Hideki Irabu’s death last month was confirmed as a suicide and today the Los Angeles department of public health released his death certificate, which lists “self-inflicted with rope” as the official cause of death.
Irabu, who was 42 years old and married with two children, passed away on July 27 at his home in Los Angeles.
Last year in California he was arrested for drunk driving and three years ago in Japan he was arrested for allegedly assaulting a bar manager after drinking approximately 20 glasses of beer.
Irabu starred in Japan before signing with the Padres in 1997, later being traded to the Yankees where he fell well short of the lofty expectations and was called a “fat toad” by owner George Steinbrenner.
He was far from a total bust in New York, however, going 24-16 with a 4.44 ERA in two full seasons as a starter. Irabu was then traded to the Expos for Jake Westbrook and signed with the Rangers as a free agent in 2002 before returning to Japan to finish his career.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please seek help. Give the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline a call at 1-800-273-8255.