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Sportress of Blogitude

Jim Thome moved to tears during first Hall of Fame visit

Jim Thome, joined by wife Andrea, paid a visit to Cooperstown this week in preparation for his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer. And the significance of it all had an emotional effect on the stoic slugger, as Thome was left teary-eyed by the clearly overwhelming moment.

“It’s hard to explain the emotions that go through you,” Thome said, via baseballhall.org. “How do you ever dream of this happening, walking through and having all those great players stare at you? It was just a special feeling. Really, really special. It’s something I’ll never forget. As much as the call meant (when he learned of his Hall of Fame election on Jan. 24), this was right there with it, to come here and share it with Andrea (Thome’s wife) and everybody here today. Just so, so great.”

The visit was part of orientation for upcoming inductees and an opportunity for Thome to discuss the logistics of enshrinement weekend.

Thome is among only 54 players who gained entry into the hallowed halls of Cooperstown on the first ballot, which Thome humbly realizes puts him in pretty exclusive company.

“How do you ever envision that?” he said.

Thome took a moment to explain why he was so overwhelmed and overcome with emotions.

“To come through here and soon to be on the wall with them is beyond special,” Thome said. “You don’t ever envision an opportunity to walk down this hall and have all this staring at you. And to share this moment with everybody here. I just feel so honored to be here.”

Thome, who has already spoken to one preference concerning his enshrinement, will be inducted on July 29 alongside Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman. Joining those four are Jack Morris and Alan Trammell, who were selected in December by a veterans committee.