CLEVELAND — When Jason Giambi signed with the Indians, he asked home clubhouse and equipment manager Tony Amato if Jim Thome’s No. 25 was available. Amato said it was since Thome hadn’t officially retired yet. Thome was also OK with Giambi wearing it.
With Thome announcing his retirement on Saturday and signing a one-day contract with the Indians, Giambi thought it was right to return the favor. After Thome threw out the first pitch to Sandy Alomar, Giambi said he was changing his number for the remainder of the season to honor Thome. Giambi also gave Thome his jersey.
After Saturday’s 2-0 Indians win over the Rangers, Giambi said everything happened quickly because no one in the clubhouse knew that Thome was retiring.
"That was my cue to do something and to never have anyone wear it again," Giambi said. "Any time you’re erecting a statue of someone you’ve done something pretty special on and off the field. What he has meant to this organization, you can’t say enough about Jim Thome. I thought by the end of the year they would officially retire it but when the contract was announced to come back it was like the universe had spoken to me."
Giambi’s new number has not been announced yet. Whenever No. 25 is officially retired, it would be the seventh in team history.