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Jim Thome returns to diamond to coach son’s high school team: ‘So special’

More than 10 years since he played in his last MLB game, Jim Tome has returned to the game.

But this time, he’s coaching his son.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Baseball Hall of Famer will coach his son, Landon, a freshman second baseman, at Nazareth Academy High School in LaGrange Park, Illinois.

Thome, 52, retired after the 2012 season following his 22-year career where he slugged 612 home runs and was named an All-Star five times.

Following his illustrious playing career, he joined the White Sox as general manager Rick Hahn’s special assistant before taking his assistant coaching role at Nazareth.

Despite all of his jobs in the baseball world, Thome said he’s having a blast.

“Yeah, this has been a joy,” Thome told the Sun-Times. “I’ve told my wife — we’ve talked about this, things go very quick with your kids, right? We’ve got a daughter at Purdue.

“And watching that process, that journey — you’ve got to embrace every moment with your kids and enjoy it. And this has been so special.”

Jim Thome walks onto the field to throw the first pitch prior to game 3 of the American League Division Series 2 between the Chicago White Sox and the Houston Astros in 2021.
Getty Images
Jim Thome poses with his family during the MLB Red Carpet Show in 2019. He currently is an assistant coach for his son Landon's high school baseball team.
MLB Photos via Getty Images

In the middle of a deep run, the high school team is now two wins away from winning its second-consecutive Class 3A championship with Landon, who is batting .330 with 25 RBIs and 26 runs scored.

Thome said there can be extra pressure when one of your coaches happens to be your father, especially one with the baseball legacy Thome has.

Keeping this in mind, Thome said he’s trying to be supportive of Landon, but noted his son has worked plenty hard to get to where he is now.

“I try to simplify it for him,” the older Thome said. “I’ve got to say he works extremely hard. And as his dad, I’m really, really proud of him. He’s a young kid that really loves to play the game and has been given an unbelievable opportunity around a ton of great players.”

Jim Thome speaks during the 2018 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018.
MLB via Getty Images

Along with this new coaching gig, Thome will continue to juggle his other post-career obligations and aspirations.

Thome also holds the role of president of the MLB Players Alumni Association and works as an analyst for MLB Network.

Thome concluded his impressive career with 1,699 RBIs over 2,543 games with a slash line of .276/.402/.554.

His 337 homers with Cleveland is a franchise record while his .980 OPS ranks third-best in team history.