Thome played 22 seasons in the big leagues, from 1991-2012. He played for the Cleveland Indians from 1991-2002, 2011, the Philadelphia Phillies from 2003-2005, 2012, the Chicago White Sox from 2006-2009, the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2009, the Minnesota Twins in 2010 and 2011 and the Baltimore Orioles in 2012. He played in the postseason for the Indians in 1995-1999, 2001, the White Sox in 2008, the Twins in 2009 and the Orioles in 2012. Thome currently ranks 7th all time with his 612 career HRs. His 1699 career RBI rank him 24th. He has also drawn the 7th most walks in the history of the game, while ranking 2nd all time in Ks. He also has the 24th highest slugging percentage at .554 and 20th highest OPS at .956. There are few people, if any, that feel that these are not Hall of Fame numbers.
The neigh sayers will point to the time spent in Cleveland, where he was teammates with Manny Ramirez, Albert Belle and a handful of players who may or may not have used. Thome was always a big guy, and some may want to question whether or not he used PEDs. The best seasons of his career were between 1996 and 2003, which was considered the height of the steroid era. And throw in the fact that the general public takes a guilty until proven innocent approach, you can make Thome a ringer for being a steroids user.
But what if he is not? There were never any failed drug tests or suspicious activity involving Thome. As his career went on, he never suffered any injury that would make an outsider suspicious. Thome continued to produce consistently through 2008, with 23 HRs in 2009 and 25 in 2010. In my opinion, you have to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Frank Thomas being on the ballot this year will show how much consideration Thome will be given. Thomas played in the same era as Thome, put up Hall of Fame numbers and was never implicated in any story linking him to steroids. I'd put Thome in: he had a Hall of Fame career.