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Tuesday, December 21, 2021

‘Much too young’: Tigers first base coach Kimera Bartee dead at 49

Too soon. Too sudden.

Kimera Bartee, 49, died at his father’s home in Omaha, Nebraska, on Monday. The death came less than two months after he had been essentially re-hired as the Tigers’ first base coach by manager AJ Hinch.

“Like many across baseball, I was devastated by the news of Kimera’s passing,” Hinch said. “The sport has lost an amazing man, but more importantly his family has lost a loving fiancé, father and son.”

Bartee began his six-year big-league career with the Tigers, wearing the Old English D from 1996 through 1999. His best season turned out to be his rookie year when he played in 110 games, hit .253 and stole 20 bases.

He has the distinction of taking the last Tiger at-bat at old Tiger Stadium.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 21, 2021 at 02:00 PM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: kimera bartee, obituaries, tigers

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   1. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 22, 2021 at 09:48 AM (#6058341)

That's terrible. You don't hear of too many people dying "suddenly" of a large brain tumor. I wonder if it was undiagnosed, or whether it was being treated and it was just his death that was sudden and unexpected.

In any case, my condolences to his friends and family. 49 is indeed too young.
   2. catomi01 Posted: December 22, 2021 at 07:02 PM (#6058418)
I got to know him briefly in the Atlantic League, and he was just a genuinely nice guy.
   3. Bob T Posted: December 24, 2021 at 02:54 AM (#6058570)
Dick Wantz was a pitcher for the Angels in 1965 and he died a month after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, although it was during surgery for it.

Sometimes tumors are in the wrong place at the wrong time. And some are extremely aggressive.
   4. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 24, 2021 at 06:42 AM (#6058572)
Yeah, my grandmother died about a month after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. But I wouldn’t have characterized her death as “sudden”.
   5. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: December 24, 2021 at 09:00 AM (#6058575)
Attention, please: All people younger than me are NO LONGER allowed to die before I do. Thank you for your cooperation.
   6. Mr. Hotfoot Jackson (gef, talking mongoose) Posted: December 24, 2021 at 02:21 PM (#6058589)
My grandmother died at 48 or 49 (I know only her birth and death years) of a brain tumor supposedly discovered about a week earlier, from what my mother said. She apparently was one of those people who just never got sick ... until going into the hospital with a debilitating headache that wouldn't abate. It was too late to do anything.
   7. Tony S Posted: December 24, 2021 at 07:10 PM (#6058605)

Bartee came up through the Orioles system, but wound up making his major league debut with Detroit.

In 1996, David Wells was pitching for the Orioles. In a June game at Detroit, Wells was sailing along against a bad Tiger lineup, until Detroit put together a little rally in the fifth. With the lead run on base, Bartee was at the plate. Wells didn't get a borderline pitch called his way, glared at the umpire, and flipped the ball in the air before making his next pitch -- which Bartee lined for a tiebreaking single. Wells imploded after that and the Tigers won.

After the game, Bartee remarked that when Wells flipped that ball, "that's when I knew I had him".

I loved the audacity of a rookie scrub yanking the chain of an established major-league star pitcher like that.

RIP, Kimera.
   8. Dr. Pooks Posted: December 25, 2021 at 04:43 PM (#6058642)
I was going to quibble whether David Wells could be considered a "star" yet in 1996, but amazingly Wells was already 33! years old in 1996 and was coming off a 5.4 bWAR season.

So, you are in fact correct that Wells in 1996 had certainly reached "star" status.

I don't think I appreciated what an unconventionally shaped career David Wells had in the end, wasting his 20s as a Blue Jays swingman, breaking out in his 30s, pitching until 44 and ending up with 53 bWAR.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 25, 2021 at 04:50 PM (#6058643)
Just looked up his BBref page and I had no idea he was traded for then-minor leaguer Chone Figgins. Had also been traded for Scott Erickson early in his career. And was a Rule 5 draft pick. I just remember him being on that god awful Tigers team in the mid-90s.
   10. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 25, 2021 at 04:55 PM (#6058644)
I don't think I appreciated what an unconventionally shaped career David Wells had in the end,
Wells wasn’t exactly a conventionally shaped kind of guy.
   11. OsunaSakata Posted: December 25, 2021 at 05:11 PM (#6058646)
I don't think I appreciated what an unconventionally shaped career David Wells had in the end,

Wells wasn’t exactly a conventionally shaped kind of guy.

On the contrary, I believe more American men look like career peak David Wells than career peak Brady Anderson.

   12. . . . . . . Posted: December 27, 2021 at 11:57 AM (#6058737)
I know someone this happened to - sometimes, the first obvious symptom of a brain tumor is direct or indirect damage to the brain stem, and you can die suddenly. Same thing can happen, very rarely, in demyelinating diseases.
   13. A triple short of the cycle Posted: December 28, 2021 at 10:09 PM (#6058891)
He was unconventionally shaped in the rear end, but we are not selling jeans here people.

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