The 51-year-old former Limestone and Illinois Central College player is the MLBPAA's fourth president. He replaces Brooks Robinson, who led the group for 33 years.
Thome finished his 22-year MLB career with 612 home runs, good for eighth all time —along with 2,328 hits, 1,699 RBIs and a .276 average. He was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018, his first time on the ballot.
“With what Brooks has done with his honesty, integrity, and leadership skills for the MLBPAA," Thome said, "I am very fortunate that I will be able to lean on him as well and ask him questions. To be the president is a great honor and it’s very humbling."
Previous presidents were Robinson (1989-2022), Jim Kaat (1986-1989) and Jim Hannan (1982-1986). The group celebrated its 40th anniversary on Feb. 17, 2022.
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Thome began playing baseball in the West Peoria youth leagues, before moving on to Bartonville’s Limestone High School and Illinois Central College in East Peoria.
Thome was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 1989 and spent more than a decade with the franchise, helping them to two World Series appearances. The five-time All-Star went on to play for five other teams before retiring in 2012. He know works in the front office for the Chicago White Sox.
This article originally appeared on Journal Star: MLB baseball: Jim Thome new president of MLB player alumni association