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McGowan reflects on pitcher's untimely death
Joe Kennedy
Major League Baseball pitcher Joe Kennedy collapsed this past Friday at around 1:15 a.m., while staying with his wife’s parents in Tampa, Fla.
He was transported to Brandon Hospital in Hillsborough County where he was pronounced dead. The cause of death is still undetermined.
The 28-year-old left-hander had been a MLB pitcher since 2001 when he pitched for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Since then, he had been with several organizations in the majors, but had signed with the Toronto Blue Jays this past August as a teammate of Long County native Dustin McGowan.
“We were very shocked and extremely saddened to hear of his death,” McGowan said.
When asked about Kennedy, McGowan said, “I did get to know him for a short time near the end of the season. He was a great guy, an excellent ball player,and a man who loved his family very much. He’ll be missed on and off the field.”
According to reports, Kennedy was in Florida to be a best man for a wedding when the tragedy took place.
Kennedy had spent seven years in the majors and, besides playing for Tampa Bay and Toronto, he had pitched for Oakland, Arizona and Colorado. He had a career record of 43-61 and an ERA of 4.79 in 222 appearances.
This year as a Blue Jay, he picked up a win Sept. 21 against the New York Yankees.
According to a report by the Toronto Blue Jays, Kennedy had filed for free agency after the World Series and team president and CEO Paul Godfrey “had every intention” of contacting the pitcher about returning to the Jays next year.
“My wife and I would just like to express our deepest sympathies to his wonderful wife, Jami, and their son. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them, and we are here for anything they might need,” McGowan said.
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