Coach Who Was Killed By Line Drive Is Honored By His Son In Little League World Series
A lot of us remember Mike Coolbaugh for the saddest of reasons -- he was coaching first base for the Double-A Tulsa Drillers in 2007 when he was hit in the neck by a line drive, which killed him almost instantly. The incident shocked baseball all the way to the Major League level, and precipitated significant changes in safety measures in the minor leagues.
Coolbaugh left two young sons -- both of whom now play Little League (they call it "the family business."). The oldest, Jacob, is apparently pretty good -- his All-Star team has made it to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA.
Coolbaugh, 12, plays for McAllister Park American LL, San Antonio (Southwest Region). They play at 8 p.m. tonight against Bowling Green, KY, in the first round.
Coolbaugh won't be hard to pick out -- he's No. 29. And here's how he chose that number. Via ESPN:
Minor league coach Mike Coolbaugh wore #29 when he was killed by a line drive. His son will wear #29 to the LLWS. pic.twitter.com/e2unafx9YA
— Outside The Lines (@OTLonESPN) August 15, 2016
Yeah, it gets dusty indoors around this time of year.
Jacob's uncle, Scott Coolbaugh, is the hitting coach for the Baltimore Orioles. Mike Coolbaugh played 11 seasons in the minors and had 14 games in the majors. After a 27-homer season in 2005, the Houston Astros were ready to call him up when he broke his wrist, ending his career.
This same McAllister Park group won the Texas State Championship as 10- and 11-year-olds the past two years, so a long run in the LLWS wouldn't be surprising. I know that it will be hard for me not to root for them.
— Kerry Robinson (@krob15) August 7, 2016
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