‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ – Harmon Killebrew VS Jim Thome
Ok guys, I promise that this week’s ‘Hall of Fame Debate’ will get us back on track after last week’s debacle.
This time around, we’re going to judge two players with very similar skill sets that played two era apart from one another – Harmon Killebrew & Jim Thome.
Both players are most known for their abilities to deliver the longball, and while Thome’s career number is higher than Killebrew’s there is enough in their stats to put the two into a head-to-head battle.
So, that is exactly what I’ll do.
First – the numbers:
|200 Hit Seasons||0||0|
|150-199 Hit Seasons||4||4|
|30-39 HR Seasons||2||6|
|40+ HR Seasons||8||6|
The standouts (for me):
- Killebrew’s very low number of career hits versus games played
- Both players offered very low single season hit tallies
- Thome’s .402 on-base percentage
- Thome has 850 more strikeouts in 100 more games
- Thome’s doubles
- Killebrew’s low number of 30-39 HR Seasons
- Killebrew’s impressive run of 40-HR Seasons
- Thome scored a lot more runs
- Thome’s lack of All-Star selections
- Thome’s 10 postseason appearances
Wow, this one is going to be tough. And it is even tougher when I witnessed the full career of one player and never saw the other player play in a single game.
This time around, I will have to let the numbers do the talking…
And for me, the numbers give a slight edge to Jim Thome.
When I examine the careers of these two players, it is obvious that each of them was in the lineup to offer offense. And Jim Thome did that. And he did it at a greater rate. Thome scored 300 more runs than Killebrew and he also scored 100 or more runs in eight different seasons. His home run tally was a little higher than that of Killebrew’s but for me it was the 12 seasons of 30+ over Killebrew’s 10 that stood out. Thome also delivered a lot more doubles (which can speak to the ballparks he played in) and a much higher on-base percentage.
On the negative side, Thome struck out 850 more times than Killebrew – that is simply awful. He was also selected as an All-Star just five times while Killebrew made the All-Star team eleven times in an era packed with elite players in the outfield. Thome was never a ROY or MVP, but he did participate in ten postseasons while Killebrew just made 3.
Ultimately, I went with Thome for two reasons: Run scoring & On-Base percentage.
So, who gets your vote in the battle of ’500-HR Club’ members?
Cast your vote now!!