In a shocking announcement on Wednesday afternoon, we learned that former MLB player 47-year old Jeremy Giambi had passed away at his parents house in California. The younger brother of fellow MLBer Jason Giambi, Jeremy had a short 6-year career in the bigs with the Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, and Boston Red Sox.
In 510 career games, Giambi belted 52 HRs and had 209 RBIs. He spent the final year of his MLB career with the Red Sox after being brought in to be a low-cost slugger at DH who could also play first base as the Red Sox tried to capitalize on the moneyball style of building a roster. Unfortunately for him, the Red Sox also brought in a guy that some of you might know, David Ortiz. Giambi struggled in 2003, appearing in just 50 games and hitting .197 with 5 HRs and 15 RBIs and that would spell the end of his time in the majors.
Giambi is known for one major MLB blunder that cast a shadow on his career. In game 3 of the 2001 ALDS, the Oakland Athletics were down 1-0 but up 2-0 in the series over the New York Yankees. In the bottom of the 7th, a Terence Long double sent Giambi all the way home after a bobble and he decided not to slide into home as Derek Jeter cut off the throw and was able to nab Giambi at home. With a slide he likely would have been safe and it is considered one of the biggest blunders in Athletics and MLB history. The Yankees won the game and the next two to win the series on their path to a World Series title.
Giambi, along with his older brother Jason, admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs in the 2003 balco hearings. The two of them were very close and were able to play together in Oakland during the 2000 and 2001 seasons. While I think Jeremy enjoyed his brother’s success, he was often compared to him and overshadowed by him.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Giambi family.