vs. Yankers history? Did you see me diss the Yankers? I think I was pretty clear when I said "I hope the Twinkies beat the Rays or Yankers because they will be easier to be in the World Series than EITHER of those TWO TEAMS." Where in there is anything that would cause you to write your post??And this line "And I'm not even a Yankee fan" is the biggest load of BS I have ever read.
agreed. Where did that come from wavydavy? That was really strange
this cover poses a question of the purpose of the cover--is it to sell magazines, is it to illustrate the cover story, or is it to show off the coolest relevant photo? I love the photo, but I'm not sure it is the best one to go with a profile of Thome....maybe for an article about the new Target stadium this would be good, but for Thome, he is too small and basically unrecognizable in the photo. If it's meant to convey the idea that Thome hits tape-measure home runs, it doesn't do that on its own--you have to guess that it might be happening (the ball is just leaving his bat). I can't imagine it's the kind of photo that would be a good newsstand draw. If I were a Twins fan, it's the kind of photo I might hang on my wall (If I were still 11 years old), but I don't think it's a good magazine cover.
Awesome cover. Props to Tom Dahlin for taking this photo.
Given Thome's nice-guy rep and the Minnesota Nice practices of the Twins organization, it's appropriate that the two finally united. Especially this year, since Thome passed Harmon Killebrew on the all-time HR list in early July.The most interesting part of Joe's article to me was the mention of Charlie Manuel and his impact on Thome's career. Manuel came up with the Twins, and was the first of many, many unfortunate 1970s prospects to be cast as our next Killebrew.Turns out the Twins had to wait all these years for Jim Thome to be their next Killebrew. A lot of great hitters have played for the Twins, but not great home run hitters. From 1988 to 2005 (covering the Steroid Era), the Twins never had a 30-HR season. Not one. And Killebrew (seven times) is still the only Twins player to have a 40 HR season. (And of course, Killebrew in his day was known as one of baseball's true gentlemen.)It's been special watching Thome up close this year. I believe he has the longest four HRs at Target Field, and four of the five opposite-field HRs from left-handed hitters.It has been special.
Actually, Anonymous Cleveland Fan, it wasn't as much about the money as it was being able to play every day or close to it. It's why he wound up with us -- he was riding the pine much of last year and Gardy was able to promise him game time. Of course, now that he's turned forty, he's realizing that he really can't play every single day, and is a lot more comfy with Gardy's judicious use of him than he would have been five years ago.
Chris Fiorentino --Gee, for a guy who just got done dinging "Twinkies" fans for being sensitive, you have a few raw nerve endings floating loose, it would seem. ;-) Being that I don't come here that often, I honestly didn't know which team was your team -- hence my question.Also honestly, I keep looking at how Ron Gardenhire keeps taking the talent given him as far as he can safely go with it -- this is the first year he's really had enough playoff-caliber material for a critical mass; in the past it's been Spahn and Sain and pray for rain -- and wondering: When will this man finally get recognized as the best manager in baseball? Maybe when Jim Thome wins Game Five of the Series on a walk-off homer in Target Field?
i am a huge indians' fan but i've never stopped rooting for thome (or a lot of the other big names who moved on). maybe that makes me soft, i don't know. anyway, i think it's a beautiful cover and i'm lookign forward to reading the story from one of my favorite writers on one of my favorite athletes.
phoenixwoman...I love Gardenhire. He reminds me of Uncle Charlie...he gets the most out of his players. The difference is that Manual is untouchable now because he won the hardware. I don't think it will take a Thome bomb to get Gardy the respect he deserves. If the Twinkies can get past the Rays and Yankers, he should shut up his critics. However, if they win the World Series this year, and they do so getting past the three best teams in baseball...Yankers, Rays, Phillies...then he should never have to pay for another meal in Minnesota.
I am the biggest baseball nut of the Phillies so i really loved reading your article.I was glad i got my Philadelphia Phillies Tickets for the up coming baseball game for Phillies Stadium.