06/21/2003 7:13 AM ET
Darryl Kile 1968-2002
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile passed away on June 22, 2002, in his Chicago hotel room at the age of 33. Kile, known as a fierce competitor who never missed a start in the Major Leagues, left behind his wife, Flynn, and three children: twin son Kannon and daughter Sierra, and son Ryker.
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
Kile's cause of death was listed as "coronary atherosclerosis, narrowing of the arteries supplying the heart muscle."
He had been scheduled to start for the Cardinals that Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field in a nationally televised game against the Cubs. When Kile was late arriving at the ballpark, his teammates became concerned. After attempts to reach him at the team hotel went unanswered, authorities checked his room, and the pitcher was found in his bed. He is believed to have passed away in his sleep.
Along with Matt Morris, Kile was one of the co-aces of the St. Louis pitching staff, as well as its acknowledged leader. He was a friend and mentor to Morris, and pitcher Dave Veres also counted "DK" among his closest friends. Numerous younger pitchers sought him out for advice and tutelage.
"We're thankful for how he touched each of our lives," catcher Mike Matheny said at the public memorial service for Kile. "Some saw a baseball player. Others of us were fortunate enough to call him friend."
A devoted father, Kile was known to keep in close touch with his wife and children, calling them frequently from the road. He and Flynn Kile were in the process of moving into a new home in the San Diego area when he passed away.
Kile had a 133-119 career record and a 4.12 ERA over parts of 12 seasons in the big leagues. He tallied 28 complete games including nine shutouts, tallied 1,668 strikeouts and walked 918 batters.
He began his career in the Houston organization, a 30th round pick in the June 1987 draft, breaking into the Major Leagues in 1991. He threw a no-hitter in 1993 with Houston and was 15-8 that year. He signed a free-agent contract with Colorado after going 19-7 for the Astros in 1997.
Kile joined St. Louis in November 1999 in a seven-player trade with the Rockies. The right-hander had seven winning seasons, including a 20-9 season in 2000, his first in St. Louis. He posted a 41-24 record with the Cardinals.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.