Jeremy Giambi, Who Played for the Oakland Athletics, Dies at 47

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Jeremy Giambi, who played for the Oakland Athletics and three other teams in his six-season career in Major League Baseball, was found dead on Wednesday morning in Southern California. He was 47.

Joel Wolfe, his agent, on Thursday confirmed the death.

The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said he was found at a residence in Claremont, east of Los Angeles.

A cause of death was not given. An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday by the medical examiner’s office, according to a spokeswoman.

Giambi’s agent said he died at his parent’s house and that there would be “no other details at this time.”

The Oakland Athletics said in a statement on Wednesday that the organization was “heartbroken” over the news and offered condolences to his family and friends.

His older brother, Jason Giambi, played 20 seasons in Major League Baseball and retired in 2015. The brothers briefly played together on the Athletics in the early 2000s.

Jeremy Giambi, an outfielder, first baseman and designated hitter, was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1996 and debuted with the team in 1998. In 2000, he went to the Oakland Athletics and then to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2002 before finishing his M.L.B. career the next year with the Boston Red Sox. He played in Minor League Baseball until 2005. The Royals, the Phillies and the Red Sox all released brief statements of condolences on Wednesday.

Giambi delivered solid numbers in his career, batting a .263 average, with 52 home runs and 209 runs batted in. In 2001, he was famously tagged out at the plate by Derek Jeter’s “flip” play in the American League division series between the Athletics and the Yankees.

Giambi also appeared in the book “Moneyball” by Michael Lewis in 2003, about Billy Beane, the former general manager of the Oakland Athletics, and his unorthodox approach to turning the team around. In the film version of the book, Giambi was played by Nick Porrazzo, and Beane by Brad Pitt.

In 2005, as professional baseball was facing intense scrutiny over steroid use by players, Giambi became one of the first baseball stars to admit to using steroids. “I apologize,” he told The Kansas City Star that year. “I made a mistake.”

At the time of his death, Giambi’s Instagram account said he was working as a hitting instructor who offered private lessons. In September 2020, he said in an interview with a YouTube show, Fennell Brothers Baseball, that by working with young people he was trying to help the future of the sport.

“I had an opportunity to play at a very high level,” he told another show, the Chasing Two Podcast, adding that he had experienced both triumphs and tribulations. He said that his work as an instructor “felt like it was a great opportunity for me to give back a little bit and hopefully to teach some of these kids.”

Johnny Diaz contributed reporting.


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