It may have been the ultimate tribute to Tyler Skaggs, the Los Angeles Angels pitcher who was found dead in a Texas hotel room earlier this month.
Every Angels player wore Skaggs’ number 45, his mom Debbie Hetman threw out the first pitch — a perfect strike — then Angels pitchers Taylor Cole and Félix Peña combined on a no-hitter as Los Angeles beat the Seattle Mariners 13-0.
The Angels capped the evening by laying their No. 45 jerseys on the pitching mound after the game.
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“Tonight was in honor of him,” centerfielder Mike Trout said. “He was definitely looking over us tonight. He’s probably up there saying we’re nasty. What an unbelievable game to be a part of. I’m speechless. This is the best way possible to honor him tonight. It was pretty crazy.”
The team wore red home jerseys with Skaggs’ name and number on them in their first game since the All-Star break. Skaggs was also honored at Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game in Cleveland.
The Angels also shared a video tribute of Skaggs’ life before Friday’s game against Seattle, which was being played one night before what would have been Skaggs’ 28th birthday, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Other tributes abounded for the 27-year-old pitcher, whose cause of death has not been disclosed. His jersey, cleats and gloves still hang untouched in his locker and several photos of him were posted around Angel Stadium, the team’s home in Anaheim.
A fan memorial outside the front entrance continues to grow.
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“He’s still a part of the team, even though he’s not here,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said.
“He’s the life of the team, honestly,” infielder Zack Cozart said. “We’re family in here. We’re around each other all day, every day. You just hurt so much for Tyler’s family. … It’s so sudden and so tragic. Forty-five (Skaggs’ jersey number) will always be in my mind. That’s how it’s always going to be for all of us.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.