Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Thome is back making an impact on the diamond more than 10 years since his final major league game. However, Thome isn't stepping into the batter's box, hoping to add to his 612 career home runs total. Instead, Thome is coaching his son, Landon, a freshman second baseman at Nazareth Academy High School in LaGrange Park, Illinois, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
After retiring from baseball in 2012, Jim joined the Chicago White Sox staff as a special assistant to general manager Rick Hahn. He became an assistant coach for Nazareth this spring, calling it "a lot of fun" and "special." Landon serves as the starting second baseman for a Nazareth team that is two wins away from winning its second consecutive Class 3A championship. He has a batting average of .330 with 25 RBIs and 26 runs.
A legacy and career as strong as Jim's in baseball makes it difficult for anyone to live up to, let alone his son. Therefore, he's attempted to offer support and ease his son's baseball journey as a result.
“I try to simplify it for him,” Jim told the Chicago Sun-Times. “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.”
His role as assistant coach adds to a laundry list of jobs he's juggling in his post baseball playing career. The five-time All-Star is president of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association and an analyst for MLB Network. Once he retired, Jim made his aspirations clear about possibly becoming a manager. With his recent job, he seems to be inching toward one day manning a clubhouse himself.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jim Thome coaching son in baseball at Illinois high school