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Spitball
07-23-2007, 09:12 AM
Mike Coolbaugh, brother of former Red draftee Scott, was hit in the temple while coaching first base by a foul line drive. He was a coach for the double A Tulsa Drillers who were playing the Arkansas Travelers in Little Rock.

This is a tragic story. Prayers to his wife Mandy and the rest of his family.

UKFlounder
07-23-2007, 09:15 AM
Definitely sad.

It's also surprising this does not happen more often, but I'm glad it doesn't.

http://sports.espn.go.com/minorlbb/news/story?id=2945798

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Tulsa Drillers coach Mike Coolbaugh died after being struck in the head by a line drive as he stood in the first-base coach's box during a game.

The Texas League game was suspended in the ninth inning Sunday after the 35-year-old former major leaguer was hit by a foul ball off the bat of Tino Sanchez of the Arkansas Travelers. Coolbaugh was taken to Baptist Medical Center-North Little Rock, where he was pronounced dead.

"It's a tragedy for all of baseball," Drillers president Chuck Lamson told the Tulsa World in a story posted on the newspaper's Web site early Monday. "He just joined the staff and was a former Driller player. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

Travelers spokesman Phil Elson said Coolbaugh was hit on the right side of his head or on the forehead. "I'm getting conflicting reports," Elson said. Coolbaugh fell to the ground immediately.

According to a report on the Drillers' Web site late Sunday, Coolbaugh was knocked unconscious and CPR was administered to him on the field.

Sgt. Terry Kuykendall, spokesman for North Little Rock police, said Coolbaugh was still alive when he was put in an ambulance, but stopped breathing as the ambulance arrived at the hospital.

"They tried to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead at 9:47 p.m.," Kuykendall said.

Coolbaugh played 44 games in the major leagues for the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers over two seasons. The Drillers' Web site said Coolbaugh joined the Tulsa staff on July 3 as a batting coach. He played for the team briefly in 1996.

Tulsa is the Colorado Rockies' Double-A affiliate.

Aaron Rifkin, the Drillers' first basemen, said recently that Coolbaugh's coaching style had already been a help to the team.

"He came in and didn't try to change guys, just fine-tune what they were doing. He's been great for me," Rifkin told the Tulsa World.

A native of Binghamton, N.Y., Coolbaugh went to Roosevelt High School in San Antonio and was drafted in 1990 by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 16th round.

He played third base and bounced around the minors for a decade, before making his major league debut with the Brewers in 2001. He played five more big league games for the Cardinals in 2002. He hit two home runs in 70 major league at-bats.

Coolbaugh spent three years in the Houston Astros organization, first signing as a minor league free agent in July 2003, the Houston Chronicle reported on its Web site Monday. He played at Double-A Round Rock in 2003, at Triple-A New Orleans in 2004 and at Triple-A Round Rock in 2005.

In 2005, he was named the Astros' Triple-A Most Valuable Player, hitting .281 with 27 homers and 101 RBIs.

Coolbaugh's older brother, Scott, also played 167 major league games over parts of four seasons with Texas, San Diego and St. Louis in the early 1990s.

The Travelers, the Angels' Double-A affiliate, led 7-3 at the time the game was suspended with no outs and a runner on first in the top of the ninth inning. Officials said a date and time for finishing the game had not yet been chosen.

Coolbaugh is survived by his wife, Mandy, and two young sons, Joseph and Jacob, all of San Antonio. Mandy Coolbaugh is expecting another child in October

flyer85
07-23-2007, 09:19 AM
surreal ... I have always been amazed how few people actually get hurt by balls and bats flying into the stands.

Unassisted
07-23-2007, 09:29 AM
I heard this on the radio news this morning. As the article indicates, he grew up here and his home and family are here. It's a sad story.

Since this kind of thing is so rare, I wonder if he was distracted and didn't see the ball coming toward him?

smith288
07-23-2007, 09:47 AM
Ugh. 2 kids and another on the way. I hate hearing about these types of tragedies.

registerthis
07-23-2007, 09:49 AM
surreal ... I have always been amazed how few people actually get hurt by balls and bats flying into the stands.

Me too. I'm glad it doesn't, but I'm amazed this doesn't happen more frequently, particularly with fans in the stands.

BTW, wasn't Mike Coolbaugh a former Columbus Clipper? I swear I recall seeing his name on the Cooper Stadium scoreboard.

Team Clark
07-23-2007, 09:54 AM
Speechless..... So sad. Many prayers.:(

Red Leader
07-23-2007, 10:00 AM
Tragic. Words cannot even explain how unfortunate this was and how bad I feel for his wife and children. Absolutely awful. I also feel bad for the guy that hit the ball, Tino Sanchez. You know this is going to stick with him for a long, long time. I hope the minor leagues work out some sort of counseling for all parties involved.

KittyDuran
07-23-2007, 10:01 AM
Me too. I'm glad it doesn't, but I'm amazed this doesn't happen more frequently, particularly with fans in the stands.

