Sports are wonderful.
You already knew that.
We were all given a reminder of this last week.
On July 1 Tyler Skaggs, a 27 year old pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels, was found dead in his Texas hotel room. Let’s put aside any speculation about the cause of death, and focus on the aftermath.
The Angels and Texas Rangers game scheduled for that night was quickly canceled. Moments of silence were observed throughout Major League Baseball. Skaggs’ teammates had to come to grips with the loss of a teammate, a friend, a brother.
Sports teams are essentially a family. Sure they don’t always get along, and sometimes a separation even has to happen. For the most part, though, a team spends so much time together that you become united in good times and bad. Therefore, Skaggs’ unthinkable and unfortunate death forced the rest of his Angels brothers to come together.
This is where the shot of wonderful was injected.
The All Star break gave everyone with the Angels a chance to take a breath. Mike Trout, as always, did a great job representing the team, and Skaggs, at the All Star game.
Then came last Thursday night, when the Angels played their first game in Anaheim since the death of Skaggs. Every Angels player wore Skaggs number 45, and the number was painted onto the mound. Finally, the team had Skaggs’ mother throw out the first pitch to his best friend on the team, Andrew Heaney. Of course she threw a perfect strike.
Then we got a booster shot of wonderful.
Taylor Cole and Felix Pena combined on a no-hitter, as the Angels throttled the Seattle Mariners 13-0. A no hitter on the night the team honored their fallen pitcher. Only sports can write this kind of script.
As the entire team gathered on the field to celebrate look what happened next.
— Tim Clark (@TrojanTim66) July 13, 2019
That is powerful stuff.
Nothing will bring back Tyler Skaggs. However, for at least one night his family got to see how much their son, brother, husband meant to his teammates, and how much those teammates cared for him.
Bad things happen in life. We all wish the bad stuff would stay away, but unfortunately it rears its ugly head from time to time. Often times sports are there to give relief, honor the fallen, and provide at least a small sense of comfort to those affected by the bad events.
Sports truly are wonderful.
Tim Clark is a columnist and editor for PennSports.LIVE, and a wonderful writer of words. He is a lifelong sports fanatic with an eclectic mix of favorite teams including USC Trojans football, Louisville Cardinals basketball, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins in pro sports.