Former Philadelphia Phillies reliever Rheal Cormier has passed away at 53 after an extended battle with pancreatic cancer. He pitched 16 years in the big leagues with 71 wins under his belt. In addition to Philly, he also made stops with the Cardinals, Red Sox, Expos, and Reds.
Since the announcement this morning, the baseball community has been paying its respects via Twitter:
HOF Jim Thome on Rheal Cormier: “Rheal was one of the most vibrant people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. He loved baseball, but he always put his family first. Frenchy was the kind of guy who would do anything for you and I’m lucky to have called him my friend for many years.’— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 8, 2021
RIP “Frenchy” … Rheal Cormier lost his battle with cancer. One of my all time favorite teammates. Big heart, spent 2yrs sitting next to him in the @Phillies bullpen (2002-2003)… he made everyone he played with better…keep throwing that 3-2 splitter in heaven. RIP my friend. pic.twitter.com/lGDGBCm8T2— Dan Plesac (@Plesac19) March 8, 2021
One of 🇨🇦’s best pitchers has passed away. Condolences to the family, friends and teammates of Rheal Cormier who has died at the age of 53. 16 years in @MLB and a member of @CDNBaseballHOF. RIP RC. pic.twitter.com/JXxV7RXVei— Rod Black 🇨🇦 (@RodBlackTSN) March 8, 2021
Off the field hero
Cormier released a statement back in January that he was diagnosed with a tumor in his lungs and that he planned to fight. His best season came back in 2003 where he posted a 1.70 ERA, yet it seems he really left his mark off the field — as a stand up human being. Our condolences go out to the entire Cormier family and the rest of the baseball community who knew him.