The mother of Phillies slugger Jim Thome died yesterday afternoon.
Joyce Thome, 68, died peacefully at home in Peoria, Ill. She had battled cancer for a year.
"She was a wonderful woman," Andrea Thome, Jim's wife, said last night. "She was so much more than a mother-in-law. She was a great friend. We sat at so many games over the years and shared so many laughs. I can't tell you how much she'll be missed."
Doctors diagnosed her with lung cancer last winter, but Mrs. Thome made it to the Phillies' home opener in April. Jim Thome called it the most special opener of his career.