Please see the below statements from Tigers Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Al Avila and Tigers Manager A.J. Hinch on the passing of Kimera Bartee.
Statement from Al Avila, Detroit Tigers Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager
All of us in the Tigers baseball family were shocked and saddened to learn that first base coach Kimera Bartee suddenly passed away on Monday at the age of 49. Throughout his time in our organization as both a player and coach, Kimera was known as a kind soul but intense competitor who did his best every day to elevate those around him to do great things. While Tigers fans got used to seeing him in the first base coach’s box, Kimera’s impact on our ballclub went far deeper and will be sorely missed. In speaking with Kimera’s father, Jerry Bartee, we offered our condolences and support to his family. The thoughts and prayers of everyone in the organization are with Kimera’s family and friends, and his memory and spirit will never be forgotten.
Statement from A.J. Hinch, Detroit Tigers Manager
Like many across baseball, I was devastated by the news of Kimera’s passing. From the start of spring training last year, it was clear that “KB” was the epitome of a player’s coach, having an uncanny ability to build deep connections with anyone from a rookie to a 10-year veteran. I was proud of his selflessness and adaptability when he quickly shifted to the Major League staff last season, and how excited he was about the bright future he had in both baseball and life. The sport has lost an amazing man, but more importantly his family has lost a loving fiancé, father, and son.