BTW, wasn't Mike Coolbaugh a former Columbus Clipper? I swear I recall seeing his name on the Cooper Stadium scoreboard.Yes, he was a former Clipper... from the Dispatch:
http://www.dispatch.com/dispatch/content/sports/stories/2007/07/23/bbdeath.html


Line drive kills former Clipper
Coolbaugh was coach for Class AA team

NEAL C. LAURON | DISPATCH
Mike Coolbaugh played for the Columbus Clippers in 1999 and 2000.
Baseball
Line drive kills former Clipper
Monday, July 23, 2007
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Tulsa Drillers coach Mike Coolbaugh, a former player for the Columbus Clippers, died last night after being struck in the head by a line drive as he stood in the first-base coach's box during a Texas League game against the Arkansas Travelers, police said.

The game was suspended in the ninth inning after Coolbaugh, 35, was struck by a hard-hit foul ball off the bat of Tino Sanchez and taken to Baptist Medical Center-North Little Rock.

"It's a tragedy for all of baseball," Drillers president Chuck Lamson told the Tulsa World in a story posted on the newspaper's Web site early today. "He just joined the staff and was a former Driller player. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

Travelers spokesman Phil Elson said Coolbaugh was hit on the right side of his head or on the forehead -- "I'm getting conflicting reports," he said -- and fell to the ground immediately.

According to a report on the Drillers' Web site late Sunday, Coolbaugh, who was an infielder for the Clippers in 1999 and 2000, was knocked unconscious and CPR was administered to him on the field.

Sgt. Terry Kuykendall, spokesman for North Little Rock police, said Coolbaugh was still alive when he was put in an ambulance but stopped breathing as the ambulance arrived at the hospital.

"They tried to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead at 9:47 p.m.," Kuykendall said.

Coolbaugh played 44 games in the major leagues for the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers over two seasons. The Drillers' Web site said Coolbaugh joined the Tulsa staff on July 3 as a batting coach. He played for the team briefly in 1996.

Tulsa is a Colorado Rockies affiliate.

Aaron Rifkin, the Drillers' first basemen, said recently that Coolbaugh's coaching style had already been a help to the team.

"He came in and didn't try to change guys, just fine-tune what they were doing. He's been great for me," Rifkin told the Tulsa World.

A native of Binghamton, N.Y., Coolbaugh went to high school in San Antonio and was drafted in 1990 by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 16th round.

He played third base and bounced around the minors for a decade, before making his major league debut with the Brewers in 2001. He played five more big league games for the Cardinals in 2002. He hit two home runs in 70 major league at-bats.

Coolbaugh's older brother, Scott, also played 167 major league games over parts of four seasons with Texas, San Diego and St. Louis in the early 1990s.

The Travelers, an Angels affiliate, led 7-3 at the time the game was suspended with no outs and a runner on first in the top of the ninth inning. Officials said a date and time for finishing the game had not yet been chosen.

Coolbaugh is survived by his wife, Mandy, and two young sons, Joseph and Jacob, all of San Antonio. Mandy Coolbaugh is expecting another child in October.

Ltlabner
07-23-2007, 10:03 AM
Horrable. Absoutley horrable.

In addition to the fans, I can't believe players aren't hurt during BP. Guys are blasting away on 50mph cream puffs while 58 other people are wandering around the playing field (seeminly oblivious to what is happening at the plate).

Last game I was at a bat flew into the stands and a father dove to cover his young daughter. He took the bat to the back. First, I couldn't belive he reacted that fast. Second, I can't believe he wasn't injured. The ushers and staff responded tout sweet but he waived them off.

But this story is just plan sad.

MartyFan
07-23-2007, 10:04 AM
Wow...praying for his wife, children, family, friends and the people who were there as well as the players and specifically the young guy that was batting...wow.

Spitball
07-23-2007, 11:07 AM
He must have been distracted by something pretty compelling. Anyone who has been in a coaching box is aware of the danger and wouldn't dare let his guard down. It is almost like an instinctive flinch and that is why it really doesn't happen very often. I just can't imagine...

OldXOhio
07-23-2007, 11:20 AM
Such a sad deal. As mentioned, he just joined the Drillers a few weeks ago.

I read recently where more kids die in baseball related accidents than in any other sport. Can see little leaguers in the very near future being forced to wear helmets when playing in the IF.

RFS62
07-23-2007, 12:10 PM
Terrible tragedy.

I too am amazed that more fans aren't hurt with some of the screaming line drives that go into the first few rows.

StillFunkyB
07-23-2007, 10:32 PM
I had his baseball card once. I liked his name.

Sad thing. Prayers for his family.

SirFelixCat
07-23-2007, 11:09 PM
A guy on one of my msg boards said he was at the game and was on the first base side and said it was an absolute laser beam that Snachez hit and that the coach was paying attention but literally, didn't have time to react.

Regardless, this is just horrible. Condolences to the family as well as to Sanchez. God, he must be going thru a kind of horrible that noone should have to endure. Prayers to all involved :(

SandyD
07-23-2007, 11:17 PM
I remember when he played here for the Zephyrs. Really sad.

He was a fan favorite. Just seemed like a really great guy. Really, really sad.

BoydsOfSummer
07-24-2007, 12:53 AM
Will they call the first guy to wear a helmet while coaching a sissy?

sonny
07-24-2007, 01:29 AM
Will they call the first guy to wear a helmet while coaching a sissy?

Not anymore after this tragedy.

John Olerud wasn't considered by the masses as a sissy was he? I don't recall.