Detroit Tigers minor league player Chace Numata, 27, died after suffering injuries from a skateboarding accident in Pennsylvania.
Numata, who was playing for a Tigers affiliate Double-A team, was found lying unresponsive and bleeding on the side of the road, by police in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Officials surmise that Numata was riding his skateboard and fell striking his head on the concrete road. The event was caught on surveillance video and showed the player flying to the ground head first after a sudden stop.
The Tigers released a statement reading, “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.”
“He’s a giver,” Erie outfielder Cam Gibson told the Detroit Free Press. “He’ll never ask for anything, but he’ll give. Even the small stuff. Me and him will go to Taco Bell at midnight, and he forces himself in to pay for it. It’s little stuff like that.
“He has more heart and more soul than anybody in this entire organization,” Gibson added.
Numata was picked up by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 14th round of the 2010 MLB Draft. He also played for the New York Yankees before signing with the Tigers.
The Pearl City, Hawaii, native batted a combined .244 with four home runs and 28 RBIs with Erie and Triple-A Toledo.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.