DETROIT – You’ve heard the story of Tyler Skaggs. He was a 27-year-old MLB pitcher for the Angels who was found dead in his hotel room on July 1st.
It’s a heartbreaking story of a young man in his prime, with so much potential, gone too soon. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. There’s no way for his family to understand it. It’s just unfair.
Enter the events of last night at Angel Stadium. It was the first home game for the Angels since Skagg’s death and it was really special.
In the pregame ceremony, Skagg’s family was welcomed onto the field. His mom, wife, stepdad and stepbrother were presented with a framed Skagg jersey, the same #45 the whole team was wearing on that night.. A video played with Skagg’s highlights and then his mom threw out the first pitch, a perfect strike.
That was only the beginning.
The game began and the angels scored seven runs in the first inning. They finished with 13. Mike Trout pointed out that Skagg’s birthday is July 13.
Then, pitchers Taylor Cole and Felix Pena combined to no-hit the Mariners. A no hitter on a night they are honored a celebrated pitcher. It’s amazing.
Justin Verlander tweeted out last night:
There are so many examples of sports getting us through hard times. The Bruins game following the Boston Bombing, the Vegas Golden Knights game following the Las Vegas shooting at a concert. The time President Bush threw out the first pitch after 9-11.
Last night in LA felt like one of those times. Sports is not life or death, but in some cases sports can bring people together and help people grieve.