Angel Echevarria, a former Major Leagues Baseball player who played for seven seasons, passed away on Friday, Feb. 7, while at the Bridgeport hospital, according to multiple reports.
As reported by Connecticut Post, his girlfriend of five years, Jazmine Cox, said that Echevarria wasn’t feeling well in the weeks leading up to his death. On Friday, Echevarria hit his head while at home in Bridgeport and died of unknown reasons, according to Cox, the news outlet reported. She said that Echevarria called her after the fall he took on Friday.
News 12 Connecticut spoke to Echevarria’s brother, Jose Echevarria, who said that when his brother fell, there was a chance that he got a concussion.
“He fell, hit his head, he must have had a concussion. Whatever happened, they tried to resuscitate him, and he just passed away,” Jose Echevarria said, according to News 12, Connecticut. The news outlet reported that Jose Echevarria was devastated by the loss of his brother.
Jose Echevarria also told the news outlet that his brother had a stomach complaint in the days leading up to his death. After being transported to the Bridgeport hospital, Angel Echevarria was pronounced dead.
Cox spoke about Echevarria fondly, saying how the former major league baseball player loved working with children, according to Connecticut Post.
“He was caring and generous and loved working with children. He was always doing free clinics. He loved Bridgeport. Everyone will say he had a kind word for everyone. He was so giving, so generous, so full of life. He always wanted to give back. He would always say he grew up here, that Bridgeport made him who he was, and he was not going to leave,” said Cox.
Jose Echevarria said that he was very proud of his brother and always talked to people about his brother, according to News 12, Connecticut. Jose Echevarria recalled an incident when fans were very vocal with their opinions of his brother.
“People always got something to say, but they don’t have the courage to do what they want to do in life,” Jose Echevarria said.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) offered his condolences and said, “the loss of Angel Echevarria derives so many young people of a role model and a hero,” according to News 12 Connecticut.
“He was loved by so many. It’s so overwhelming the number of people who have reached out. It’s a testament to who he was. He lived, he shared, everyone learned from him. And not just baseball. That is where he shined. He used to tell me, ‘When I have a kid in the batting cages, I don’t want to teach them how to be a pro player, but how to be a great young man or young woman,'” Cox said, according to Connecticut Post.
The Associated Press reported that Angel Echevarria was drafted in the 17th round by the Colorado Rockies in 1992, Echevarria made his MLB debut on July 15, 1996, for the organization. He also played for the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs during his seven seasons and later played two seasons in Japan.
His best MLB season was 1999 when he batted .293 with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs in 102 games. He finished with a career .280 average.
Echevarria hit 31 home runs for Rutgers. He currently is fourth in career home runs for the Scarlet Knights, sixth with 145 career RBIs and 10th with 329 total bases.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.