CLEVELAND -- "A swing and a drive to deep right field, and that ball is gone! A game-winning home run for Jim Thome, who is being mobbed at home plate."
During their upcoming weekend series with the Texas Rangers, the Cleveland Indians will recognize both the man who called those highlights, and the man who lived them as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of Progressive Field.
On Friday night, the Indians will honor radio broadcaster Tom Hamilton, who has been the "Voice of the Indians" for 25years. As part of the pregame ceremony, the Indians will play Hamilton's all-time top 10 calls at Progressive Field.
Those audio highlights will lead into the fireworks show that will feature hit songs from 1994, the year Progressive Field opened.
During Hamilton's broadcasting career, he has called games for seven American League Central Division teams, eight trips to the postseason, and two World Series (1995 and 1997).
On Saturday, the Indians will unveil the new Jim Thome Statue, which was designed by David Deming of Lakewood, near Heritage Park in the center field area of Progressive Field. The first 12,500 fans at the ballpark will receive a replica of the Thome statue and the evening's fireworks will have a Jim Thome theme.
Thome was the most successful power hitter in Indians history, as he belted a team-best 337 home runs, drove in the second-most runs (937), hit 263 doubles and drew 1,008 walks in 1,399 games with the Indians.
Thome led the American League in walks three times in his Indians career, and hit 20 or more home runs his last nine full seasons with the Tribe (1994-2002), including a personal best, and team-record, 52 round-trippers in 2002.