A search for a man feared drowned in Bartlett Lake, not far from Phoenix, was covered by local news stations, but didn't immediately hit the national radar. At least not until his identity was revealed.
The victim was Frank Castillo, a Major League Baseball pitcher for a number of teams, including the Colorado Rockies.
Continue for more about Castillo, and the tragedy that took his life.
As noted on his Wikipedia page, Castillo was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1987, making it to the bigs four years later. His claim to fame? A 1995 game where he had a no-hitter broken up with two outs in the ninth inning.
Then, in 1997, he moved to the Rockies. Here's a screen capture of an autographed photo recently sold on eBay showing him in a Colorado uni: Castillo only stayed with the Rockies for a single season before heading to Detroit, then Toronto, followed by Boston (where he was part of the 2004 World Championship squad) and the Florida Marlins.
After leaving the Marlins, he made an attempt to stay in pro ball via a spot on the York Revolution, a squad in the independent Atlantic League, circa 2007 and 2008. But he subsequently retired to Arizona, where he'd long made his home, and landed a job as an assistant coach for the Mesa Cubs, a Chicago minor-league affiliate.
Unfortunately, this latest chapter of his career was cut short after he headed to Bartlett Lake with his family. He reportedly got into trouble while swimming and went under, precipitating a vigorous search and rescue operation.
After his body was recovered and fans began reacting with dismay to the news, his family issued the following statement:
Frank was a wonderful son, terrific brother, and an extraordinary father to his two beautiful girls. Everyone who knew Frank loved Frank, we are devastated by this loss. It is impossible to express in words the level of sadness we feel due to this tragedy. All of those who counted Frank as a personal friend, and to all those wonderful fans who cheered for him during his major league career, we genuinely appreciate your prayers and kind words during this extremely difficult time. While we may not be able to thank each of you in person, it is very comforting to know that you are with us in spirit. We will provide information about the funeral once we are able to make all of the arrangements.
Our condolences to Castillo's friends, family and loved ones.
Look below to see two Arizona news reports -- the first before Castillo was ID'd, the second containing reaction to his passing.
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