The news broke early this afternoon that LA Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs passed away. Skaggs, 27, was found unresponsive in his hotel room in Texas, where the Angels were preparing to play the Rangers.
Tyler Skaggs stepped right out of Southern California mythology: confident, bordering on cocky even, cool, self-assured, with rugged good looks and a bright future. Coming out of Santa Monica High, those who knew Skaggs say he knew exactly where he was going, and that he knew he would make it as a Major Leaguer.
It was only a bonus for the young lefty to be drafted by the local Angels, who would deal him to Arizona in 2010, only to reacquire him after the 2013 season.
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On the mound his presence was unmistakable. Tenacious, aggressive, that confidence allowing him to attack the zone, soar ahead in counts, and economically decimate the competition. His injury history provided more obstacles to overcome than he deserved, but he worked his way back every time, he found his way back to the mound, back to the attacking fastballs, his omnipresent confidence never wavering.
For the Angels organization and fans, we again face the loss of a beloved player in his twenties. From Lyman Bostock, who was murdered at the age of 27 in 1978, to Nick Adenhart, who was tragically killed by a drunk driver at age 22, Angels fans are dealing with an all too familiar feeling.
Tyler Skaggs gave us all confidence in tough times. He overcame injuries to continue to be a needed presence in the Angels’ rotation. He was, by all accounts, a beloved teammate and friend. He is irreplaceable, for us, for the team, and especially for his family, including his wife Carli, whom he married this past winter.
As we all grieve for Tyler Skaggs, as the shock leads to sorrow and Southern California remembers a favorite son, we are reminded again the preciousness of life and that nothing is guaranteed. Authorities in Texas have not yet revealed details of what caused Skaggs’ passing, at this time all we know is the Halos lefty is gone far too soon.