Nine Major League Baseball players paid tribute to late Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs during the Players' Weekend. Players typically put nicknames in the back of their jerseys as a ritual for the special event. Nationals starter Patrick Corbin and Rangers reliever Jesse Chavez wore "FORTY FIVE," Skaggs' jersey number as their nicknames.
White Sox starter Lucas Giolito, Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty, Braves starter Max Fried, Rangers first baseman Scott Heineman, Brewers third baseman Mike Moustakas and Brewers outfielders Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun wore "LOVE YOU TY" on the backs of their jerseys, as first reported by The Washington Post.
"Players' Weekend is all about expressing yourself, whether that be with style or those types of things," Giolito told MLB.com about the gesture. "We just want to express our love for him. It's never going to end, despite his passing, and we are in support of his family as they continue to go through this hard time."
The players rocked the jerseys Friday night, and will reportedly wear a different nickname for the rest of the weekend's events.
Tonight was for you, Ty. pic.twitter.com/7nIohv8wwG— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) August 24, 2019
"Being able to have his name across the back in some type of fashion was something I really wanted to do, and I'm thankful we had the opportunity and the other guys around the league who did it," Flaherty told the outlet.
Outside of those nine players, all teams will reportedly wear a jersey patch in memory of Skaggs this weekend.
Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room on July 1, shocking his teammates, fans and family members. The team was set to play against the Texas Rangers, but the game was postponed after news of the player's death broke. Police noted at the time that they didn't believe the death to be suicide or foul play.
"He was in the prime of his life and the prime of his career — it's very tough," Angels manager Brad Ausmus told MLB according to WPSD NBC 6 at the time. "I walked into the ballpark today and saw the flowers and signs out front and that was special. I went for a run on the field and saw Tyler’s picture on the board. It brings back some emotion."0comments
The Angels wore "45" patches in honor of Skaggs the rest of the season, with his locker kept intact at the home field and a locker left open for him on the road.
The MLB star's death came with some controversy, as many fans continue to wonder why his official cause of death was never announced.