A quiet slugger, Thornton was Cleveland’s most identifiable player during the late 1970s and 1980s. His poise, courage, and overall attitude won the respect of fans, teammates, and opponents. If not for injuries, he would have become Cleveland’s all-time home run leader. He hit 214 homers for the Indians, 14 fewer than Hal Trosky, despite missing all of the 1980 season, much of 1981, and parts of 1985 and 1986. He led the club in homers seven times, including four straight seasons, set a club record (righthanded) by walking 109 times in 1982, and became only the second Indian with 100 walks and 100 RBI in the same season (with Al Rosen). A devout Christian, Thornton was a respectable first baseman until injury relegated him to full-time designated hitting. He was first baseman on the Baseball Digest 1974 All-Rookie team. One of the great trades in Cleveland history brought Thornton in exchange for pitcher Jackie Brown.