CLEARWATER, Fla. During his two seasons with the Minnesota Twins, slugger Jim Thome never played in the field. His 664 plate appearances all came as either a designated hitter or pinch hitter.
"He didn't even have a glove when he was with us," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I looked in his locker for one more than once. I couldn't find one."
Now back in the National League with the Philadelphia Phillies, Thome has had to pick up a glove once again. Before the visiting Twins took batting practice Wednesday at Bright House Field, the 41-year-old Thome put on his glove, played catch in the outfield and took some reps at first base.
Any Twins fan who made the trip from Fort Myers likely had to do a double take.
"He didn't play catch. You have to play catch at least once before I put you in defensively," Gardenhire said of Thome's time with the Twins. "He didn't do that. Our goal was just to get him at-bats, as many as we possibly could and keep him available."
Thome hasn't pl...