Chace Numata, a 27-year-old catcher with the Double-A Erie SeaWolves, was said by teammates to be the club’s “heart and soul.”
Numata, a native of Pearl City, Hawaii, died in an Erie, Penn., hospital on Sept. 2 after having been involved in a skateboarding accident two days earlier.
“He’s a giver,” Erie outfielder Cam Gibson told the Detroit Free Press on Sept. 1. Gibson and Numata shared an apartment. “He’ll never ask for anything, but he’ll give. Even the small stuff. Me and him will go to Taco Bell at midnight and he forces himself in to pay for it. It’s little stuff like that. He refuses to take from people.
“He’s always dancing, always joking and making light of everything. He’s a bright light in everybody’s life. I can’t tell you the times he’s had heart-to-heart talks with me this year talking to me about what my future holds. Regardless if I’m doing well or doing bad, he’s always there. Numi is the heart and soul of this team. He has more heart and more soul than anybody in this entire organization.”
According to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (UPMC), Numata’s heart, liver, pancreas and both kidneys were involved in transplants. On Tuesday, CORE (Center for Organ Recovery and Education) and UPMC shared a video in which Numata was the subject of an honour walk.
According to a report from fox2detroit.com, “UPMC says he was taken from his hospital room down the corridor to the operating room. With his favorite song, KC & The Sunshine Band’s ‘Give it Up’, playing in the background, members of his family along with Erie SeaWolves president Greg Coleman pushed him through the hospital.
“At the end of his walk, his parents kissed him goodbye one last time.”
Tony Paul of the Detroit News has more on this story right here.
If you have never seen an honour walk, the video of the one honouring Numata is in the tweet below. Yes, it’s emotional.