Ron Gardenhire Holds Jim Thome 607 Home Run Ball Hostage
Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Jim Thome has been collecting every home run ball he has hit since the magical number 500. Thome currently sits at 609 for his career but one is missing from his collection.
Number 607 is being held for ransom by Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, his former manager.
“He’s got to do something to get this ball. I know that,” Gardenhire said. “He hurt our feelings. So if he wants the ball back, Jim, make my day. Thrill me. I’m not talking about on the field. I want to see something that helps one of our favorite charities.”
Thome played under Gardenhire in 2010 and 2011 before he was traded to the Cleveland Indians.
“Thome hasn’t come in here,” Gardenhire said. “He doesn’t know what we want yet, so he’s afraid.”
Thome laughed when he heard Gardenhire’s remarks and said, “I’m sure. I’m sure.”
The Twins went to great lengths to retrieve the ball. It landed in a flower pot that sits above the right-center field fence at Target Field, which he hit on June 14 while with the Philadelphia Phillies. He was traded to the Orioles on July 1.