The sudden loss of Tyler Skaggs is still being felt around baseball. The Los Angeles Angels pitcher unexpectedly died nearly three weeks ago, leaving family, friends, teammates, and fans stunned, saddened, and searching for ways to move on.
An artist named Jonah Never found a way to pay tribute to Skaggs, and make sure the community he grew up in will never forget him.
Never is a muralist who creates large scale work in tribute to people both alive and dead, like Anthony Bourdain, Mister Rogers, painter Bob Ross, and the USWNT. His work is all around the Los Angeles area, but he took a trip over to Santa Monica to create this incredible mural of Skaggs.
The mural is right by the baseball field at Santa Monica High School where both Skaggs and Never pitched, though they were never teammates. Never spoke to MLB’s Cut4 and revealed that the mural took three days to finish, and he had support from many people.
“A bunch of Tyler's former teammates and opponents came together to donate the paint and the Santa Monica Police Department and a local nonprofit helped out a ton too,” Never told Cut4. “Both Tyler and I wore No. 11 when we pitched at Santa Monica, and his mom Debbie was the softball coach.”
According to Never, Max Fried of the Atlanta Braves, Lucas Giolito of the Chicago White Sox, and Jack Flaherty of the St. Louis Cardinals all came to support the mural. All three are Santa Monica natives, just like Skaggs, and had known him for years.
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