Former Philadelphia Phillies player’s sudden death shocks sports world

Philadelphia Phillies' Jeremy Giambi (R) hi-fives his teammates in the dugout after his two-run homer in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers 15 August 2002 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, PA. AFP PHOTO/TOM MIHALEK (Photo by TOM MIHALEK / AFP) (Photo credit should read TOM MIHALEK/AFP via Getty Images)
Philadelphia Phillies' Jeremy Giambi (R) hi-fives his teammates in the dugout after his two-run homer in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers 15 August 2002 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, PA. AFP PHOTO/TOM MIHALEK (Photo by TOM MIHALEK / AFP) (Photo credit should read TOM MIHALEK/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Former Philadelphia Phillies player Jeremy Giambi has passed away

On Wednesday, February 9, the baseball world was rocked by the news of Jeremy Giambi‘s passing.

The former Major League Baseball player was only 47 years old. Law enforcement officials believe he committed suicide, though his cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

As he’d spent a portion of his career with the Philadelphia Phillies, they were among the teams to send condolences to his family when the news broke, as did former Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr., who was an Assistant GM during Giambi’s time with the club.

Oakland A’s executive Billy Beane, former manager Art Howe, and teammate Barry Zito made touching statements on Wednesday:

"“… a fun guy, a good guy, and an underrated player, particularly an underrated hitter. He was quite frankly an important piece of probably the best team we’ve had since I’ve been here, that 2001 team.”Billy Beane“I know how hard Jeremy played every single day. I know our fans remember him for that non-slide, but I think it’s a shame anyone even thinks about that. He was a good kid, he was well liked, and he gave me everything.”Art Howe“I am completely shocked by the news about Jeremy. He was an incredibly loving human being with a very soft heart and it was evident to us as his teammates that he had some deeper battles going on. I hope this can be a wake up call for people out there to not go at it alone and for families and friends to trust their intuition When they feel somebody close to them needs help. God bless Jeremy and his family in this difficult time.”Barry Zito"

Giambi was the Kansas City Royals’ sixth-round pick in 1996, and made his big-league debut with them in 1998. They traded him to the Oakland Athletics, where his older brother Jason played, ahead of the 2000 season.

The Phillies acquired the younger Giambi during the 2002 season, and he played 82 games for them, with 10 doubles 12 home runs.

Giambi is the second former MLB player to die tragically young this week; the day before Giambi’s passing, former outfielder Gerald Williams tragically passed away at 55 after a battle with cancer.

Update: Coroner rules Jeremy Giambi’s death a suicide

On Friday, February 11, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office officially declared suicide as Giambi’s cause of death.

If you or someone you know needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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