The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim honored Tyler Skaggs during their first game at home since the pitcher's death on July 1. Every member of the team wore his number 45 and Skaggs' mother Debbie Skaggs was chosen to throw out the ceremonial first pitch to begin the homestand.
Tonight, we all wear 45. pic.twitter.com/IQ5pDzGSQD— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) July 13, 2019
The game started with an offensive barrage from the Angels, who took a quick 7-0 lead over the Seattle Mariners. Mike Trout hit his 29th homer of the season to knock in the first two runs.
Before the game began, the Angels tweeted a picture of the locker room, showing every players' locker with a Skaggs 45 jersey hanging. The team also said it is working with Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association to make special items available to honor Skaggs' memory. In the meantime, fans were asked to make a donation to the Tyler Skaggs Baseball Foundation.
"Tyler never missed an opportunity to empower his community, especially its youngest members," reads a statement on the foundation's website. "You could find him at the children’s hospital volunteering, at local elementary schools as a youth mentor, and even at the neighborhood park teaching young baseball fans how to throw a perfect curveball."
Tyler Skagg's mother, Debbie Skaggs, throws the first pitch in tonight's home game. The first game back in Anaheim since the loss of Tyler. #45July 13, 2019
The foundation was "established to honor and preserve Tyler’s legacy. Just as he was always ready to step up to the plate and use his platform to help children and families, it is our commitment to do the same."
The Angels also added the image of Skaggs on the outfield wall, with an "in memoriam" logo.
Skaggs was also honored by the MLB before the All-Star Game in Cleveland on Tuesday night. Everyone in the stands and on the field stood for a moment of silence in his memory.
"At this time, we ask that you join us in remembering the life of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who passed away last Monday," Fox Sports broadcaster Joe Buck said. "Beloved by his teammates and family, Tyler was a vibrant member of the baseball community, whose positive spirit extended far beyond the baseball field. Please join us in a moment of silence in memory of Tyler Skaggs."
Angels All-Stars Trout and Tommy La Stella also wore the number 45 during the All-Star Game.
Skaggs was found dead in his Texas hotel room on July 1, just before the Angels were scheduled to play the Texas Rangers. The game was postponed after his death was announced by both teams.
“It is with great sorrow that we report Tyler Skaggs passed away earlier today in Texas," the Angels said in a statement. "Tyler has, and always will be, an important part of the Angels Family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Carli and his entire family during this devastating time."0comments
Skaggs' cause of death is still officially unknown as his family has requested the autopsy results not be released immediately, and it might not be completed until October. Police have ruled out foul play and believe suicide was not involved.
Photo credit: John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images