As the baseball world continues to mourn the loss of star MLB outfielder Jeremy Giambi, new information is coming to light that may help explain his tragic passing.
We’ve previously reported on the former Oakland Athletics star’s sad death, which occurred unexpectedly back in February of this year. He was just 47 years old. Two days after news of the news broke, officials confirmed Giambi had died by suicide.
Now, a new report from the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office details some potential context for the former baseball slugger’s tragic passing. First obtained by People on Thursday, the report indicates that Giambi suffered a severe brain trauma about six months prior to his death — he was hit in the head by a baseball at some point in August of last year.
The former pro athlete’s mother, who was the first person to find his body after his passing, was the first one to connect the dots on the injury being an issue leading up to his suicide. Per the coroner’s docs, the mourning mom told authorities that Jeremy “had not been the same since” the head injury, and had become “very negative, emotional, and paranoid” in the months following the incident.
It wasn’t immediately clear exactly what happened on that fateful day in August of 2021, but the injury did seem severe. The report notes that Giambi, who was working as a baseball coach for younger athletes at the time, was struck severely enough in the head that he had to have surgery to repair a broken cheekbone. Oof…
Even after the surgery, though, he “seemed different,” according to his mother. Obviously in recent years we’ve just scratched the surface of learning about brain injuries in sports. Several pro athletes in recent years who have died by suicide have been retroactively diagnosed with CTE — chronic traumatic encephalopathy — which is believed to cause depression, cognitive impairment, and increased aggression. It makes sense they would worry about it.
The former MLB star went to a neurologist to see if there had been a more lasting impact from the injury, but the outlet notes he was “never officially diagnosed” with any condition. Even so, Giambi’s mom told the coroner’s office that he quickly became “very negative and would let the smallest things ruin his day.” So sad this is how it all ended…
Giambi’s death was a huge loss for the sports world. He played more than 500 career games over six years in Major League Baseball, taking the field for teams including the Athletics, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Boston Red Sox. Both he and his brother, fellow MLB alum Jason Giambi, were also portrayed in the 2011 Brad Pitt film Moneyball, based on their days playing in Oakland.
After his death back in February, the Athletics shared their condolences on social media, writing (below):
“We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of a member of our Green and Gold family, Jeremy Giambi. We offer our condolences to Jeanne, Jason, and his family and friends.”
The Red Sox added their own message, too:
“We mourn the loss of Jeremy Giambi, who spent six seasons in the major leagues, including 2003 with the Red Sox. We send our heartfelt condolences to the Giambi family.”
Clearly, he had a major impact on the Major Leagues during his life.
We continue to send our condolences to Jeremy’s family, friends, and loved ones.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.