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Today in Blue Jays History: Frank Thomas Hits 500th Home Run

Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins

15 Years Ago Today

Frank Thomas hit his 500th home run.

It was a three-run shot in the first inning, giving us an early lead on the Twins. Carlos Silva gave up a single to Alex Rios, got Howie Clark to fly out, Vernon Wells walked, Matt Stairs singled, scoring Rios, and then Thomas hit his 13th home run of the year.

Frank also drove in a run with a double in the 3rd inning of the game, but his 4 RBI weren’t enough to win us the game. The Twins score a run in the 1st, 3rd and 4th innings, then 4 more in the 5th, rolling to an 8-5 win. Silva got the win, even giving up 5 runs in 7 innings. Joe Nathan got the save. Jason Frasor took the loss, relieving A.J. Burnett with 2 on and none out in the 5th. He let the inherited runners score, plus 2 runs of his own, from a Torii Hunter home run. Someone named Jordan De Jong pitched the final 3 innings for the Jays. I have no memory of him at all.

The 2-year contract that JP signed Thomas to before the 2007 season looked so good that first year. Frank hit 26 home runs and drove in 95, with a .277/.377/.480 line (one of the best seasons we’ve ever had from a DH), but the following year he started very slow, and the Jays released him after a handful of games so that a vesting option wouldn’t trigger. His release (and mistakes by JP) led to us being treated to the two-headed Menserson monster later in the season.

Frank finished with 521 career home runs (29 with the Jays) and 1704 RBI (106 with the Jays), numbers that should get him into the Hall of Fame unless we find out that he lied about not using PEDs.

Also, we shared this ad five years ago on this day. I know it is an ad for Sport Chek, but I think it is pretty cool. After several tries, Kevin Pillar ‘blows’ out a candle with a thrown ball from 150 feet away. The throw that did it was perfect.