Rockies Minor League Team Coach Killed

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Condolences are coming in from around the country following the loss of a minor league batting coach, who died after being struck in the head.

Tulsa Drillers batting coach Mike Coolbaugh was knocked unconscious by Tino Sanchez's line drive during the ninth inning of Sunday night's game against the Double-A Arkansas Travelers.

The 35-year-old former major leaguer was pronounced dead at a North Little Rock hospital.

The Drillers are a Colorado Rockies affiliate.

Rockies president Keli McGregor says the entire organization was grieving over Coolbaugh's death, and that everyone was "shocked and deeply saddened."

Coolbaugh was a native of Binghamton, New York. He went to high school in San Antonio, and was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 16th round in 1990. He played third base and bounced around the minors for a decade, reaching the major leagues in 2001 with the Brewers.

He played 39 big league games that season and five for the Cardinals in 2002. He hit two home runs in 70 major league at-bats.

Monday night's Drillers game against the Wichita Wranglers in Kansas is being postponed.

The Tulsa Drillers Baseball Club and Spirit Bank in Tulsa, Oklahoma have set up a memorial fund to benefit the Coolbaugh family. Checks can be made payable to the Mike Coolbaugh Memorial Fund and sent to:

Mike Coolbaugh Memorial Fund
c/o Spirit Bank
1800 S. Baltimore Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74119

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)




 
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