CHICAGO - Future Hall-of-Famer Jim Thome has joined the Chicago White Sox as a special assistant to Rick Hahn, the club's senior vice president/general manager.
Thome's responsibilities will include consulting with Hahn and assistant general manager Buddy Bell, working with the White Sox major league staff and players, and visiting White Sox minor-league affiliates throughout the summer, evaluating player performance.
"It is nearly impossible to top Jim's baseball resume with 22 seasons in the game and over 600 home runs," said Hahn. "When we talked recently about how he could move on to the next stage of his baseball career, an obvious fit was to join this organization, where Jim knows so many people and is immediately comfortable. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this role, and we're excited to see the impact he will have on both our major leaguers and minor leaguers."
Thome batted .276 (2,328-8,422) with 612 home runs, 1,699 RBI, 1,583 runs scored and 1,747 walks in 2,543 games over 22 major-league seasons with Cleveland (1991-2002, '11), Philadelphia (2003-05, '12), the White Sox (2006-09), Los Angeles-NL (2009), Minnesota (2010-11) and Baltimore (2012).
He ranks among baseball's all-time leaders in numerous categories, including home run ratio (4th, 13.76), home runs (7th), walks (7th), OPS (20th, .956), RBI (24th) and slugging percentage (24th). Thome's 612 homers are the fourth-highest total in major-league history by a left-handed hitter, trailing only Barry Bonds (762), Babe Ruth (714) and Ken Griffey Jr. (630).
"Taking on this new role with the White Sox just seemed like a natural next step for me and my family," Thome said. "I am excited about the opportunity to make an impact on a major league organization and to work with people I know and respect, like Jerry Reinsdorf, Ken Williams, Rick, Buddy and Robin Ventura. I don't think I could ask for a better situation than being in Chicago and with the White Sox."
Thome appeared in 529 games over four seasons with the Sox, batting .265 (469-1,770) with 134 home runs and 369 RBI. He hit his 500th career home run on September 16, 2007 vs. Los Angeles-AL, and his game-winning solo homer off Nick Blackburn on September 30, 2008 gave the White Sox a 1-0 victory over Minnesota in a one-game playoff at U.S. Cellular Field.
Thome, a five-time All-Star, hit 40 or more home runs in a season six times and drove in 100-plus runs on nine occasions. His 17 postseason home runs are the seventh-highest total in major-league history.
He becomes the 11th former White Sox player currently serving as a manager or coach in the organization.