“I was actually watching the game by myself live and it was obviously awesome,” Paul Konerko said. “I sent him a quick text but I'm sure a million people did. I know he's busy. It's great. Anybody that's ever played with Jim is happy for him. Five hundred is one thing but 600, I mean, it's amazing.”
Thome not only hit No. 599 in Monday’s game at Detroit by going to the opposite field, he followed that in his next at-bat by hitting No. 600 to left.
“I wish he would have done it against us, it would have been cool to congratulate him in person,” A.J. Pierzynski said. “But to see him do it in a place like Detroit where it’s hard to hit home runs, and hit them in back-to-back at-bats and to see his family come out was pretty darn cool.”
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has never hidden his love for Thome and was ecstatic at the moment the milestone happened. Thome, who played in Chicago from 2006-09, hit 134 of his home runs with the White Sox.
“When I see his wife and his dad on the field, I almost cracked,” Guillen said. “This guy is a very special man in baseball.”
Along with Thome’s 600th home run, this season has also witnessed Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit.
“The two people I admire most in the game did something this year very well -- Derek Jeter and Jim Thome,” Guillen said. “It takes someone so consistent and takes care of himself on and off the field to do what he did for this game.”
Adam Dunn, who had been one of the most consistent home run hitters in the game until this season, could only marvel at Thome’s accomplishment.
“You knew he was going to get it eventually but I just feel like -- I don’t know why -- if a guy threw a no-hitter you’d see it around everywhere,” Dunn said. “I don’t feel like 600 home runs is getting publicized enough especially leading up to it. I know what kind of accomplishment it is and that number … I hope people realize what that number means because that’s a special thing he did.”
In fact, Dunn wasn’t the only one wondering why the run up to Thome’s 600th home run wasn’t a bigger deal.
“I guess maybe there was a little (more) hype with those things a few years back,” Konerko said. “But this is the guy they should have been breaking in (to live telecasts) with. (But) knowing Jim, (this is) the way he wants it. You could almost see when he did it last night he looked kind of embarrassed to me as far as all the attention.”