Former MLB player Frankie De La Cruz has tragically passed away at 37. The baseball player had a stellar career since his teenage years when he played with the Detroit Tigers.
The Major League Baseball association recently lost a talent in the person of relief pitcher Frankie De La Cruz, who sadly passed away on Sunday. The sad news was first shared Dominican winter league team, Toros del Este.
The Estes described the late player as the "soul of the team" in an announcement by radio personality Omar Sanchez. They honored his legacy, writing, "In heaven, you will be on the mound."
Frankie De La Cruz #63 of the Milwaukee Brewers posed for a portrait at a photo day at Maryvale Baseball Park on February 26, 2012 | Photo: Getty Images
De La Cruz's death was then confirmed by Milwaukee Brewers, where the deceased played in 2011, via a statement on Twitter. Alongside a photo of De La Cruz on the field in his No. 63 jersey, the club wrote:
"Condolences to the family and friends of former Brewers pitcher Frankie De La Cruz, who passed away last night at the age of 37."
They praised his impact on the team, noting that he made 11 relief appearances for the 2011 NL Central champions. The tweet was liked over 1,000 times, with fans sending thoughts and prayers to his family.
Cruz's trade is significant in the Tigers' history.
De La Cruz was 37 at the time of his demise. According to Diario Libre in the Dominican Republic, where he was born, the athlete died of a heart attack. The talented sportsman started his career when he was just 17.
The then-teenager signed for the Detroit Tigers in 2001 as a free agent and stayed there for six years before making his debut for the club in 2007. Shortly after, he was traded to the Miami Marlins alongside other notable players.
De La Cruz's trade is significant in the Tigers' history as it allowed for Miguel Cabrera and ace pitcher Dontrelle Willis to come to the club from the Marlins. There the late athlete only spent a year before joining the San Diego Padres.
He was released from the Padres in 2009 and played in Tokyo for a while before being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2011, where he made history with his career. He reportedly had his best season having a 2.77 ERA in 13 innings.