The surreal news of actor Chadwick Boseman's death broke late in the Phillies' game Friday night against the Braves.
Boseman was only 43 years old, and the timing only added to the tragedy. Boseman portrayed Jackie Robinson in the 2013 film 42. Robinson was celebrated across baseball on Friday night, the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. King's I Have a Dream speech.
Phillies left fielder Andrew McCutchen expressed his condolences after the game, recalling his meeting with Boseman in 2013.
I met you at the premier of 42 in Pittsburgh in 2013. Even though you were in the spotlight and all eyes were on you, I remember you saying, "I'm that one that's starstruck by all of these athletes here." That's the man you were. Humble. You will be missed. RIP Chadwick Boseman pic.twitter.com/ypJc1yUq9p— andrew mccutchen (@TheCUTCH22) August 29, 2020
Boseman had privately been battling colon cancer since 2016. He died at home with his family by his side, according to a statement posted on his Twitter account.
Earlier Friday, McCutchen spoke about the "full circle" feel of Jackie Robinson Day in 2020 given the societal unrest, racial injustice and instances of police brutality in America. The Phillies were one of 14 MLB teams to sit out Thursday in protest of those ongoing issues.
WOW...— Brian Dawkins (@BrianDawkins) August 29, 2020
RIP Brother Chadwick. Giving of yourself while going through, is something we all should learn from. He blessed sooooo many with his gift. Gave & will continue to give hope to millions! Thank You. You are greatly loved my brother!! 🙏🏾 https://t.co/mFNVFXB9ls