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Death Newsbeat

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

The Complicated Life and Death of Hideki Irabu

No one had noticed anybody come or go for days when, just after 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27, 2011, a man emerged from a tidy three-bedroom house near the end of a cul-de-sac in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. His screams pierced the suburban idyll of the affluent neighborhood, with its hilltop homes and panoramic views up toward Los Angeles and out over the Pacific. Deputies from the L.A. County sheriff’s department arrived quickly. In one of the bedrooms, they found the friend the man had come to check on.

He was wearing a white T-shirt and dark shorts. His body, which a coroner measured at 6’ 5” and 236 pounds, hung suspended from a half-inch-thick white rope. Judging by the state of him, he had died several days before—perhaps on Sunday, the last time he was known to be alive. He left no note for his wife and two young daughters, and though his computer was set to Japanese, a deputy determined that no document had been recently created. No one suspected foul play. “The manner of death is suicide,” concluded the autopsy report, filed two mornings later. Fourteen Julys after he had debuted on the mound at Yankee Stadium in front of 52,000 fans, and nine years after he’d thrown the last pitch of a major league career that had tailspinned from promising to punch line, Hideki Irabu, 42 years old, had died desperately alone.


 

 

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