The sad news -
The body of Frank Castillo has been recovered, according to Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office officials shortly before 4:30 p.m. Mountain Time.
Castillo, a former standout pitcher for Eastwood High School in El Paso in the early 1980s who played in the major leagues for 13 years, drowned in Bartlett Lake in Arizona near his home Sunday afternoon.
He was 44.
Authorities say Castillo was on a pontoon boat with a friend when he decided to go swimming.
Castillo’s friend reportedly called for help when Castillo did not come back up out of the water.
Castillo’s family released the following statement to KVIA on Monday:
“Frank Castillo died on Sunday in a drowning accident while with his family at a lake near his home. Frank was a wonderful son, terrific brother, and an extraordinary father to his two beautiful girls.
“Everyone who knew Frank loved Frank . We are devastated by this loss.
“It is impossible to express in words the level of sadness we feel due to this tragedy.
All of those who counted Frank as a personal friend, and to all those wonderful fans who cheered for him during his major league career, we genuinely appreciate your prayers and kind words during this extremely difficult time.
“While we may not be able to thank each of you in person, it is very comforting to know that you are with us in spirit.
“We will provide information about the funeral once we are ab le to make all of the arrangements
Castillo was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1987 and played for them for seven years starting in 1991. He also played for Colorado, Detroit, Toronto, Boston, and Florida.
He had a career 4.56 ERA and a record of 82 wins and 104 losses. Castillo was inducted into the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.
I know…some people are thinking “Who?”
But, honestly, this one hits me. Back in the early 1990′s, I had Castillo on my fantasy baseball team – for a couple of seasons. I was always convinced that he was going to be a sleeper, a Greg Maddux-light, etc. But, it never happened. That promise coming off 1992 and his seasons in the minors never developed. But, he was funny to watch. He really labored out there. And, his facial expressions were…well…interesting.
I haven’t thought him in years. Very sorry that his sudden passing is the reason why I am reminded of him now.