The Los Angeles Angels returned to Angel Stadium Friday night for their first home game following the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs.
It was emotional.
It was heartfelt.
It was historic.
The Angels rallied together and behind pitchers Taylor Cole and Felix Peña as they combined to throw the 11th no-hitter in franchise history.
Hollywood could not have scripted a more fitting performance.
That proved to be the ultimate tribute in Skaggs’ memory.
Among the many others paid to their fallen teammate was a pregame ceremony in which a framed Skaggs No. 45 jersey was placed behind the pitcher’s mound. It symbolized Skaggs’ taking the field with them one last time.
All Angels players, coaches and even broadcasters were sporting a matching red home jersey emblazoned with the number 45, which is the number Skaggs had worn since rejoining the Angels prior to the 2014 season.
That’s a very nice touch.
Skaggs’ family took the field with the team and watched the tributes from behind home plate. To cap the ceremony, Skaggs’ mother, Debbie, fired a perfect first pitch to Andrew Heaney, who was among Skaggs’ best friends on the team.
When the game was over, this incredibly emotional scene played out as the Angels made sure everyone knew this night was for Tyler Skaggs.
The Angels have also set up several tributes to Skaggs throughout the ballpark.
That includes the home clubhouse, where Skaggs’ locker will be left untouched for the remainder of the season.
Tyler Skaggs’ locker will remain set up for the rest of the season. pic.twitter.com/FsozPjul6z— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) July 12, 2019
Skaggs’ likeness and his No. 45 were also added to the center field wall. The Angels are wearing the same No. 45 patch on their jerseys.
Angel Stadium had been a place for fans to gather and pay their respects to Skaggs in the days following his death. Items such as flowers, photos and jerseys were left in his memory.
Friday's ceremony provided an opportunity for fans to say a collective and heartfelt goodbye, while also allowing Skaggs' teammates to reflect on what he meant to them personally, to the team, and to the community.
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