Earlier today, it was announced that former Pirates coach Kimera Bartee passed away at the age of 49.
Bartee spent 12 years with the Pirates organization, starting off as the organization’s minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator from 2008-16, then moving up to serve as the team’s first base coach from 2017-19 under Clint Hurdle.
He spent the 2021 season as the first base coach for the Detroit Tigers, who Bartee played for as an outfielder from 1996-99.
The Pirates issued the following statement shortly after the announcement was made:
Current and former players took to Twitter earlier this afternoon to pay homage to Bartee. Two of whom are Pirates outfielder Travis Swaggerty and infielder Kevin Newman.
this man taught me so much about playing elite defense and scoring runs no matter what. truly believe he is a part of shaping me into the player i am today. RIP https://t.co/sFxHSEwWI8— Travis Swaggerty (@TSwaggerty_21) December 21, 2021
Wow…The worst news to wake up to. KB was amazing coach and an even better person. Way to soon man, way to soon. Dang. Always had a smile, always had a joke, always making those around him happy. Rest easy KB, you will be dearly missed. https://t.co/NY4s5VC9lp— Kevin Newman (@OfficialKBN) December 21, 2021
According to Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press, Bartee was visiting with his father in Omaha, Neb. when he suddenly collapsed, however no cause of death is determined at this time. He adds that the Tigers “were not aware of any illness.”