Jim Thome and the Hall of Fame

If you think the two don't go together, you're not alone.

But you're also wrong.

Not that he would hold that against you because Thome — with apologies to the Angels' Torii Hunter — is perhaps the nicest and most sincere man in baseball.

And has been for 21 seasons.

Walk through a ballpark with Thome before the gates open and you'll see him greet the security guards and ushers by name. Sit near the dugout during games and you'll hear him call out to the season-ticket holders. Watch him afterward and you'll find him standing patiently by his locker, respectfully answering the lamest questions from reporters representing the smallest hometown newspapers.

That wasn't something you would see with Barry Bonds.

Bonds would question your parentage; Thome will ask about your kids, then listen intently to the answer.

When the Minnesota Twins held a memorial service for Harmon Killebrew in May, Thome flew to Illinois to see his family, then flew right back to take part in the service. Never mind that it was 1998, when The Undertaker threw Mankind off Hell In A Cell, and plummeted 16 ft through an announcer’s table.

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