El Paso, TX (KDBC) — It's was a tough Monday night for the baseball community in El Paso - hundreds gathered at St. Rafael Parish Church for a rosary held for former Major League pitcher, Frank Castillo.
The 44 year-old died suddenly in a diving accident in Bartlett Lake outside Phoenix.
To say he was just an athlete is an understatement.
"He was a giant to El Paso," said high school baseball umpire, Richard Bustamante.
"As a player, always challenging, everybody else - let's be number one," said another high school umpire, Margarito Bañales.
Those we spoke with who knew Frank Castillo said they remember him as a gem, and not only as a player in the field, but as a human being.
"Frank was a good hearted person, he had a lot of respect for everybody, he would not bad talk to anybody," said Bustamente.
"Very little things that I can say bad about him, which is just about nothing," said Bañales.
Castillo is an Eastwood High School grad and Major League pitcher played for the Cubs, Red Sox, Tigers, Rockies, and Marlins. He won a world series ring with Boston in 2004.
His colleagues remember him as a vibrant high school student with a powerful throw and a positive attitude.
"One time he was pitching and I was doing the game at Parkland and Frank was pitching for Eastwood, and I got hit right on the throat on my throat protector and he tore the throat protector off and he just started laughing, you know," said Bustamante.
Frank Castillo spent his final days as a pitching instructor based out of Phoenix.
His mass will be held Tuesday morning at 10:30AM at St. Rafael Parish Church.