Former Cardinal Killed by Line Drive Foul

Tulsa Drillers coach Mike Coolbaugh died Sunday night after being struck in the head by a line drive as he stood in the first-base coach's box during a Texas League game with the Arkansas Travelers, according to police reports.

Former St. Louis Cardinal Mike Coolbaugh died Sunday night, less than an hour after he was struck in the head by a line drive.

Coolbaugh was pronounced dead at 10:47 p.m. ET at Baptist Health Medical Center, according to Sgt. Terry Kuykendall of the North Little Rock (Ark.), Police Department. He was only 35-years-old.

According to a report on the Drillers website, the incident occurred in the top of the ninth inning of the Drillers' Texas League game against the Arkansas Travelers. Coolbaugh was coaching first base when he was hit in foul territory by a liner off the bat of Tulsa designated hitter Tino Sanchez.

Coolbaugh took over as Drillers' hitting coach this season on July 3. He spent most of his 17-year playing career in the Minor Leagues, including eight seasons at the Triple-A level, and appearing in 39 games with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2001 and five games for the St. Louis Cardinals the following year.

Mike collected over 1,600 hits, including 258 homers, and over 1,000 runs batted in his minor league career.

The St. Louis Cardinals recalled the very popular Coolbaugh from Triple-A Memphis to replace the injured J.D. Drew on the team's roster in July of 2002. Coolbaugh was batting .250 with 16 homers and 34 RBI with the minor league club that season at the time.

Later, Mike was optioned back to Memphis to make room for Andy Benes.

Coolbaugh is the younger brother of former Major Leaguer Scott Coolbaugh, who serves as hitting coach for the Frisco RoughRiders and also played for the Cardinals, appearing in 15 games for St. Louis in 1994.

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