Jim Thome becomes 21st former Bison to be elected to Hall of Fame
Thome made rehab appearance with Herd during 1998 playofs
By Buffalo Bisons | January 24, 2018 5:54 PM ET
Former Cleveland Indians slugger JIM THOME is set to become the 21st former Bisons player/manager/coach to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. The Hall of Fame announced Thome as one of its four elected members for their Class of 2018 on Wednesday.
There are now 325 total members in Cooperstown, meaning the 21 former Bisons make up over 6% of all the people ever inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
While never appearing in a regular season game with the Bisons during his illustrious career, Thome made two MLB injury rehabilitation starts with the Herd during the 1998 International League Governors' Cup Finals. Thome started games one and two against Durham at Coca-Cola Field, helping Buffalo build a two-games-to-none series lead over the Bulls. Overall, Thome had two hits in eight at bats, scoring the first Bisons' run in game one as well as collecting an RBI in the same 9-7 victory.
Buffalo eventually won the Finals in five games, earning the franchise's fifth Governors' Cup Championship.
Thome is the first former Bisons player to be inducted into Cooperstown since catcher James "Deacon" White was elected in 2012. He is also the first former Herd player from the franchise's 'modern era' (return to Triple-A level in 1985) to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Thome played 22 seasons in the Major Leagues from 1991 to 2002 and ranks eighth all time with 612 home runs. While playing with six MLB clubs, the five-time All-Star and 1996 Silver Slugger averaged .276 with 2,328 hits and 1,699 runs driven in.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.