MINNEAPOLIS -- Jim Thome is no longer with the Twins, but the celebrated slugger still wanted to show his appreciation to the organization with a special gesture on Tuesday.
Thome, who was traded to the Indians late in the season and is now with the Phillies, expressed his gratitude toward the organization via a conference call during an all-staff meeting at Target Field.
And he kept an old tradition alive, as he sent every member of the front office, including scouts, Minor League staff and grounds crew a personalized autographed copy of a photo from when he hit his 600th home run on Aug. 15. He did the same with the White Sox when he hit No. 500 in 2007.
"It's a pretty special keepsake," Twins president Dave St. Peter said. "And it's just another example of the class act that Thome is."
In just under two years with the Twins, Thome, 41, hit .266 with a .387 on-base percentage and .562 slugging percentage. He also hit 37 homers with 99 RBIs in 178 games to quickly become a fan favorite in Minnesota.
His chase to 600 home runs was a major storyline for the Twins, who ultimately traded him to the Indians in late August to give him an opportunity to make the postseason. Thome missed his chance at making the postseason, as the Tigers won the division, but he signed with the Phillies this offseason in an effort to win a World Series before he retires.
"It was an honor to have Jim Thome wear a Twins uniform," St. Peter said. "He helped us win a lot of games, particularly in 2010. And it was great seeing him reach that milestone. I think Jim Thome also was honored to wear a Twins uniform. I think it worked both ways. He always had great respect for the Twins, and I think he and his wife, Andrea, fell in love with this community. It was a special experience both ways."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.