On Monday afternoon, news spread that Chace Numata, the 27-year-old catcher for the Erie SeaWolves, had passed away due to a head injury he suffered during a skateboarding accident.
Following the announcement, players, coaches, and personnel with the SeaWolves took to social media to remember the young man they had played alongside, connecting in their shared loss, and showing the world what a bright light Chace had been to them.
It was clear that Chace was the kind of man who brought brightness and joy wherever he went, and those who knew him are missing him a great deal today.
Chace... I write this with tears in my eyes. I was your teammate for only one year, but feel as if we have been friends for life. You were truly too good for this earth. Thank you for who you are to me. I love you dewd Rest In Peace my friend #FORNUMI— Spenser Watkins (@spnsrwtkns) September 2, 2019
Numi was kind enough to share with me a story about the day he caught Roy Halladay. I hear the passion, thoughtfulness, and humor that touched us all. It breaks mine and many hearts to see you join him. Now, go show ‘Mr. Doc’ all you’ve learned.— Evan Giddings (@egiddings10) September 3, 2019
Surf in paradise #ForNumi pic.twitter.com/RhviuLp8tV
Numi is the most genuine, kind hearted, and loving person I have ever met. Please help donate to raise money for him as his family as they go through this tough time. Love you brother! Stay strong and keep fighting. #ForNumi Click to Donate: https://t.co/pYr3f9JPMs @Tigers— Logan Shore (@LoganShore) September 1, 2019
Numata had only been in the Tigers organization since November of 2018, joining as a minor league free agent signing. He was originally drafted by the Phillies in 2010, and spent the bulk of his career in the Phillies system before joining the Yankees minor league system in 2018. He then came to the Tigers in that offseason, and spent 2019 between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo.
It was obvious from the memorials posted online that no matter where he was playing he brought light and happiness to those around him. His most recent teammates on the SeaWolves were effusive in their praise for his personality and friendship.
Numi, I love you brother. You are one of the best guys I’ve ever met. Your energy and love was felt by everyone. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family. You’ve changed my life forever and your presence in the clubhouse was a gift. Rest In Peace brother. #ForNumi pic.twitter.com/AqvilIHE3H— Tarik Skubal (@TarikSkubal) September 2, 2019
We are deeply saddened by the passing of Chace Numata, a BlueClaw in 2013 & 2015. He had a constant smile and an infectious personality, making a lasting impact on the BlueClaws and our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. #ForNumi https://t.co/Rz5nGlpdEJ pic.twitter.com/Jf1DA7XOl2— Lakewood BlueClaws (@BlueClaws) September 3, 2019
Here is a photo gallery our staff put together of Chace Numata this past season with the @erie_seawolves— Tom Reisenweber (@ETNreisenweber) September 2, 2019
His smile was contagious and he gave us some great memories.
Just a heartbreaking, crushing day #RIPNumi #ForNumi @tigers @RoadtoDetroit @MiLB https://t.co/3IjY70WwMk
Over at The Athletic, Emily Waldon and Cody Stavenhagen posted an article remembering the catcher and the positivity he brought to all those whose life he touched. Others shared the GoFundMe, which will help the Numata family. Our Baseball Life, an organization which helps Minor League families and spouses posted this lovely image of Numata and his girlfriend Gabriella.
￼We are incredibly saddened to hear the news of Chace Numata’s passing. He was described by his teammates as the “heart and soul” of the SeaWolves and will be deeply missed by so many who loved him. Please continue to pray for his family & his girlfriend Gabriella.❤️ pic.twitter.com/FQWtdpzt85— OurBaseballLife.com (@ourbaseballlife) September 3, 2019