KENNEWICK, Wash. – Russ Swan, a left-handed pitcher who spent parts of six seasons with three major league teams, is dead following a fall in which he hit his head, friends and relatives told the Tri-City Herald.
Swan, 42, a Kennewick High graduate who played for the San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians, died Wednesday at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, said his sister, Michelle, and a longtime friend, Leo Price.
Swan's sister said he was taken to the hospital April 17 after being found unconscious at the bottom of a stairwell in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., without his wallet or identification papers.
"He had been doing better," Michelle said. "Last Sunday (April 23,) they ran a CAT scan and the data was showing he had been improving. Then (Wednesday afternoon) a code blue was called and he was gone. They thought the cause was a blood clot."
Doctors believed Russ had been stabilized before the sudden change on Wednesday "but they weren't sure of the extent of the head injury," Price said.
A hospital nursing supervisor would not discuss Swan's death, the newspaper reported.
Swan enrolled at Spokane Community College, then Texas A&M and was drafted three times — in January 1984 by the Houston Astros, that June by the Mariners and in June 1986 by the Giants, with whom he signed.
He made his major league debut with the Giants on Aug. 3, 1989 but the next May was traded to the Mariners. His best season was with Seattle in 1991, when he was 6-2 in 63 appearances with a 3.43 earned run average. Swan's playing career ended in 1994 when he was released by the Indians after compiling a career 14-22 record in 168 appearances. He later became a pitching coach at Washington State University and in the Colorado Rockies organization.
Survivors include his wife Mellissa, daughter Erin and son Kelly