July 1st, 2019 was a very dark day in LA Angels history. We got the shocking news that a 27-year old pitcher, Tyler Skaggs was found dead in his Texas hotel room.
The next few days seemed liked they dragged on forever for the LA Angels. The players, coaching staff, and front office were devastated by the news. The Angels press conference on July 2nd, 2019 was heart-breaking to watch as the players Andrew Heaney, Mike Trout, Justin Upton, as well as manager Brad Ausmus, general manager Billy Eppler, and owner Arte Moreno looked like they had been through a 12-round fight with Mike Tyson.
The Angels honored Skaggs that night rallying from an early three-run deficit to win 9-4. Afterward you could hear the players using Skaggs catch phrase, “We’re Nasty”. The Angels continued to give it everything they could muster through to the All-Star Break.
When the team returned home to Anaheim it was again very emotional leading up to the first home game where the team and players as well as the fans would pay tribute to Tyler Skaggs. That game will go down in Angel history as one of the most memorable games ever with 13-0 combined no-hitter.
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Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of Skaggs’ death and there were tributes to him all over twitter and instagram from the Los Angeles Angels twitter site to his former teammates. There is a lot of grief still present with many of those around the team.
Here are some of the tweets and instagram messages from those close to Tyler Skaggs.
There is no baseball this year on July 1st or July 2nd so there won’t be any on the field remembrance for Tyler Skaggs, but as you can see from a sampling of twitter and instagram that didn’t stop people close to him from remembering him on the one year anniversary of his death.
From the times I came in contact with Tyler Skaggs over the five years I have covered the Angels he always seemed to have the youthful exuberance of a typical 27-year old. I was able to interview him a couple of times and I wanted to share an excerpt from the interviews.
“I always love being around the guys and I missed that while I was injured, but it is good to be back on the mound again. I feel like I’m back where I belong,” said Skaggs weeks after returning from Tommy John surgery in August of 2016.
Skaggs showed a little bit of his great sense of humor when I had asked him what it was like when he was told he needed surgery.
“It was very tough to hear. I definitely wasn’t happy about it, but at the same time it seems to be the cool thing these days to have Tommy John (surgery),” Skaggs said with a big grin on his face.
“I just want to get out there and pitch well and help the team win.” Skaggs said.
Hopefully, even without Skaggs being around to see it the Angels may finally be able to put it altogether and make a playoff run in 2020. If this indeed happens and the Angels make it back to the playoffs again know that Tyler Skaggs is looking down from above saying “We’re Nasty”!!!