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Minor league coach dies during game
North Little Rock, AR (Sports Network ) - Tulsa Drillers coach Mike Coolbaugh died Sunday after being hit in the head by a line drive while he was serving as the team's first base coach against the Arkansas Travelers.
Tulsa is the Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.
Tino Sanchez hit a line drive that struck Coolbaugh in the temple during the top of the ninth inning. Coolbaugh was knocked unconscious and was administered CPR on the field. He was eventually taken by ambulance to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
"Our entire organization grieves at the death of Mike Coolbaugh," said Keli McGregor, Rockies team president. "We were shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the accident on Sunday evening. Mike was a great husband, father, brother and friend to so many throughout the baseball community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, wife Mandy and sons Joseph and Jacob, and to all of those whose lives were touched by Mike over his career and his life."
Coolbaugh, a former Drillers player, had just joined the team on July 3 as a replacement for Orlando Merced, who had resigned earlier in the season.
He spent 17 seasons in professional baseball, appearing in 44 games with the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals. Coolbaugh also spent time in the Toronto, Texas, Oakland and New York Yankees organizations.
"We came to know Mike both from his time with the Brewers and the Texas Rangers organization, and the news has hit us very hard," said Brewers special assistant to the general manager Reid Nichols. "Mike was a kind and hard working individual who lived life and played the game with great passion. He will be greatly missed."
07/23 14:10:34 ET