Former Major League superstar Jim Thome will be a featured guest at the White Sox Silver Slugger Camps offered by the Bulls/Sox Academy in July in Lisle and August in Glen Ellyn.
Thome will be present on Wednesday of each camp session to teach athletes the fundamental hitting techniques he mastered during his 22-year career, as well as to interact with the kids and sign autographs.
The four-day camp includes three instructional days that will teach the kids the fundamentals of baseball, plus one summer Tuesday at a White Sox Game Day Experience at US Cellular Field. Former major leaguers and current academy instructors Dan Pasqua, Michael Huff or Jim Adduci will work with campers directly on the finer points of the game.
On Tuesday of each camp week, campers, along with one parent, can be a part of the US Cellular Experience Tour, which includes a question-and-answer session with Sox radio personality Ed Farmer, current third base coach Joe McEwing and catcher Tyler Flowers. Campers then observe the White Sox batting practice (normally closed to the public), meet a player, and receive two tickets for that evening's ballgame.
The White Sox Silver Slugger Camp featuring Jim Thome is open to boys and girls ages 8 to 12. Each camper will receive a replica Jim Thome White Sox T-shirt, replica 1983 White Sox home jersey, Bulls/Sox Academy hat, authentic official Major League baseball and six ticket vouchers to be used for a 2014 home game.
The first session runs Monday to Thursday, July 21-24, at Community Park in Lisle. The second session runs Monday to Thursday, Aug. 18-21, at Ackerman Park in Glen Ellyn. Instructional days will be from 9 a.m. to noon. The cost is $275 per athlete.
Thome was a career .276 hitter, compiling 2,328 hits and 1,747 walks while playing in 2,543 games at third base, first base and designated hitter. He played in 22 seasons with six different teams including the White Sox, Indians (twice), Phillies (twice), Dodgers, Twins and Orioles. Thome is currently in seventh place on the Major League Baseball all-time home runs list with 612 and 24th on the MLB all-time RBI list with 1,699. He was a five-time MLB All-Star, a Silver Slugger Award winner and a National League Home Run Champion, as well as receiving numerous other awards on and off the field throughout his celebrated career.
While with the White Sox from 2006-09, Thome hit his 500th home run on Sept. 16, 2006, a walk-off giving the Sox a 9-7 victory against the Angels. White Sox fans will remember the monster 461-foot solo blast Thome hit in the infamous "Blackout Game," which proved to be the game winner as the Pale Hose won 1-0 during the American League Central tiebreaker battle against the rival Twins on Aug. 14, 2008. A plaque is posted on the Fan Deck on the center field concourse at US Cellular Field marking the spot of that glorious game-winning home run.
Thome is the special assistant to White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn and works with the major league staff and players, and visits the Sox farm teams to evaluate player performance.
The Bulls/Sox Academy opened in 2001 in Lisle and runs extensive training programs in basketball, baseball, fastpitch softball, and sports conditioning for boys and girls from beginner to professional. Additional academy locations are in Glen Ellyn and LaGrange. For information and to register for this camp, go to BullsSoxAcademy.com or call (630) 324-8221.