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Former Major League Baseball (MLB) player and two-time Olympian, Rheal Cormier, has passed away. He died on Monday, March 8, 2021, due to his longtime battle with cancer. According to the Philadelphia Phillies, Cormier died in his New Brunswick, Canada home.
He was born on April 23, 1967, in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. He graduated from Polyvalente Louis J. Robichaud High School in 1985. From there he attended the Community College of Rhode Island. They named him All-American in both 1987 and 1988.
He was also named to the All-Tournament team of the 1988 JUCO World Series. In 1985, he was part of the Canadian youth team. He joined the Pan-Am team in 1987. In 1988, he was a member of the Canadian Olympic baseball team.
Cormier became the first Canadian to be presented the NJCAA Achievement Award for outstanding athletic ability in 1996. That same year he received a nomination by the Expos for the True Value Roberto Clemente Award for all of his contributions in several school programs in New Brunswick.
He was also a spokesperson for a teenage anti-drug and anti-suicide campaign in 1996. Cormier became a United States citizen on Sept. 22, 2004. Cormier played for the Philadelphia Phillies. After that, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds. He also played for the Boston Red Sox for a little bit. He was also part of several other teams throughout his career.
Many of his former teammates, friends, and fans took to social media to pay tribute to the late MLB player. The Toronto Blue Jays tweeted that they were “deeply saddened” to hear of Cormier a Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer’s death. They called his battle with cancer “courageous.”
Many other people sent their condolences to his family during this trying time. He is survived by his wife, Lucienne, daughter Morgan, and son Justin. May he rest in peace.
Written by Sheena Robertson
ESPN: Rheal Cormier, longtime MLB pitcher and 2-time Olympian, dies at 53 from cancer
MLB: Rheal Cormier #37
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