Tigers minor leaguer dies in skateboarding accident

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Terrible news: Chace Numata, a minor league catcher in the Detroit Tigers organization, died yesterday from injuries he sustained in a skateboarding accident early Friday morning. He was 27.

Police found Numata, unconscious, at around 2AM Friday morning in downtown Erie, Pennsylvania, where he played for the Double-A Erie SeaWolves. Surveillance video showed that Numata was riding an electric skateboard when it abruptly stopped, causing him to fall forward and strike his head on the pavement. Just a horrible freak accident.

The Tigers said in a statement that Numata “was beloved by many from our Major League club through all levels of our player development system.” Erie SeaWolves owner Fernando Aguirre said in a statement that the team is “heartbroken and deeply saddened by the passing of Chace Numata.” He said “Chace was a leader, an outstanding teammate, a friend to many, and his personality was positive and infectious. He made everyone he met feel welcome, and he had a very positive impact throughout the SeaWolves organization and the Erie community.” This story at Deadspin has many other comments from former coaches and teammates, making it clear how popular Numata was with his colleagues.

Numata, was originally drafted by the Phillies in the 14th round in the 2010 draft. He spent 2018 in the Yankees organization before signing a minor league deal with the Tigers last November. He played 71 games this season for the Double-A Erie SeaWolves and six games at Triple-A with the Toledo Mud Hens.