It has been said that sports can be an escape from reality. When something is bothering you the thrill of the game can take all of the pain away. Both worlds are supposed to be separate. They tragically intertwined on Monday afternoon when Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs was pronounced dead by the Southlake Police Department in Texas.
The 27-year-old was found unconscious in his hotel room in Texas as the Angels were set to face the Rangers this week. No foul play is expected at this time, and the investigation is ongoing.
Drafted by Los Angeles in the first round of the 2009 MLB Draft (40th overall), he made his debut after being traded to the Diamondbacks. Skaggs went back to the Angels in 2013. Skaggs was 28-38 with a 4.41 ERA in seven seasons. This season Skaggs was 7-7, and he just pitched a few days ago.
Skaggs was beloved by many in the baseball world. He recently discussed wanting to play inside Dodger Stadium and was just married before the start of this year.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred had the following to say about Skaggs:
“I am deeply saddened by today’s tragedy in Texas. All of us at Major League Baseball send our deepest condolences to Tyler’s wife Carli, their family, their friends and all of his Angels’ teammates and colleagues. We will support the Angels’ organization through this most difficult period, and we will make a variety of resources available to Tyler’s teammates and other members of the baseball family.”
Skagg’s passing comes ten years after the Angels lost Nick Adenhart in a car crash as a result of a drunk driver. Along with the deaths of Jose Fernandez, Yordano Ventura and Oscar Tavares, among others, it is a reminder of how life is short. Several members of the baseball community sent out tributes to Skaggs, from teammate, friends and baseball leaders all the way to those who have lost teammates themselves like Giancarlo Stanton.
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RIP Bro, My heart goes out to your family🙏🏽 My message to the @angels while having no time for yourself to grieve is to hug each other, laugh, cry, lift the ones taking it extra hard up. You’re going to wonder why all of this is happening , is it real, why are u suiting up to play a game that seems irrelevant. Some Anger will ensue while u have to grieve in a fish bowl.. A lot will go through your mind. So stay together through that. The first days back to schedule are the weirdest feeling, from the energy to the questions to having to walk by his locker. Try to Focus & understand how important your strength is for his family, all of your supporters & anyone looking for the power to overcome something. They’re looking @ you for guidance. So you all really need each other right now. Stay strong fellas I’m thinking about you!