Chace Numata, a minor league catcher in the Detroit Tigers organization, died Monday from injuries suffered last week in a skateboarding accident. He was 27.
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.
Surveillance video showed Numata was riding at about 2 a.m. ET when his skateboard suddenly stopped and he fell forward, Erie police Sgt. David Stucke told the Detroit Free Press.
“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.”
The Tigers said in a statement that Numata, a Hawai’i native who also played in the Phillies and Yankees organizations, “was beloved by many from our Major League club through all levels of our player development system.”
Numata, who was originally drafted by the Phillies in the 14th round in the 2010 draft, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers last November. He played 71 games this season for the Double-A Erie SeaWolves and six games at Triple-A with the Toledo Mud Hens.
“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.”