The Los Angeles Angels honored their pitcher, Tyler Skaggs, who passed away at the age of 27 by donning jerseys emblazoned with his name and number on Friday for their first home game since his unexpected passing.
To kick off the game at Angel Stadium, Skaggs' mother, Debbie Hetman, threw a perfect first pitch to her son's good friend Andrew Heaney, a fellow Angels pitcher.
Tyler Skaggs was found unresponsive in his hotel room on July 1 and the cause of his death has yet to be revealed, although foul play and suicide have been ruled out as the causes. It could be three months before the medical examiner's office releases the autopsy report.
Skaggs, who would have turned 28 on Saturday, was drafted by the Angels in 2009. He was later traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks and made his major league debut with them in 2012.
Just before the 2014 season, the left-handed starter was traded back to his hometown Angels. Skaggs, a suburban Los Angeles native of Mexican descent on his mother's side, was known for his fast curveball. He is survived by his wife, Carli Miles, who he wed at the end of the 2018 baseball season.
The team then delivered a no-hitter game, the 11th in the franchise's history, which has been checkered with tragedy. Center fielder Mike Trout drove in six runs, resulting in a 13-0 game against the Mariners.
Skaggs' mom Debbie, along with his stepfather Dan and stepbrother Garret and wife Carli watched the opening ceremony tearfully, comforting one another at times.
All of the players and fans had Skaggs on their minds. "What a night, you know, to honor him, 45, with his mom here, Carli, his whole family, friends, in front of our home fans," Trout told the MLB Network after the game. "This was definitely for him and he was definitely watching over us tonight." he added.
After their win, the Angels ceremoniously left their jerseys on the mound in a touching tribute to their teammate.
It was a touching tribute for a promising player, gone too soon.