Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Tyler Skaggs' final Instagram post before his sudden death on Monday was a team photo taken to mark their road trip to Texas to play the Rangers. The 27-year-old pitcher was found dead less than 24 hours later in his Texas hotel room. Monday's game, the first of a nine-game, two-city trip through Texas, was cancelled.
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The photo shows every member of the Angels wearing cowboy hats, standing in front of their plane.
"Howdy y'all," Skaggs wrote in the caption, adding the hashtag "Texas Roadtrip."
Since news of Skaggs' death broke, the post has become a spot where fans are sending his family condolences.
"RIP. Angel forever," one fan wrote.
"Rest In Peace. I’m shocked," another added.
"For whomever reads this, I admired Tyler’s competition. He was the perfect balance of fury and lightheartedness. This team and community will not be the same without him," an Angels fan wrote. "Take comfort in the thought that he made a significant impact on the world. Much love."
After Skaggs' death was announced, the Rangers announced Monday night's game was postponed. It was the first of a four-game series against the Rangers, which will be followed by a three-game set against the Houston Astros before the All-Star break.
The cause of death is still unknown at this time. Southlake, Texas, police said Skaggs was found unresponsive in his hotel room at 2:18 p.m. local time. They do not suspect foul play, but the investigation is ongoing.
"It is with great sorrow that we report Tyler Skaggs passed away earlier today in Texas," the Angels said in a statement Monday afternoon. "Tyler has, and always will be, an important part of the Angels Family. Out thoughts and prayers are with his wife Carli and his entire family during this devastating time."
“I am deeply saddened by today’s tragedy in Texas," MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "All of us at Major League Baseball extend 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.”
"The fraternity of players is stunned and saddened today by the untimely death of Tyler Skaggs, and we extend our deepest sympathies to Tyler's wife, Carli, and the rest of his family, teammates and friends," MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark added.
Skaggs was a Los Angeles-area native, born in Woodland Hills, California, and played baseball at Santa Monica High School. He was drafted by Angels in 2009 and made his MLB debut with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2012. He was traded back to the Angels in 2014 and made his most recent start on Saturday against the Oakland A's.
Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images