Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/14/12

The Minnesota Twins hold the lease on Target Field, but Jim Thome proved Wednesday he still owns it.

Visiting with the Philadelphia Phillies, the former Twins slugger hit what proved to be the game-winning home run an estimated 466 feet over the batter's eye in center field, giving his team a 9-3 fourth-inning lead that barely stood up in a 9-8 victory.

So revered is Thome in Minnesota that most of the 32,581 in attendance gave him a standing ovation.

"I heard them cheer, I did," Thome said. "But again, you're in the moment. I appreciate it, I did, but as the ballgame's going on, you're focused on that. But Minnesota has been a very special place. I enjoyed my time here. And for them to do that, it does mean a lot, no doubt."

Thome has 23 homers at Target Field, more than any other player has. He's six ahead of Colorado's Michael Cuddyer, who also left the Twins after the 2011 season. Thome has twice cleared the batter's eye and holds the top four places on the park's homer-distance list -- 490, 480, 466 and 465 feet. That he hit that third one at the age of 41 is remarkable, even for a slugger who seems destined for the Hall of Fame.

"That," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire marveled, "is what Reggie Jackson used to call 'the deep water.'"

Thome played two seasons in the Twin Cities, and he led the team with 25 homers in 2010, Minnesota's last postseason year. He hit his 600th homer as a member of the Twins in a 9-6 victory at Detroit on Aug. 15, 2011.

He went 2-for-4 with four RBI on Wednesday, starting the scoring with a two-run, bases-loaded single in the first. He missed a month because of his bad back, which has plagued him off and on since his first stint with Philadelphia, but since being activated, he's batting .435 (10-for-23) with two doubles, two homers and 10 RBI in seven games.

"It means a lot to go down to Florida and work hard and to get back and get some at-bats and be a little bit productive," he said.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Larry Brown: If Phil Jackson wants triangle, he should coach Knicks

Report: Saban turned down interest from six NFL teams

Browns will listen to offers for first pick in 2017 NFL Draft

Rams officially place franchise tag on Trumaine Johnson

11-year-old writes letters to NBA teams to tout Monmouth player

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Doug Marrone affirms that Blake Bortles is Jaguars’ quarterback

Dan Quinn says he's never got over the Falcons' Super Bowl LI collapse

Trevor Siemian shoulder injury more severe than originally thought

Former Cub David Ross to appear on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

Julio Jones to be evaluated, may need surgery on injured foot

Report: Cowboys OT Doug Free considering retirement

Box Score 3/1: It's all about Durant and his knee

The 'Simone Biles vs. Mr. T dance-off you didn't know you wanted until now' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Daryl Morey burns up the phone lines

The top 10 MLB left fielders headed into spring training 2017

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

The best sports movies available to stream right now

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/28: Fat Tuesday means athletes on floats.

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Daryl Morey burns up the phone lines

The 'Simone Biles vs. Mr. T dance-off you didn't know you wanted until now' quiz

The top 10 MLB left fielders headed into spring training 2017

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in the 1980s

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in a season since 2000

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker