The Los Angeles Angels honored Tyler Skaggs Friday evening prior to the team’s first home game since the 27-year-old pitcher was found dead in his hotel room in Southlake, Texas.
All Angels players and other uniformed personnel wore jerseys with Skaggs No. 45 and name on the back for the game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium. The team will wear a No. 45 patch on their jerseys for the remainder of the season.
An honorary first pitch was thrown by Skaggs’ mother Debbie, who spent 28 seasons as softball coach at Santa Monica High School before retiring following the 2015 season so she could support his career with the Angels. She remains as a physical education teacher at the school.
The pitch was caught by Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney, Skaggs’ best friend.
A framed No. 45 jersey was placed behind the mound by Angels star Mike Trout and Heaney. Skaggs’ widow Carli, his stepbrother, Garret, and his stepfather, Dan Ramos, also were at the mound.
A video of highlights of Skaggs’ MLB career was shown. A 45-second moment of silence was conducted.
A picture of Skaggs was placed on the outfield fence and will remain there for the remainder of the season.
Trout hit the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the first for a home run. He hit a two-run double later in the seven-run first inning.
Skaggs was found dead July 1 while the team was in Texas for a series against the Rangers. A cause of death has not yet been released, but police in Southlake said they did not suspect foul play or suicide.
The July 1 Angels-Rangers game was canceled due to Skaggs’ death. The teams returned to the field the next night, with Angels manager Brad Ausmus saying the game would be “a refuge for the players where they can turn their minds off and just focus on baseball.” The Angels won,
Skaggs was one of the most popular players in the clubhouse and one of the Angels’ most reliable pitchers this season, going 7-7 with a 4.29 ERA in 79 2/3 innings across 15 starts. He was 28-38 with a 4.41 ERA during a seven-year career that was interrupted by the Tommy John surgery in 2014 and several other injuries.
Skaggs was a native of Woodland Hills and a graduate of Santa Monica High School. He was married in December. He and his wife had no children.
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