Thome, moving to first base after the Indians acquired veteran Matt Williams, became an All-Star for the first time in 1997 and signed a long-term extension worth $24.5 million. He hit his 100th homer on May 14, 1997 against Bobby Witt of the Texas Rangers.
The Indians won the pennant, upsetting the Yankees in the ALCS, and went back to the World Series. They lost in a heartbreaking seven-game series to the Florida Marlins -- with Game 7 decided in extra innings -- and it was closest Thome would come to a World Series ring. He hit two home runs in the series, two of the 17 he hit in postseason play in his career, all of them with the Indians.
In 1998, the Yankees got revenge on the Indians, even as Thome tied an MLB record with six postseason homers, including a grand slam off David Cone in the American League Championship Series.