Former player Hamilton killed in apparent murder-suicide
Former Major Leaguer Darryl Hamilton was killed Sunday, police in Pearland, Texas, have confirmed, in what was an apparent murder-suicide.
The Houston Chronicle and other news outlets in Houston reported that the bodies of Hamilton, 50, and 44-year-old Monica Jordan were discovered Sunday at a home in Pearland, just south of Houston. Also in the home was the couple's young child, who was unharmed.
Investigators told the Chronicle it appeared to be a murder-suicide. Hamilton was shot several times and Jordan died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the newspaper reported.
"All of us at Major League Baseball are shocked and saddened by this tragedy," Commissioner Rob Manfred said. "Darryl followed a successful 13-year career on the field by assembling a multifaceted career in our game, working for MLB Advanced Media and in our baseball operations department before moving on to MLB Network. He was a talented and personable individual, and we were proud to call him a member of the Baseball Family. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest sympathies to Darryl's family and his many friends throughout our game."
Hamilton's family released the following statement:
"We learned this morning that our beloved son, brother and father, Darryl Hamilton was tragically taken away from us yesterday. Although the coming days will be difficult for our family, we take solace in knowing that so many of his friends, colleagues and former teammates have expressed their love and support. We would like to thank all of them for their thoughts and prayers. In addition we ask that the media respect our privacy as we deal with this tragedy."
Hamilton was an 11th-round Draft pick of the Brewers in 1986 who made his Major League debut in 1988 and became a big league regular during the second half of the 1990 season. A strong defensive player with speed who manned all three outfield positions, he batted .291 during a playing career that began with parts of seven seasons in Milwaukee before stints with the Mets, Rockies, Giants and Rangers.
Hamilton appeared in the postseason four times with three different clubs, including in 2000 with the Mets, for whom he played in the World Series. He hit 51 home runs and had 454 RBIs and 163 stolen bases in 1,328 regular-season games
"Darryl Hamilton joined MLB.com in 2003 and distinguished himself with his insight, experience, humor and team spirit," said Bob Bowman, president of business and media for MLB. "As an analyst at MLB Network since 2013, he found a new role in which he excelled. In addition to being a consummate professional, he was a good friend to all at MLB.com and MLB Network, and he will be sorely missed."
Hamilton also had experience in the broadcast booth, working radio broadcasts for the Angels and later for the Brewers. He provided color commentary on 29 of Milwaukee's radio broadcasts in 2014 after the Hall of Fame voice of the Brewers, Bob Uecker, cut back his travel schedule.
"All of us are stunned and saddened with the news of this horrible tragedy, something that is impossible for us to even begin to comprehend," said Doug Melvin, the Brewers' president of baseball operations and general manager Doug Melvin, who was GM of the Rangers when Hamilton played for them. "Our thoughts and prayers go to Darryl's family and friends, and he will be greatly missed. Darryl was a wonderful player for our organization, but more importantly, he was a true gentleman and a great friend to many here."
Former Brewers teammate Jeff Cirillo remembered one of Hamilton's trademarks, what Cirillo referred to as an "awkwardly weird" style of dress. Think bright colors and loud patterns -- a look that matched Hamilton's personality, Cirillo said.
Cirillo also remembered Hamilton's kindness. When Cirillo made it to the Majors for good in 1995 and needed a car, Hamilton loaned his -- and let Cirillo keep it all season.
"He was a guy that I always looked up to because he was not a high-round pick, he hit for average, and as a Minor Leaguer, you always look at guys to see how they made it through [to the Majors]," Cirillo said. "I learned a lot from Darryl Hamilton. He'll be missed. He's a guy who always had a smile on his face and was always ready to laugh."
The Brewers will observe a moment of silence for Hamilton prior to Tuesday's game against another of Hamilton's former teams, the Mets. The Mets will host their own moment of silence for Hamilton prior to Friday's home game against the Reds. The Rangers also have a moment of silence planned for their home game on Tuesday.
Said the Mets in a statement: "We are saddened by the tragic death of Darryl Hamilton. Darryl's vibrant personality made him a key member of our postseason teams in 1999 and 2000. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."
Hamilton's first postseason appearance was with the Rangers in 1996. He had three hits in a four-game Division Series loss to the Yankees.
"The Rangers are shocked and saddened to hear of Darryl Hamilton's untimely passing," the Rangers said. "Darryl played just one season for Texas, but it was a memorable year. Signed as a free agent in December 1995, Darryl was the leadoff hitter and center fielder for the first playoff team in franchise history in 1996. He was not only an offensive catalyst and defensive standout on the field but also was a club leader and an outstanding teammate.
"In later years, Darryl was a welcome guest to Arlington in his roles with Major League Baseball. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends as his passing is a tremendous loss."
From Texas, Hamilton was traded to San Francisco, where the Giants won the National League West title in 1997 after finishing in last place the season before.
"He kept guys loose. He always said, 'Take it easy, man -- easy like the Sunday morning,'" said former Giants left-hander Shawn Estes. He had a saying for everything, just catchy little phrases to get people laughing, get people smiling."
"He always took care of younger guys like myself, Marvin Benard, Bill Mueller, guys like that," said former Giants shortstop Rich Aurilia. "He always had a smile on his face, always was a fun guy to be around."
Former Mets general manager Jim Duquette, who works on Sirius XM Radio and for MLB.com, had a unique relationship with Hamilton in that he worked on acquiring Hamilton in a trade in 1999, when Duquette was the Mets' assistant GM, and later had to tell Hamilton he was being released in 2001 after what Duquette called a "significant disagreement" with then-manager Bobby Valentine.
"It never hurt our relationship; that's the kind of guy he was," Duquette said. "He'd always come up to me, put his arm around me and say, 'This is the guy who released me!' And then we'd kid about it. That's the way he was."
Hamilton never played for the Astros, but he lived in the Houston area and was a friend to the franchise.
"The Astros are saddened by the tragic loss of Darryl Hamilton. In addition to his fine, 13-year career as a Major League player and talented MLB Network analyst, Darryl was also a friend of the Astros organization, strongly supporting our youth baseball outreach efforts. Darryl made appearances at the Astros Urban Youth Academy and was a friend to our staff there. The Astros extend our deepest sympathies to Darryl's family and many friends throughout the game of baseball and beyond."