Darryl Kile (December 2, 1968 - June 22, 2002) was a Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher who last played with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was known for his hard-breaking curveball. Born in Garden Grove, California, Kile died in the Westin Michigan Avenue (where he was on hand for a weekend series against the rival Chicago Cubs) of coronary disease at the age of 33. He was the first active major league player to die during the regular season since the Yankees' Thurman Munson died in an aviation accident in 1979. The cause of death was attributed to a 90lockage in two coronary arteries.
Having been successful with the Tucson Toros (the Houston Astros' AAA club) in the Pacific Coast League, Kile entered the majors in 1991, going 7-11 in 22 starts. His breakthrough came in 1993 when he pitched a no-hitter, ending the season with 15 wins and 8 losses.
In 1998 Kile signed to the Colorado Rockies as a free agent, but the thin air at Coors Field was detrimental for his overhand curveball, with which he had previously been effective. After two seasons, in which he was a combined 21-30, Kile was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. After winning 20 games in his first season, he was still a Cardinal at the time of his death.
Kile's death coincided with the passing of St. Louis Baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster Jack Buck, who had died four days earlier. Coincidentally, it was Jack Buck's son Joe, who was given the task of breaking the news of Kile's sudden passing live on Fox.
Chicago Cubs catcher Joe Girardi tearfully announced to the fans at Wrigley Field that the afternoon's game versus the Cardinals on June 22, 2002 had been cancelled, though he did not announce that the cancellation was prompted by Darryl Kile's passing. Girardi gave the news at 3:37 p.m. EDT, broadcast nationally on Fox: "I thank you for your patience. We regret to inform you because of a tragedy in the Cardinal family, that the commissioner has cancelled the game today. Thank you.... Please be respectful. You find out eventually what has happened, and I ask that you say a prayer for the St. Louis Cardinals' family."
Kile's last professional baseball game was played at 7:10 p.m. CDT on June 18, 2002 (incidentally, the same day that Jack Buck died), against the then-Anaheim Angels. Kile scattered six hits over seven and two-thirds innings, allowing one run. He exited the game in the eighth inning to a standing ovation. The Cardinals won the game, 7-2. Kile hit safely in his last game, only his second hit of the season. Kile also hit current Cardinal David Eckstein with a pitch.
W L G GS CG SHO SV IP H ER HR BB SO ERA 128 115 345 317 28 9 0 2080.7 2053 957 205 890 1618 4.14 Teams
Houston Astros: 1991-1997 Colorado Rockies: 1998-1999 St. Louis Cardinals: 2000-2002