Los Angeles pitcher Tyler Skaggs passed away today, at the age of 27. Skaggs’ cause of death has not officially been released but officials do not suspect there is foul play involved.
“It is with great sorrow that we report Tyler Skaggs passed away earlier today in Texas. Tyler has, and always be, an important part of the Angels family. Our thoughts and prayers with his wife Carli and his entire family during this devastating time,” the Los Angeles Angels said in a statement.
Skaggs is not the first Los Angeles Angel pitcher to pass away in the recent past. Former pitcher, Nick Adenhart died in April of 2009 due to a car accident.
Here’s what you need to know about Adenhart:
1. Adenhart Died in a Car Crash Involving a Drunk Driver
According to the Los Angeles Times, Adenhart was killed after a drunk driver slammed into his car. Adenhart was with two friends at the time.
Officials said that the driver of the other vehicle was driving with a suspended license and had been arrested due to drunk driving prior to this crash.
Adenhart was 22-years-old at the time of his death. The two friends that were riding with Adenhart also died.
2. Adenhart’s Death Came Just Hours after the Best Performance of His Young Career
According to ESPN, Adenhart had just overcome major elbow surgery and was ready to blossom into a reliable young pitcher.
“It is a tragedy that will never be forgotten,” manager Mike Scioscia said at an Angel Stadium news conference at the time of the accident.
According to Baseball America, Adenhart was named the best prospect for the Angels going into the 2009 season.
Adenhart led the Angels to a 4-0 shutout heading into the seventh inning before the Oakland Athletics came back and won the game once the Angels bullpen took over, per MLB.com.
Adenhart posted six innings pitched and recorded five strikeouts before being removed.
3. Adenhart Was Named One of LA’s Starting Pitchers after a Very Stellar Spring Training
After an extremely strong spring training, where Adenhart recorded a 3-0 record and posted a 3.12 ERA after six starts, he was bumped up to the Angels’ regular season starting rotation, according to MLB.com.
He struck out 18 batters during his time as a pitcher in spring training 2008.
Adenhart made his Major League debut in May 2008 against Oakland. He was the youngest active-roster pitcher in the majors at the time.
4. The Driver Who Hit Adenhart & His Friends Fled on Foot after the Crash
Adenhart who was a passenger in a silver Mitsubishi Eclipse was killed in Fullerton, California just after midnight on April 9, 2009, per ESPN.
The Mitsubishi Adenhart was riding in was broadsided by mini-van that allegedly ran a red-light according to police. The man in the mini-van, Andrew Thomas Gallo, 22, of Riverside, fled the crash on foot but was caught about 30 minutes after the incident.
According to the Orange County Register, Gallo was indicted on charges of felony hit-and-run, driving under the influence and causing injury, and driving with a .08 percent blood alcohol or higher and causing injury.
He was found guilty in September 2010 of two felony counts of driving under the influence causing great bodily injury and one felony count of hit-and-run. He was sentenced with 51 years to life in prison, per the OC Register.
5. Adenhart Is Remembered by a Legacy of Accomplishing His Goals
Family, friends, teammates and peers of Adenhart wanted to remember the former Los Angeles pitcher for the goals he accomplished throughout his young life.
“To, I think, focus on his loss is not what we need to do here today, we need to focus on who Nick was and his achievement,” Adenhart’s agent, Scott Boras said. “His parents really want to communicate to everyone that it’s a very difficult moment, but it’s also a very special moment because Nick was most accomplished and his life’s goal was to be a major league baseball player and he certainly achieved that standard.”
Adenhart was survived by his father Jim and mother Janet. His family released the following statement at the time of his death:
“Nick’s family expresses sincere gratitude for all the help the Angels have provided. He lived his dream and was blessed to be part of an organization comprised of such warm, caring, and compassionate people. The Angels were his extended family. Thanks to all of Nick’s loyal supporters and fans throughout his career. He will always be in everyone’s hearts forever.”