Coroner Rules Jeremy Giambi’s Death a Suicide

Former major leaguer Jeremy Giambi died by suicide, according to the office of the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner.

Giambi, 47, was found dead on Wednesday at the home of his mother in Claremont, Calif. The official coroner’s report said he died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Giambi was a .263 career hitter who slugged 52 home runs in 1,417 at bats over 510 games as an outfielder and first baseman. He was the younger brother of five-time All-Star and 2000 MVP Jason Giambi.

The younger Giambi was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the sixth round of the 1996 amateur draft out of Cal State Fullerton. He made his major league debut on Sept. 1, 1998, at age 23.

He played with the Royals for two seasons before being traded to Oakland, playing there for parts of three seasons, from 2000-02. He was traded to Philadelphia in May 2002 for John Mabry and finished his career in Boston in 2003.

Retired pitcher Barry Zito, Giambi’s former teammate, told The (San Francisco) Chronicle that Giambi was “an incredibly loving human being with a very soft heart, and it was evident to us as his teammates that he had some deeper battles going on.”

Zito’s comments came Wednesday, before the coroner’s report was released.

“I hope this can be a wake-up call for people out there to not go at it alone and for families and friends to trust their intuition when they feel somebody close to them needs help. God bless Jeremy and his family in this difficult time.”

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