The father of baseball Hall of Famer Jim Thome has died.
Chuck Thome died at his home Saturday at the age of 83. Jim Thome’s wife, Andrea, announced Chuck Thome’s passing on Twitter.
Today we unexpectedly lost Jim’s dad, a giant among men, with a razor sharp wit and of gold. He saved a seat for his beloved at last summer’s HOF, and I know she is saving one for him by the pool in Heaven…where they’ll wait for the next spring training game to start. pic.twitter.com/grcTlR1mnO
— Andrea Thome, Author (@AndreaThome) March 16, 2019
Thome’s friend, Frank Abnour, told the Journal Star Chuck Thome had been ill recently, but his death was still sudden.
The family suspects Chuck Thome died of a heart attack.
Thome was in the audience at Coopertown, New York July 29 when his son was inducted into the Professional Baseball Hall of Fame.
During his induction speech Thome recalled he and his father previously visited the Hall of Fame ten years prior as Thome presented his 500th home run ball.
“It was an incredibly special moment, but I’m guessing that you think this is just a little bit better,” Thome said while addressing his father. “Thank you for teaching me not just about the game of baseball, but how to be a man and how to always put family first.”
Chuck Thome was at Gebby’s Family Restaurant in Peoria Jan. 24, 2018 watching the official announcement that his son had been elected to the Hall of Fame.
“I knew what the count and the ballots were, but still it’s pretty awesome,” Chuck said through tears.
Chuck said his son called him shortly before the announcement.
“He said I hope you are having a nice day and hope the food is good,” Chuck said smiling.
Chuck said he was proud of his son’s character and his work ethic that helped him earn the honor.
“He did it right and there is a place in my kitchen that says, ‘No asterisk needed,’ and there ain’t no asterisk needed for him,” Chuck said.
In a statement after the announcement, Jim Thome said he would not be in the Hall without his father.