The Los Angeles Angels honored pitcher Tyler Skaggs, the 27-year-old left-hander who was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas suburb of Southlake, Texas, on Monday. The cause of his death has not been given, and officials said an autopsy would be performed Tuesday.
Southlake Police said Skaggs was found unresponsive in his hotel room and that there were no signs of foul play. They also said it did not appear to be a suicide.
Hours before Tuesday's game at an emotional press conference, Angels General Manager Billy Eppler said many of those involved with the team looked at Skaggs "as a brother or a son."
Manager Brad Ausmus, who wiped away tears while speaking, said the team had all gotten together to talk about their memories of Skaggs.
"He's just a happy person," Ausmus said. "He's got the type of personality that draws others in. Like I said, he's goofy in a good, funny way. This road trip to Dallas, he came up to me four or five days before and, 'hey, we're going to Texas for two series, do you care if we all dress up in Western gear or cowboy gear?' So he kind of spearheaded that and that's one of the last pictures of Skaggys with his teammates, all dressed up in cowboy gear. And the last image I have of him is standing on a plane with this awful cowboy shirt on, playing cards."
A group shot of the team in their cowboy hats was the last photo Skaggs posted on his Instagram.
Following the news of Skaggs' death, the Angels and Rangers postponed their scheduled game Monday evening. The teams will go ahead with their matchup Tuesday evening at 7:05 p.m., and will hold a moment of silence in memory of Tyler Skaggs before the first pitch. Angels fans in the stands were clutching photos of Skaggs. Monday's game will be rescheduled for August.
Ausmus said Tuesday's game will be a "refuge for players ... where they can just focus on baseball."
In their statement announcing Skaggs' death, the Angels expressed condolences to his wife Carli and entire family.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred also released a statement Monday, saying: "I am deeply saddened by today's tragedy in Texas. All of us at Major League Baseball extend our deepest condolences to Tyler's wife Carli, their family, their friends and all of his Angels' teammates and colleagues. We will support the Angels' organization through this most difficult period, and we will make a variety of resources available to Tyler's teammates and other members of the baseball family."
Carter Evans contributed to this report.
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