Former Major League Baseball pitcher Odalis Pérez died at his home in the Dominican Republic on Thursday night, and it is suspected that his death was caused due to an accidental fall from a ladder.
The longtime big league star was just 44 years old at the time of his passing.
According to ESPN, the left-handed pitcher’s attorney Walin Batista spoke out to journalist Enrique Rojas about the matter late on Thursday night. Batista reported that while people at Pérez’s home are still trying to figure out exactly what happened, it appears as though the talented former Los Angeles Dodgers star accidentally fell down while working on a ladder.
Batista reported to the sports media outlet (below):
“Around 7 p.m., his brother Cristian Perez arrived at the house and found Odalis lying in the patio. We don’t know yet the cause of his death, but everything seems to indicate Odalis slipped down a ladder. This is a tragedy.”
The 44-year-old Dominican had spent more than 10 years in the Major Leagues after first making his debut in 1998 with the Atlanta Braves. After several seasons, he was traded to the Dodgers, where he enjoyed the peak of his career success, including earning an All-Star Game selection. In 2002 with Los Angeles, he infamously pitched a shutout while also hitting a home run in a game (below):
He later finished his career pitching for the Kansas City Royals and Washington Nationals.
All told, he had a 73-82 record with a 4.46 ERA in more than 1,300 career innings in the big leagues — with his career being an impressive, long-lasting feat.
Late Thursday night, the Dodgers mourned his passing (below):
The Los Angeles Dodgers mourn the passing of former pitcher and 2002 All-Star Odalis Pérez. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/abX1cgUNNP
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 11, 2022
And the Nationals, for whom Pérez pitched the first game in their team history, also shared condolences:
Odalis Pérez was our starting pitcher at our 1st game in Nats Park history.
Our hearts go out to his family and friends. May he rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/r9Y8eJGwv5
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 11, 2022
Hall of Fame baseball star Vladimir Guerrero, a friend to Pérez and fellow Dominican countryman, shared his grief over the lefty’s untimely death, as well:
“I keep the memories of the moments we were able to share. May God take you to a good place.”
So sad. It’s just awful news to deal with — and so unexpected.
We send our thoughts and prayers to Pérez’s friends, family, loved ones, and former teammates — he clearly made a lasting impact during his time in baseball and throughout the greater world.