Tyson Brummett, a former Phillies draft pick who pitched in one major-league game, died Friday morning when the plane he was piloting crashed in the Wasatch Mountains in Utah.
All four people aboard the plane died, according to the Utah County Sheriff's Office. Brummett was 35.
The Phillies selected Brummett, a righthanded pitcher from UCLA, in the fifth round in 2007. He pitched professionally for eight seasons, five of them in the Phillies system, and all but one day of his career were spent in the minor leagues.
“His teammates loved him,” said Phillies third-base coach Dusty Wathan, who managed Brummett in the minor leagues. “He was a hard worker and just a really good person. He made a big impact on a lot of people. I really can’t say enough good things about him. It’s a shame that something like that had to happen.”
A man and his two sons, according to the Sheriff’s Office, were hiking when they saw a plane begin to turn and spiral downward in American Fork Canyon, south of Salt Lake City. Brummett and three passengers appeared to die on impact, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The other occupants were Brummett’s friend, Alex Ruegner, 35, and Ruegner’s aunt and uncle, Elaine Blackhurst, 60, and Douglas Blackhurst, 62.
In April, Brummett volunteered to fly 270 pairs of donated ski and snowboard goggles from Utah to California to be used by health-care workers who were having trouble finding traditional eye protection as they treated COVID-19 patients.
Brummett said he decided to help the organzation -- Goggles for Docs -- because his sister is a nurse in Utah. Brummett was born in Mississippi but grew up in Utah, attending high school just 25 miles from where his plane crashed.
The Phillies brought Brummett to the majors for the season finale in 2012 as an extra pitcher to relieve a worn-out pitching staff. He faced four Washington batters, threw 11 pitches, struck out two, and was the final Phillies pitcher used in a forgettable season.
Brummett told reporters after the game in Washington that he was “really nervous to get out there” but “I liked it a lot.”
“I talked to him after that game because I would see him at spring training and it was special,” Wathan said.
“Once you make it to the big leagues, it’s a dream come true and he was so proud of it. It’s a shame that he didn’t get another chance, but it’s a neat thing anytime to say you’ve been to the big leagues. It’s a culmination of a lot of hard work. You always hope that good things happen to good guys. Luckily, for Tyson, it did for him.”
Third baseman Alec Bohm, shortstop Didi Gregorious, and catcher Deivy Grullon reported Saturday to camp. ...The Phillies could soon begin playing simulated games as they try to give their pitchers better preparation for the season. “I think in a lot of ways, pitchers might be ahead of where they would be in a normal spring training when it comes to the volume, but what they’re missing is having a hitter in there and competing,” Girardi said.