MINNEAPOLIS — Joe McEwing and Robin Ventura mourned the loss of former teammate Darryl Hamilton on Monday.
The White Sox coaches both played alongside the ex-leadoff man and centerfielder, who reportedly was killed in a murder-suicide in his home near Houston, with the New York Mets. Ventura spent two and a half seasons with Hamilton with the Mets, and McEwing played with him for two years. McEwing heard about the death of Hamilton, 50, early Monday and informed Ventura.
“I’m still sick to my stomach about it,” Ventura said. “He’s a great person, loved playing with him. I’m sad. You can’t really put into words how you feel because he’s such a great guy. It’s tough. Great, a true pro, you always wanted to be around him.”
It wasn’t just that Hamilton, who recently worked as an analyst for MLB Network, was a good player, McEwing said. He was one of the most popular players in the clubhouse for his attitude.
“Enjoyed the game, enjoyed life every single day,” McEwing said. “He had an infectious personality, always smiling. I can hear his life now. It’s just sad it was taken away at such an early age. He had so much to give to everybody, not just in the game, but life.
“Great teammate, good friend and somebody I learned a lot from.”
As the White Sox have added young Cuban stars in the making in Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert, Jose Abreu's long-term role on the team has shifted.
The 31-year-old first baseman has been looked at as something of a mentor for the two young Cubans. He seems to be delivering on that so far.
Abreu picked up Moncada from the airport when he first was called up to the White Sox last July. Now he's helping Robert in the batting cage.
The Cuban trio is expected to play a big part of the White Sox future in the coming years.
Robert has already stated his goal of making it to the majors this year to join Abreu and Moncada, but that may be an overly ambitious goal. Either way, plenty of eyes will be on him throughout 2018 as he marches towards the White Sox roster and his Cuban teammates.
On the latest White Sox Talk Podcast, Tim Anderson opens up about his struggles in 2017 and why he wants White Sox fans "to know the real me."
Anderson dives into his personal tragedy from last season when his best friend was murdered in Alabama.
He talks with Chuck Garfien about the dark days that happened, how counseling helped him, his new leadership role in 2018, if he'll draw more walks this season, "bringing swag to the South Side" with Yoan Moncada and much more.
Listen to the full White Sox Talk Podcast right here: