Loek van Mil Cause of Death: How the Tallest Baseball Player Ever Died at 34

Who was Loek van Mil?

Loek van Mil was a Dutch professional baseball pitcher who stood at 7-foot-1, making him one of the tallest players in the history of the sport. He played for various teams in the Netherlands, the United States, Japan, and Australia, as well as representing his country in the World Baseball Classic in 2013 and 2017. He had a long and successful career, throwing 516 1/3 innings with a 3.12 ERA in 338 professional games.

What happened to Loek van Mil?

Loek van Mil died on July 28, 2019, from injuries sustained in a “fatal accident”, according to the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association KNBSB. The details of the accident were not disclosed, “at the request of the family”. However, it is known that Van Mil had a serious hiking accident in Canberra, Australia, in December 2018, where he hit his head on rocks and was left unconscious for 24 hours. He suffered multiple fractures, hemorrhages, and bleeding of the brain, and was admitted to the hospital in critical but stable condition. He announced his retirement from baseball earlier in July 2019, but he was reportedly recovering from his injuries. It is unclear if the hiking accident contributed to his death.

How did the baseball world react to Loek van Mil’s death?

Loek van Mil’s death shocked and saddened the baseball community, especially in his native Netherlands, where he was a popular and respected figure. Many of his former teammates, coaches, opponents, and fans paid tribute to him on social media, remembering him as a gentle giant, a fierce competitor, and a great person. Some of the teams he played for, such as the Adelaide Bite and the Brisbane Bandits in Australia, also expressed their condolences and honored his memory. The KNBSB director Tjerk Smeets said that Van Mil was “a great asset for Dutch baseball” and that “he will be missed enormously”.

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