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Former MLB player Sean Burroughs dies while coaching son's Little League game

Burroughs was a former Little League and Olympic champion who was a first-round draft pick by the San Diego Padres.
Boston Red Sox v Minnesota Twins
Sean Burroughs played for four teams during his MLB career, including a brief stint with the Minnesota Twins.Brace Hemmelgarn / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Sean Burroughs, a former baseball player and Olympic gold medalist who played with four teams during a seven-year major league career, died May 9 at the age of 43 while coaching his son’s Little League game, according to the official Little League website.

The social media accounts for Long Beach Little League in California posted a statement from its president and board of directors regarding Burrough’s death, calling him a “legend in LBLL and the baseball community” for winning back-to-back Little League World Series championships in 1992 and 1993.

“I have had the privilege of coaching with Sean for the past two years and he always came with a fun & friendly attitude the kids were drawn to, a wealth of baseball knowledge that could get any kid out of a batting rut and humility worth emulating. To say this is a huge loss is an understatement,” the statement continued.

Burroughs, the son of former major leaguer and American League MVP Jeff Burroughs, was selected ninth overall in the 1998 Major League Baseball draft by the San Diego Padres. The third baseman played for the Padres, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Arizona Diamondbacks and Minnesota Twins during a major league career that spanned 2002-2006 and 2011-2012. His career totals include a .278 batting average, 12 home runs and 143 RBIs.

In an interview with in 2011, the year he played with the Diamondbacks, Burroughs opened up about losing his "desire" for the game a few years earlier, as well as his struggles with substance abuse and his road to sobriety.

"It's been an incredible journey. It really has,'' Burroughs said at the time. "It was just a year ago I was eating cheeseburgers out of garbage cans and living in Motel 6. I'd be shuffling around from hotel to hotel. On the streets until 4 in the morning. These were rat motels, we called them, ones that weren't very nice. That was a year ago — then fast forward and I've got everything back together."

The Diamondbacks paid tribute to Burroughs following the announcement of his death, writing on X, “The #Dbacks mourn the passing of Sean Burroughs and offer our condolences to his family and friends. Sean was a member of the 2011 NL West champion team and beloved by his teammates, coaches, staff, and fans. Rest in peace, Sean.”

USA Baseball also honored Burroughs, a member of the 2000 USA Olympic team that captured gold in Sydney.

“We at USA Baseball are heartbroken to hear of the tragic passing of Sean,” USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler said in a statement. “Sean was a part of one of our most beloved teams, and he represented our country on and off the field in a first-class manner. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Burroughs family during this time.”