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Angels’ Mike Trout, Tommy La Stella wear Tyler Skaggs’s number in All-Star Game - The Washington Post

“He always wanted to be an all-star, and tonight he was, for sure," Mike Trout (45) said of Tyler Skaggs. (John Minchillo)

By Des Bieler

Des Bieler

Sports reporter covering national topics, including fantasy football, as well as supporting coverage of D.C.-area teams

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July 10 at 1:55 AM

Mike Trout and Tommy La Stella brought the memory of a former Angels teammate with them to the All-Star Game on Tuesday. The Los Angeles players each wore the jersey number, 45, of Tyler Skaggs, who died suddenly last week.

“We thought it would be a good way to show some love and respect for Tyler,” Trout said before the game, won by his American League squad, 4-3 over the National League. “That’s going to be fun for me, it’s gonna be good for him, good for his family. And I know he is looking out over us tonight. It’s gonna be good.”

A tribute to Tyler Skaggs at the #AllStarGame.@MikeTrout and Tommy La Stella will both wear 45 tonight.

— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) July 9, 2019

Skaggs, a 27-year-old pitcher, was found dead on July 1 in his room at his team’s hotel in Arlington, Tex., where the Angels were playing the Rangers. A cause of death has not been released; police said they did not suspect foul play or believe it to be a suicide.

The death of Skaggs, a member of the Angels since 2014, led to an emotional scene the next day, after his teammates notched a win over the Rangers. A tearful Trout, leading a parade of tributes, said of Skaggs, “The energy he brought to the clubhouse, every time you saw him, just picked me up.”

On Tuesday, ceremonies before the All-Star Game included a moment of silence at Cleveland’s Progressive Field. Players for both sides wore black patches on their jerseys with the number 45 in white.

“It’s gonna be, I’m sure, a very emotional night for all of us,” La Stella said before the game. “I don’t really know what to say, honestly. I don’t know what to expect.

"It’s one of those things that’s not gonna be easy but it’ll be right to have him with us in that way.”

A moment of silence for Tyler Skaggs before tonight's All-Star Game

— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 10, 2019

Trout, an eight-time all-star, two-time MVP of the game and two-time AL MVP, normally wears No. 27. La Stella, a first-time all-star in his sixth major league season who attended the event but did not play because he is out with a broken tibia, wears No. 9.

“This is all for him,” Trout said of the plan to wear Skaggs’s number. “He always wanted to be an all-star, and tonight he was, for sure.”

A day after Skaggs’s death, Washington Nationals pitcher Patrick Corbin temporarily switched his jersey number from 46 to 45 for a start against the Miami Marlins. A former member of the Angels’ organization and a close friend of Skaggs, Corbin said at the time, “He’s, just, all I’m thinking about.”

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