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Jim Thome Hits Home Run No. 600

by Charlie Miller

When I was a kid in the 1970s, I knew three home run numbers: 755, 714, 660. Those were the totals from Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays. I didn’t know who was fourth. I knew fourth place had fewer than 600 home runs. And I thought 600 was almost as magical as 700.

Ah, those were the days. Now everyone it seems has 600 homers.

Good thing that it only seems that way and it’s not reality.

You see, 600 home runs is still a tremendous accomplishment. Barry Bonds may have tarnished the meaning of home run records, but there are still only eight men who have hit 600. Eight.

Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey, Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa and Jim Thome. That’s it. No McGwire, no Robinson, no Jackson, no Williams, no Mantle, no Musial, no Killebrew, no Palmeiro and no Manny.

The 600-Club remains an elite group. And congrats to Jim Thome for becoming the eighth member.

To put this into perspective with other recent milestones: Derek Jeter became the 28th member of the 3,000-hit club, a group just as tainted by the recent era of PEDs. It would take 3,420 hits to reach eighth place on the hits list; 2,000 runs and 1,923 RBIs.

The next member? Albert Pujols, but he’s 163 away, which puts his ETA in September of 2015.

Follow Charlie Miller on Twitter @AthlonCharlie