Monday seemed like an ordinary Monday for the Los Angeles Angels at first. The team was getting ready to face the Texas Rangers in a 7:05 p.m. CT first pitch. All of that took a sudden turn for the worst at 2:10 p.m. CT when Southlake Police Department personnel found former Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs unconscious and unresponsive in a Southlake, Texas hotel room after responding to a call of an unconscious male, Skaggs was just 27-years-old. Reports say that foul play is not suspected and neither is suicide. It seems the Angels can’t catch a break, they lost former teammate and Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson in 2015. As well as 22-year-old Nick Adenhart in 2009 shortly after making his MLB debut. Tyler began his major league career in 2012 with Arizona. In his 5-year major league career, Skaggs pitched in 96 games, going 28-38 with a 4.41 ERA in 520.2 innings pitched. He struck out a total of 476 batters over his career. He married Carli Skaggs in October 2018. Skaggs was set to turn 28 on July 13th. Rest In Peace Tyler, you will be missed.
Today seems like just another normal Tuesday to most of us. But for several former Atlanta Braves, it’s the day that their dreams became realities. 17 years ago today, in 2002, Atlanta selected current catcher Brian McCann and former Atlanta Braves right fielder current Atlanta Braves broadcaster Jeff Franceour in the first round of the 2002 MLB Amateur Draft. What makes this day even more special for McCann and Franceour is that at one point they were college roommates as both of the played baseball collegiately at Clemson University. Franceour spent six years with the Braves (2005-2009, 2016), three years with the Kansas City Royals (2011-2013), two years with the New York Mets (2009-2010), one year with the San Francisco Giants (2013), one year with the Philadelphia Phillies (2015), one year with the Texas Rangers (2010), one year with the San Diego Padres (2014) and one year with the Miami Marlins (2016) all in his 12-year career. McCann has spent time with Atlanta (10 years), New York Yankees (three years) and the Houston Astros (two years). Also on this day, 29 years ago in 1990 MLB Amateur Draft, the Atlanta Braves selected the man who some including myself still refer to as the “poster child” of the Atlanta franchise for 19 years from 1993 to 2012. Chipper spent his entire career donning an Atlanta uniform. It may seem like just another day to us, but to them it’s the day their lives changed forever.
Most of the time, when people get into their 80’s, especially mid-to-late 80s, people start slowing down a little as they become somewhat of a homebody and in some cases, they lose memory as Alzheimer’s starts to set in along with dementia. But for one country music icon, that’s far from the case. On this day 86 years ago in 1933, the world welcomed in what some may call a rebel, an outlaw or an icon. But my favorite description of Abbott, Texas native, Willie Nelson, is an iconic national treasure. His golden voice echoes through arenas and venues all over the world. One of the venues is at the historic Grand Ole Opry. Nelson started singing in 1956 as a young man in his early 20’s. However, he didn’t break onto the national scene until 1972. People still haven’t discovered Willie’s to living, but whatever it is, it’s working as he is still touring states and venues at age 86. I saw him in concert in Montgomery last November and that concert was the best concert I’ve ever had the opportunity to attend. Here’s to 86 years of the iconic treasure that is Willie Nelson.