It reads like an unbelievable movie script written to be a little too on the nose. The Los Angeles Angels, playing their first home game since the passing of pitcher Tyler Skaggs, were a team of destiny as they honored the memory of their fallen teammate Friday night.
Everything seemed to fall into place for maximum impact. Skaggs’ mother stepped up pregame to deliver a perfect strike. Mike Trout deposited the first pitch he saw over the fence for a 454-foot homer. And Taylor Cole and Felix Pena, both wearing Skaggs’ No. 45 jersey, combined to throw a no-hitter on the very mound he called home.
The night was about more than baseball, but that goes without saying. The healing power of sports is an overused trope yet perhaps it’s best to say that sports provide a unique healing power. What happened last night in Southern California was truly special, something that reached the human level and forced a reaction.
It was bittersweet and beautiful. Profound and powerful.
After the final out was recorded and celebration subsided, the Angels players all laid their Skaggs jersey on the mound.
The pictures and videos and emotions of last night will never be forgotten. The tribute did Skaggs justice and will forever be a part of this sad chapter. It’s rare that sports and life are so overtly intertwined.