05-26-2008, 12:03 PM #1
Athletre killed on PWC by lightening strike
Former MLB, Japanese league pitcher Gonzalez killed by lightning in Venezuela
53 minutes ago
CARACAS, Venezuela ó Former Major League Baseball and Japanese league pitcher Geremi Gonzalez was hit by lightning and killed in his native Venezuela, an official said Monday.
The 33-year-old pitcher, who played for five MLB teams and spent spring training with the Toronto Blue Jays last year, was struck by lightning on Sunday night in the western state of Zulia, said Herman Bracho, the regional emergency management chief.
Gonzalez was riding a personal watercraft in Lake Maracaibo at the time, according to Antonio Olmos, a friend who witnessed his death.
"It was raining and he got down off his watercraft to grab another one," Olmos told the Venezuelan newspaper Panorama. "At that moment, lightning struck him in the neck and broke a gold chain he was wearing."
The account differed from that given by Bracho, who said Gonzalez was on a pier at the beach when struck by lightning.
Gonzalez started his MLB career for the Chicago Cubs in 1997 and later played with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets.
The Blue Jays released him before opening day last year. He moved to Japan where he pitched in five games last year for the Yomiuri Giants.
He also played in Venezuela's professional baseball league, and last pitched this year with the Magellan Navigators.
05-26-2008, 12:05 PM #2
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