According to the Toronto Blue Jays, former World Series-winning third-base coach Rich Hacker has passed away following a battle with leukemia.
Rich Hacker was the third base coach for the Blue Jays from 1991 through to 1993 including both Championship seasons. The former Montreal Expo was relegated to bench duties during the summer of the 1993 season following a serious head-on motor-vehicle collision on the Martin Luther King bridge in St.Louis.
Hacker suffered brain trauma and a serious right ankle injury as a result of the injury according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The injury would prevent him from coaching on the field ever again, however, he did work in a scouting capacity. Nick Leyva would replace Hacker on the field for the remainder of the 1993 season.
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Hacker would make his MLB debut in 17 games hitting .121 with four hits in 37 plate appearances. He would never appear in another major league game following that cup of coffee with the Expos.
The shortstop would eventually hang up the spikes in 1979 and explore other baseball-related opportunities. Hacker would join the Cardinals in 1986 and occupy their first and third base coaching responsibilities until latching on with the Blue Jays in 1991.
"“The big thing about Rich Hacker was that he was baseball through and through, he was one of the hardest workers I’ve ever, ever seen.“No matter what he did — you can’t do more than 100 percent — he was always at 100 percent. Even when he was squirrel hunting, he was the same way.”"
Hacker would eventually succumb to a 15-month battle with Leukemia passing away last Wednesday surrounded by his wife and three sons. Hacker is the third former member of the Blue Jays organization to pass away of late as both Tony Fernandez and Damaso Garcia all died recently.
We are sending our thoughts and prayers to the entire Hacker family during this tough time. RIP Rich.