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Eric Kay: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Eric Kay (l) and Tyler Skaggs

Eric Kay is the Los Angeles Angels’ public relations employee who is accused of giving oxycodone to now deceased pitcher
Tyler Skaggs, according to a report on ESPN.com.

The report, written by journalist T.J. Quinn, an ESPN staff writer, alleges that Kay “told federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Tyler Skaggs and abused it with him for years.” Quinn also alleges that “two team officials were told about Skaggs’ drug use long before his death.” Kay has not been arrested or charged with anything in connection with Skaggs’ death, however.

Skaggs, 27, was found dead on July 1 in a Texas hotel room from “alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents,” according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office. In common language, that means he choked on his own vomit. Although ruled an accident, the Southlake Texas Police Department has stated previously that an Angels team employee may have been involved, without naming that person.

The death of Skaggs crushed fans and other players. A memorial to Skaggs grew outside Angels’ stadium in Anaheim, California, as fans arrived with flowers, balloons, and stuff animals in memory of Skaggs. According to The Chicago Tribune, GM Jon Daniels and Manager Chris Woodward broke the news to the players in a clubhouse scene that was closed to the news media.

“There were a lot of pretty emotional guys in there, you could tell. Some guys knew him. (Jesse Chavez) had actually played with him in LA,” Woodward said, according to the Trib. “Some guys that didn’t even know him were visibly shaken.”

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Eric Kay Is a Top Communications Employee for the Angels

Eric Kay LinkedIn

According to ESPN, Eric Kay is the Angels’ director of communications. Kay’s LinkedIn page says he has been Los Angeles Angeles Communications Director for more than six years.

Kay is indeed listed as the team’s director of communications in this edition of the Los Angeles Angels’ magazine.


2. Kay Is Accused of Telling Federal Authorities He Gave Illegally Obtained Oxycodone Pills to Skaggs

GettyTyler Skaggs passed away suddenly nearly two months ago.

According to Quinn, Kay gave federal authorities “the names of five other players who he believed were using opiates while they were Angels.”

ESPN reported that Kay is accused of telling investigators he gave three “illegally obtained” oxycodone pills to Skaggs shortly before Skaggs left for a game in Texas but doesn’t think they’re the same ones who killed him.

Skaggs’ family released a statement after his cause of death was revealed. “We are heartbroken to learn that the passing of our beloved Tyler was the result of a combination of dangerous drugs and alcohol. That is completely out of character for someone who worked so hard to become a Major League Baseball player and had a very promising future in the game he loved so much,” it read.

“We are grateful for the work of the detectives in the Southlake Police Department and their onging investigation into the circumstances surrounding Tyler’s death. We were shocked to learn that it may involve an employee of the Los Angeles Angeles. We will not rest until we learn the truth about how Tyler came into possession of these narcotics, including who supplied them. To that end, we have hired attorney Rusty Hardin to assist us.”


3. Kay Previously Worked for the Rose Bowl & as an Intern for the Los Angeles Rams

tyler skaggs tribute

GettyPlayers for the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants stand during a moment of silence for pitcher Tyler Skaggs of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at PETCO Park on July 01, 2019 in San Diego, California. Skaggs passed away in his hotel room earlier in the day in Texas.

Kay’s LinkedIn page outlines his previous experience for prominent sports teams. He lists his title as “stadium media operations” for the Rose Bowl Game for 15 years.

He’s worked in Communications for Angels baseball for 23 years. Before that, he served as an intern for the Anaheim Ducks for 1 year in the 1990s. He was an intern in 1994 for the Los Angeles Rams.


4. Kay Is a Graduate of Pepperdine University, Where He Was in a Fraternity

General view as Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs is remembered on the scoreboard prior to a game between the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park on July 1, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

According to his LinkedIn page, Kay graduated from Pepperdine University in 1995 with a degree in public relations. He listed Sig Ep Fraternity under activities.


5. Tyler Skaggs Was Found Unresponsive in a Hilton Hotel

carli skaggs

Instagram/Tyler SkaggsCarli and Tyler Skaggs

The Southlake Police Department wrote in a press release that, at 2:18 p.m., the PD “responded to a call of an unconscious male in a room in the Hilton hotel at 1400 Plaza Place. Officers arrived and found the male unresponsive and he was pronounced deceased at the scene.” The police say “no foul play is suspected” and the “investigation is ongoing.” They named Skaggs as the man found. Dispatch audio obtained by the Blast showed the call came in for a “medical emergency” and then a “possible death investigation.”

Rob Manfred, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, said in a statement: “I am deeply saddened by today’s tragedy in Texas. All of us at Major League Baseball express our deepest condolences to Tyler’s wife, Carli, his family, his friends and all his teammates and colleagues of the Angels.”

This is the team’s official statement:

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District released a statement on July 1 that read, “We are devastated to hear the news that Santa Monica High School graduate, Tyler Skaggs, has passed away…Tyler continued to make visits to our schools the past several years to speak with students and we proudly watched his ascent in professional baseball, along with his family. Tyler’s mother, Debbie, was a previous girls softball coach at Samohi and is currently a physical education teacher. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and fans during this difficult time.”

READ NEXT: Tyler Skaggs’ family includes a mother who has worked as a coach.

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