Jeremy Giambi, a former major league outfielder and first baseman who was a key figure on successful Oakland Athletics teams in the early 2000s, died at his parents’ home in Southern California on Wednesday, according to a statement from his agent, Joel Wolfe.
Giambi was 47.
Officers responding around 11:30 a.m. PT to reports of a medical emergency found Giambi dead at his parents’ home in Claremont, east of Los Angeles, police Lt. Robert Ewing told The Associated Press. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office will determine the cause of death, Ewing said.
Giambi played six seasons in the majors, including with his older brother, five-time All-Star Jason Giambi, on the A’s in 2000 and 2001.
It was during the 2001 season that Jeremy Giambi was part of one of the most memorable moments in MLB history when he was tagged out at home on the back end of Derek Jeter’s famous “flip” toss during Game 3 of the American League Division Series between the New York Yankees and A’s. Giambi was a highly productive member of that A’s team, which won 102 regular-season games, batting .283/.391/.450 with 12 home runs and 57 RBIs.
“We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of a member of our Green and Gold family, Jeremy Giambi,” the A’s said in a statement. “We offer our condolences to Jeanne, Jason, and his family and friends.”
The following year, Giambi was a member of the 2002 Oakland team whose season was chronicled by author Michael Lewis in the 2003 bestseller “Moneyball,” before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in May of that year for utilityman John Mabry. He finished the 2002 season having accumulated 20 home runs.
Giambi was born in San Jose and attended South Hills High in West Covina before starring on the Cal State Fullerton team that won the 1995 College World Series. He was drafted in the sixth round by the Kansas City Royals the following summer.
“We stand with the baseball world in mourning the loss of Jeremy Giambi,” the Royals said. “Our condolences go to his family, and everyone who loved him.”
Through parts of six seasons from 1998 to 2003, Giambi batted .263 with 52 home runs and 209 RBIs while playing for the Royals, A’s, Phillies and Boston Red Sox.
Less than two years later, in March 2005, Giambi told the Kansas City Star that he knowingly used steroids during his playing career, becoming one of the first notable major leaguers to make the admission. Transcripts of testimony showed that Jason and Jeremy Giambi admitted to taking performance-enhancing substances to a federal grand jury during the BALCO proceedings in December of 2003.
Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.