Minor league catcher for the Detroit Tigers, Chace Numata, died on Monday following injuries suffered last week while skateboarding. Numata was just 27 years old.
Surveillance video from the area near Chace’s accident shows that his skateboard appeared to hit something as it suddenly stopped and he was thrust forward says Erie police Sgt. David Stucke.
“It appears he just fell on the skateboard and landed headfirst on the ground,” Stucke said. “It appears he was unconscious as soon as he fell. He was knocked out.”
Police found Numata early Friday morning in downtown Erie, Pennsylvania. He was bleeding from his head, according to multiple reports, and was taken to a hospital.
Numata was finishing up his 10th season of professional baseball and split the season between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo.
The news sent shock waves through the Erie SeaWolves locker room. The Wolves locked up their season on Monday, but offered thoughts on their teammates tragic death.
“He’s a giver,” teammate and roommate Cam Gibson told the Detroit Free Press. “He’ll never ask for anything, but he’ll give. Even the small stuff. Me and him will go to Taco Bell at midnight and he forces himself in to pay for it. It’s little stuff like that. He refuses to take from people.
The Erie SeaWolves published an official statement.
“The Erie SeaWolves are heartbroken and deeply saddened by the passing of Chace Numata,” SeaWolves owner Fernando Aguirre said in a statement. “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.”
Numata was drafted in the 14th round of the 2010 MLB draft by the Philadelphia Phillies out of Pearl City High School in Hawaii. Between two minor league levels, he hit .244/.296/.354 this season with four home runs this season.