This man is a hero.
Joe Posnanski of SI delivers in this awesome piece about aging slugger Jim Thome. Definitely a little bit moving. From the website:
“Matt Thornton is pitching for the White Sox, and he’s a serious badass. Six-foot-six. Lefthanded. Fastball in the upper 90s. He’s the kind of lefthanded badass who makes lefthanded hitters like Jim Thome crumble. In his career Thome has hit less than .240 against lefties. Lefthanded power pitching is Thome’s Kryptonite, and there isn’t a lefthanded reliever in the league who throws harder than Thornton. If Gardenhire had a viable choice, Thome would not be going to the plate.
But this is the gambler’s moment. It’s Aug. 17, and Minnesota and Chicago have been trading places atop the division all year. Right now the Twins are in first, but they trail 6–5 in the bottom of the 10th inning, and if they lose this game at Target Field, the White Sox will pull to within two games. There’s a man on first base, and Gardenhire wants the home run. And in the long and fascinating history of baseball, if you want a home run, there are only a handful of men you would send up before Jim Thome.
‘He told me his charisma’s good,’ Slowey announces in the dugout as Thome walks to the plate. The high-pitched cheers of 40,000 or so Twins fans echo in his ears.”
You can imagine how that one ended up.