Fans give Thome warm welcome

April, 10, 2010
4/10/10
12:52
AM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Former Chicago White Sox designated hitter Jim Thome came back to U.S. Cellular Field on Friday as a member of the Minnesota Twins. Thome was hoping for some love from the White Sox fans upon his return to the South Side.

[+] EnlargeJim Thome
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhThe Twins' Jim Thome, right, shakes hands with White Sox third base coach Jeff Cox before Friday's game at U.S. Cellular Field.
"That's what it's all about," Thome said before the game. "As a player you give your heart and soul to a team and the fans do the same. We will see. It would be nice to get an ovation. To me, Chicago has always been a great place to play. I always enjoyed coming to the ballpark here and playing because the fans give you everything they have."

Thome had to wait until the 10th inning when he entered the game as a pinch hitter to get his wish as the crowd gave him a nice round of applause. Thome tipped his cap to the crowd before his at-bat. Unfortunately for Thome, he struck out against Tony Pena.

To honor Thome, the White Sox showed a 60-second montage from his four-year career on the South Side.

Although Thome misses his former teammates, he admits the competitive juices take over when the game begins.

"That's part of the game," Thome said. "They are your brothers, but ultimately you compete against each other, and you get after it. That's what the game is all about. That's what makes it fun."

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
11 2.11 178 149
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Abreu .320
HRJ. Abreu 33
RBIJ. Abreu 99
RJ. Abreu 71
OPSJ. Abreu .983
ERAC. Sale 2.11
SOC. Sale 178