Angels Wear Number 45 in Honor of Tyler Skaggs in First Home Game Since His Death
The team's starting pitcher was found dead in his Texas hotel room on July 1 while the Angels were on the road for a series against the Rangers
The Los Angeles Angels paid tribute to pitcher Tyler Skaggs during Friday night’s game against the Seattle Mariners.
The game marks the first time the Angels returned to home turf since Skaggs died at age 27 earlier this month. The entire team turned out in jerseys with Skaggs’ number, 45, to honor their late teammate.
The team also announced on Friday that merchandise honoring Skaggs will soon be available for fans and encouraged those looking for another way to honor him to donate to his foundation, which has the goal of “inspiring leadership, confidence and teamwork through youth and community programs.”
“We’re currently working with the MLB and MLBPA on making items available honoring Tyler in the Angel Stadium Team Store. In the meantime, fans interested in donating can do so through his foundation here,” the team said in a tweet, linking out to The Tyler Skaggs Baseball Foundation.
Skaggs’ mother, Debbie, threw out the first pitch for Friday’s game.
In a video released by Fox Sports, Debbie is clearly emotional, and brings her hands together in a prayer-like posture as she gazes up at the sky. The crowd at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim gave her a huge round of applause as her son’s teammates gave her hugs.
Skaggs was found dead on July 1 in his Texas hotel room as the Angels were on the road for a series against the Rangers. His cause of death has yet to be released, but police said they did not suspect foul play at the time.
The game that was scheduled for that night was postponed in the wake of his tragic and unexpected death.
In the first game after Skaggs’ death, which was against the Rangers on July 3, the teams held a moment of silence for the fallen pitcher.
“Please join the Texas Rangers, the Los Angeles Angels and all of Major League Baseball as we observe a moment of silence in honor of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs,” the announcer said at that game, which the Angels won 9-4.
Skaggs’ teammates brought out his jersey during the National Anthem and wore the number 45 on small black patches adhered to each of their jerseys. The number was also painted on the pitcher’s mound.
The team will wear the “45” patches for the remainder of the season, according to Bleacher Report.