DETROIT >> Detroit Tigers minor league catcher Chace Numata from Pearl City has died days after being injured in a skateboarding accident in Pennsylvania. He was 27.
Numata’s family and the team announced the death today.
Numata, a 2010 graduate of Pearl City High. He was an All-State utility player and helped the Chargers to the 2010 O’ahu Interscholastic Association baseball championship playing several positions, including pitcher and infielder.
He was a 14th-round selection of the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2010 free agent draft as a catcher. Numata was hitting .239 for the Class AA Erie (Pa.) Tigers at the time of his accident.
He was found unresponsive Friday morning by police in the northwestern Pennsylvania city.
GoErie.com reported that police found Numata on the ground, bleeding from the head. Surveillance video was reviewed, and police Capt. Rick Lorah said no vehicles were involved.
Numata was in his first season in the Detroit organization. He batted a combined .244 with four home runs and 28 RBIs with Erie and Triple-A Toledo.
Numata began his pro career in 2010 in the Philadelphia system. He also played in the New York Yankees’ organization.
The family said in a social media post, “It is with deep sorrow that the Numata Ohana announces that Chace Kekoa Kenji Numata, our beloved son, brother, and a friend to all, has passed away on September 2nd, 2019. Chace was a 27 year old, switch-hitting catcher from Pearl City, Hawaii that was blessed with the opportunity to professionally play the sport he loved for the Phillies, Yankees, and Tigers organizations for over ten seasons. Everyone who was around Chace knew there was never a stranger in the room when he was there. It didn’t matter if you were a professional athlete or young child, he made sure to make everyone feel comfortable and welcomed. His smile was contagious, unrelenting, and never ending, while his personality could light up any environment he would be in. Our family would like to say Mahalo nui loa to everyone who prayed for, thought of, and acknowledged Chace during this difficult time. We heard you and we appreciate you all from the bottom of our hearts! #FORNUMI”