Chace Numata, a minor league catcher for the Detroit Tigers, died on Monday due to injuries he suffered in a skateboard accident via the Detroit News. He is from Hawaii and he was 27 years old.
When the Tigers hear the news, they released a statement.
"The Detroit Tigers are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Chace Numata. Though this was his first year with our organization, Chace was beloved by many from our Major League club through all levels of our player development system. He had an engaging personality that quickly established him as a leader on and off the field, and his presence will be forever remembered in our organization and beyond. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, teammates and coaches."
The Erie News reported that Numata was found injured on a street in Eire, Pa. on Friday morning. It was reported, "officers were called to the first block of East Fourth Street on Friday at about 2:15 a.m. on a report of a man down and found Numata on the ground, bleeding from the head. A motorist told police that he was driving through the area when he saw something in the roadway and drove around it, and found Numata, Erie police Captain Rick Lorah said."
Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire talked about Numata and the accident over the weekend.
"Just keep him in your prayers," he said. "It's a tough situation and hopefully the doctors are taking care of it. It's a sad situation, but like I said, hopefully, he'll pull through this thing."
Numata's family released a statement shortly after his passing.
"Everyone who was around Chace knew there was never a stranger in the room when he was there," his family said in the statement via Mlive.com. "It didn't matter if you were a professional athlete or young child, he made sure to make everyone feel comfortable and welcomed. His smile was contagious, unrelenting, and never-ending, while his personality could light up any environment he would be in. Our family would like to say Mahalo nui loa to everyone who prayed for, thought of, and acknowledged Chace during this difficult time. We heard you and we appreciate you all from the bottom of our hearts!"
Numata is the second baseball player to pass away in as many months as Los Angeles Angles pitcher Tyler Skaggs died in July. The autopsy reported that "a mix of fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system led him to choke on his own vomit." Skaggs' death has been ruled an accident.