Minor League Baseball catcher Chace Numata passed away, owing to the injuries sustained during a skateboarding crash on Friday.
He was remembered fondly by his personnel and professional families after a sad demise at the age of 27.
“It is with deep sorrow that the Numata Ohana announces that Chace Kekoa Kenji Numata, our beloved son, brother, and a friend to all, has passed away on Sept. 2, 2019,” Numata family was quoted as saying in a statement released by Double-A Erie. “Chace was a 27-year-old, switch-hitting catcher from Pearl City, Hawaii that was blessed with the opportunity to professionally play the sport he loved for the Phillies, Yankees, and Tigers organizations for over 10 seasons.”
“Everyone who was around Chace knew there was never a stranger in the room when he was there. It didn’t matter if you were a professional athlete or young child, he made sure to make everyone feel comfortable and welcomed. His smile was contagious, unrelenting, and never ending, while his personality could light up any environment he would be in. Our family would like to say Mahalo nui loa to everyone who prayed for, thought of, and acknowledged Chace during this difficult time. We heard you and we appreciate you all from the bottom of our hearts!”
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) September 2, 2019
Numat played for the Detroit Tigers in the Minor Baseball League for most of 2019. The Detroit Tigers in their own statement wrote about Chace Numata.
“The Detroit Tigers are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Chace Numata, who was a catcher for our Double A affiliate in Erie,” the statement read. “Though this was his first year with our organization, Chace was beloved by many from our Major League club through all levels of our player development system. He had an engaging personality that quickly established him as a leader on and off the field, and his presence will be forever remembered in our organization and beyond. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, teammates and coaches.”
Erie Seawolves players wore caps bearing “NUMI” in support of the deceased player.
The SeaWolves will be wearing “NUMI” on their caps in support of their teammate Chace Numata. pic.twitter.com/zH3u6fsShN
— Erie SeaWolves (@erie_seawolves) August 30, 2019
His teammate and roommate Cam Gibson also talked about Namata’s generosity and claimed he was “heart and soul” of the team.
“He’s a giver,” teammate and roommate Cam Gibson told the Detroit Free Press. “He’ll never ask for anything, but he’ll give. Even the small stuff. Me and him will go to Taco Bell at midnight and he forces himself in to pay for it. It’s little stuff like that. He refuses to take from people.”
“He’s always dancing, always joking and making light of everything. He’s a bright light in everybody’s life. I can’t tell you the times he’s had heart-to-heart talks with me this year talking to me about what my future holds. Regardless if I’m doing well or doing bad, he’s always there. Numi is the heart and soul of this team. He has more heart and more soul than anybody in this entire organization.”