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Long-time Twins coach Rick Stelmaszek has passed away

Stelmaszek is the longest-serving coach in Twins history. He was 69 years old.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins
Rick Stelmaszek between Tony Oliva and Dick Such.
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

I hate having to report this, but Rick Stelmaszek has died.

If you’re not familiar, Stelmaszek served as the Twins’ bullpen coach from 1981 to 2012—a good 32-year stretch, which is the longest tenure by any major league coach in Twins history. During that time, Stelmaszek coached under managers Billy Gardner, Ray Miller, Tom Kelly, and Ron Gardenhire, and was a part of the 1987 and 1991 World Series teams. He was 69 years old, and had entered a battle with pancreatic cancer earlier this year, which, unfortunately, he did not win.

The Twins honored Stelmaszek on Opening Day in 2017, inviting him to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Target Field. A whole host of former Twins players and personnel came to support Rick, including Tom Kelly, Ron Gardenhire, Kent Hrbek, Juan Berenguer, Torii Hunter, A.J. Pierzynski, Tony Oliva, LaTroy Hawkins, and so many more.

The Twins organization released the following statement:

“The Minnesota Twins are deeply saddened by the loss of Rick Stelmaszek. A true Twins legend, ‘Stelly’ was widely respected throughout baseball. He was a professional who dedicated his life to Twins baseball and instilled a winning culture into generations of Twins players. The club, like many of his friends throughout the game, is thinking of his wife and son, Kathy and Michael, and the entire Stelmaszek family during this difficult time.”

Many players reacted to the news on Twitter.

R.I.P. Rick Stelmaszek.