Los Angeles Dodgers scout Jairo Castillo has died from complications of COVID-19. He was only 31 years old.
The reality of the COVID-19 pandemic should have hit most baseball fans at every turn this summer (or winter, or the previous spring), and Dodgers fans were hardly immune from the virus’ brutal sting.
Left-hander David Price left the campaign behind amid concerns about the disease’s effects, while Kenley Jansen’s arrival was delayed as he battled a positive diagnosis. The team’s beloved stadium was utilized in dystopian fashion as an overloaded drive-through testing site throughout the season and postseason. And, just when the Dodgers and MLB thought they’d escaped the season from hell largely intact, a plume of positive tests emanated from Justin Turner’s unmasked World Series spree.
The risk that any group of people attempting to operate in semi-normalcy will run into during a pandemic is that, eventually, those affected will not be the elderly, or strangers, subject to the whims of an entirely unrelated careless party. Tragically, that came to pass on Tuesday, as a member of the Dodgers family lost his life due to complications of the virus.
Jairo Castillo, a scout in the Dominican Republic, passed away from the disease. He was just 31 years old.
Castillo, once a 16-year-old signee of the New York Mets as a promising Dominican prospect, went on to become a cross-checker for the Dodgers after stints scouting for the Brewers and Mets.
He perishes at an age that most people consider out of the virus’ high-risk territory, and leaves behind a wife and two children.
Castillo is also the second member of the Dodgers’ scouting family to pass away this week, following the loss of Lon Joyce at age 72, who once signed Corey Seager.
Our best wishes go out to all of Castillo’s loved ones. As the pandemic worsens once more, it’s important to remember that even if you can’t find it in your heart to protect those at risk, it’s perhaps you who will eventually take on said risk, no matter your age.