Jim Thome plays third base for first time since 1996

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For one pitch anyway.

Jim Thome, perhaps appearing in his final game in Cleveland for the Indians, took to his old position for one pitch in the ninth inning Sunday, playing third base for the first time since Sept. 29, 1996.

Thome had entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth.  He left to a standing ovation after the one pitch.

It was the first time Thome had appeared anywhere in the field since he played one game at first base for the White Sox in 2007.  He was last a regular first baseman in 2005.  Thome played 492 games at third base in his first six seasons in the majors, but none sense.

Thome hasn’t announced whether he’ll return for a 22nd big-league season in 2012.  He became just the eighth player to reach 600 career homers earlier this year.