Mike Darr

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Mike Darr
Outfielder
Born: (1976-03-21)March 21, 1976
Peoria, Arizona
Died: February 15, 2002(2002-02-15) (aged 25)
Peoria, Arizona
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 23, 1999, for the San Diego Padres
Last MLB appearance
October 7, 2001, for the San Diego Padres
MLB statistics
Games played
Batting average
Home runs
188
.273
  5
RBI
Stolen bases
On-base percentage
  67
  6
.363
Teams

Michael Curtis Darr (March 21, 1976 – February 15, 2002) was a Major League Baseball outfielder who played from 1999 through 2001 for the San Diego Padres.

Biography

Born in Peoria, Arizona, Darr grew up in Corona, California. He graduated from Corona High School in 1995. His father, Mike Darr, Sr., pitched in one game for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1977.

Growing up, the younger Darr was good friends with Darrin Chiaverini, a future National Football League player and coach, and with Duane Johnson, a former minor league baseball player and the son of UCLA football coach Don Johnson.

In high school, Darr began to struggle with substance abuse and he went to live with the Johnson family. The elder Johnson took Darr to counseling and helped him to stop using drugs.[1]

In 2001, Darr appeared in 105 games for the San Diego Padres, compiling a .277 batting average with two home runs and 34 runs batted in.

On February 15, 2002, Darr was involved in a single-car accident in Peoria, Arizona during spring training. His blood alcohol level was over the legal limit. Both Darr and Duane Johnson, who were not wearing safety belts, were killed. Minor league pitcher Ben Howard, who had his safety belt on, survived with only minor injuries.[2] Howard would go on to debut with the Padres two months later, and pitch at the major league level for three seasons.

Darr was buried at the Crestlawn Memorial Park in Riverside, California. Nearly the entire Padres organization was among the more than 1,500 in attendance at Darr's funeral.

Darr left behind a wife, Natalie, also a graduate of Corona Senior High School, and two sons. During its 2002 season, the Padres wore a black circle patch with Darr's uniform number 26 on the right-sleeve of their uniform.

See also

References

  1. ^ Henson, Steve (25 September 2002). "Friends to the end". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 29, 2016. 
  2. ^ Fernes, Rob. Padres' Darr dies in car accident. Los Angeles Times (February 16, 2002). Retrieved September 6, 2014.

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors), or Retrosheet, or Find-A–Grave (Biography)
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