Former Phillies RHP Tyson Brummett dies at 35 in plane crash

Tyson Brummett #59 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Tyson Brummett #59 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

Brummett made his MLB debut in the Phillies’ 2012 season finale

Tragedy struck Utah’s American Fork Canyon early Friday morning, when four people died in a plane crash — among them, former Philadelphia Phillies right-handed pitcher Tyson Brummett, according to ABC 4 Utah News.

The crash occurred in a remote area, requiring investigators and search crews to be flown to the site; its cause is still under investigation. Brummett was the pilot, according to reports.

Brummett, who was 35 years old, was drafted by the Phillies in the seventh round of the 2007 amateur draft out of the University of California, Los Angeles, the same alma mater as Chase Utley. He was previously drafted twice by the San Francisco Giants in 2003 and 2004, rounds 35 and 38, respectively, however he did not sign.

The right-hander made just one career Major League appearance, entering with one out in the eighth inning of the Phillies’ 5-1 2012 season finale defeat, away against the Washington Nationals on October 3. While Brummett yielded two singles, he was able to strike out two batters to finish the inning without allowing a run; he was the Phillies’ final pitcher used that season.

After pitching in the Phillies’ minor-league organization from 2007 to 2012, he would later be selected off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays, however he made just one appearance for Triple-A Buffalo in 2013 in which he allowed five runs (four earned) in just 1/3 inning en route to a 108.00 ERA.

Brummett’s final professional stint would come with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2014 at the Double-A level, where he went 4-5 with a 2.79 ERA and 1.268 WHIP spanning 14 games and 13 starts.

According to ABC 4 Utah News, a man and his sons saw Brummett’s plane spiral downwards, adding: “As it got closer and closer, it started to make a strong right-hand turn. Coming out of that turn, the wings seemed to go back and forth a little bit, but it dipped to the right again and the plane went into a downward corkscrew motion.” He climbed down to the plane and verified its occupants died on impact.

Brummett is the third recent former Phillies pitcher to pass away from the result of a plane crash, joining fellow right-handed pitchers Roy Halladay (2017) and Cory Lidle (2006). Brummett and Halladay were teammates in 2012.

The other three occupants who passed with Brummett were his friend, Alex Ruegner, 35, as well as Ruegner’s aunt and uncle, Elaine Blackhurst, 60, and Douglas Blackhurst, 62.