Joey Seaver, who was hired as the pitching coach of the Bristol Pirates in 2018, has passed away. Seaver coached four years in the minors for the Texas Rangers prior to joining the Pittsburgh Pirates. Before that he spent 14 years at Walter State Community College and ten years at Carson-Newman College beginning in 1990.
Seaver was a college player at Walters State and the University of Tennessee, who was drafted four times before signing. Back when they had a January drafted, he was selected in 1984 by the Detroit Tigers. Next was in the fifth round by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1984 and the fourth round by the Baltimore Orioles in 1985. He finally signed with the Brewers in 1986 and played two years of minor league ball before beginning his coaching career.
Seaver was 54 years old.
Steven Jennings, who pitched at Bristol this past season, posted a nice tribute on Twitter:
Sad to hear about the loss of a great baseball coach but also a great man! Joey Seaver was the most dedicated and caring coach a player could have. Treated every player as his own and was the same person every day. Glad I had the privilege to play for you. You will be missed!
— Steven Jennings (@sdoje_) December 4, 2018
Mikell Granberry, who worked with Seaver as one of the catchers, said that Seaver had a saying that he used often, “Winners make it happen. Losers let it happen”. Granberry also shared thoughts on the passing:
“Sad about this bad news, but I’m glad that he was my coach. One of the best coaches, and also as a person he was a great guy. He was the perfect definition of responsibility and integrity to his work. It was good to have him around. I hope that he is in a better place right now, he deserves it.”
The Bristol Pirates just announced his passing on Twitter and included a great picture of the Seaver and the pitching staff.
The Bristol Pirates regret to announce the passing of pitching coach Joey Seaver earlier today. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/Ovs0LyET7I
— Bristol State Liners (@thestateliners) December 4, 2018
Bristol GM/President Mahlon Luttrell added thoughts on Seaver and shared a story about first meeting him:
“Joey was one of the most humble and kindest individuals that I have ever come across in my 17 years of being involved with pro baseball. He loved what he had done and was a very talented teacher of pitching. He loved his players and they loved him. But most of all he loved his family. I remember the first time that I met Joey, it was a few weeks before spring training last season. Joey and his wonderful wife Diana came by the ballpark here in Bristol and we spent a couple of hours talking. They both were full of emotions that day knowing that Joey would be very close to home doing what he loved to do. He was so appreciative of the Pirates organization and really felt great about this opportunity. I consider myself very fortunate to have been around Joey for the time I did. I know that Joey will be sadly missed by all. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of his family.”