The Los Angeles Angels lost a teammate on July 1st. Tyler Skaggs, a 27-year-old pitcher, passed away while the team was on the road in Texas. The Baseball World mourned the loss of a young, talented player. The Angels’ players and organization decided to honor Skaggs during their first home game since his passing. On July 12th, the night before Tyler Skaggs’ 28th birthday, the Angels played the first home game back against the Seattle Mariners. Every Angels’ player wore “Skaggs” on their back and his number, “45”.
Now, personally, I’m a spiritual person. I believe that those we love aren’t really gone when they pass. And throughout this game, it felt like Tyler Skaggs was there, watching over his teammates and family, letting them know that he was still here with them. Here’s why.
Let’s start with the first pitch.
Mike Trout and Andrew Heaney brought a framed Skaggs jersey to the mound. Then the team held a moment of silence that lasted 45 seconds to honor Skaggs. To throw the first pitch, the Angels brought out Skagg’s mom, Debbie, who came to the mound and wrote her son’s initials in the dirt. When she took the mount it was a perfect pitch, right down the middle. She said a small thank you to the sky.
Then the 2nd batter of the game, Mike Trout, on the first pitch he sees hits a 2-run home run that goes 454 feet.
The Angels end the first inning with 7 runs. The games goes on and there is one thing standing out. Taylor Cole (Pitched 2 innings) and Felix Pena (Closed 7 innings) have got a no-hitter bid going. The team takes notice. The fans take notice. The Baseball World takes notice. It was almost as if someone was giving a little wave from up above. In the end, it’s a success. The Angels achieve a combined no-hitter on the night they’re honoring their fallen pitcher.
After the game, the Angels gathered on the field with hugs and celebration all around. And then, the team did something beautiful. They began to take they jerseys off and places them on the pitchers mound, with a photo of Skaggs in the “Field of Dreams”.
Now, remember how I mentioned that the Angels had 7 runs in the 1st innings and 13 overall? Skaggs’ birthday? July 13th (7/13). And the last time there was a combined no-hitter in the state of California? Baltimore Oriales vs Oakland Athletics – July 13th, 1991. The Day Tyler Skaggs was born!
There is no way all of this is coincidence. On the eve of Tyler Skaggs’ 28th birthday, he was watching over his teammates and family, telling them “I’m still here with you”. Rest in Piece, Mr. Skaggs. We know you’ll always be their Angel.
Featured Image: MLB Twitter