Former Major League Baseball player Jeremy Giambi had been battling mental health issues such as paranoia since suffering a serious head injury in August before his suicide in February.
As revealed by an autopsy report obtained by TMZ, Giambi’s mood took a turn for the worse after he was hit in the head with a ball last August while working as a pitching coach for an unspecified school or team. The 47-year-old suffered a fracture to his zygomatic bone, which forms the prominent part of the cheek and outer eye socket. He eventually had to have surgery.
Giambi killed himself in February by shooting himself in the chest with a gun at his mother’s home after leaving a suicide note. The recently released report specifically states that Giambi died of a gunshot wound to the heart.
The former Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals hitter “hadn’t been the same” since the head injury and “was very negative, emotional and paranoid,” according to the autopsy.
‘[Giambi was] very emotional, very negative and would let the smallest things ruin his day,” a witness said.
The report also included references to Giambi’s alleged drug use, which began in the 1990s and included a stint in rehab in 2014 after he allegedly abused methamphetamine and Percocet. However, a witness told investigators he did not suspect he was using drugs at the time.
Former Oakland outfielder Jeremy Giambi, who played six seasons in Major League Baseball, including two with his brother Jason Giambi, has died at age 47. High School in West Covina, Calif., on Tuesday, January 13, 2015
The 47-year-old former Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals outfielder was found dead Wednesday at his mother’s home in Claremont, Calif.
Boston Red Sox Jeremy Giambi, left, stands next to his brother, New York Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi, after Jeremy Giambi took a walk in the second inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, May 20, 2003
The younger brother of A and New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi, Jeremy was described by former Oakland teammate Barry Zito as a kind person who struggled with personal issues.
“I’m completely shocked by the news of Jeremy,” the former A-s pitcher told the San Francisco Chronicle before the initial autopsy report was released in February. “He was an incredibly loving human being with a very soft heart and it was obvious to us as teammates that he had deeper battles going on.
Jeremy Giambi spent six major league seasons as an outfielder and first baseman with Kansas City (1998-99), Oakland (2000-02), Philadelphia (2002) and Boston (2002-03).
He hit .263 with 52 home runs and 209 RBIs. His best season was 2001, when he hit .283 with 12 home runs and 57 RBIs for the Athletics.
“We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of a member of our Green and Gold family, Jeremy Giambi,” the Athletics said on Twitter. “We offer our condolences to Jeanne, Jason, and his family and friends.”
Giambi played twice in the playoffs with the Athletics and in 2001 he was scored at home in Derek Jeter’s famous “flip” in the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees.
Giambi (center) was found dead at 47, an apparent suicide, at his parents’ home in Southern California on Wednesday. John (left) and Jeanne Giambi are pictured with their son in 2015 when South Hills High School retired his jersey
Born Sept. 30, 1974, in San Jose, he went to South Hills High in West Covina and then played for the California State University, Fullerton team that won the 1995 College World Series.
He signed with the Royals after the team selected him in the sixth round of the 1996 amateur draft.
Giambi testified before a federal grand jury in San Francisco investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative, or BALCO, the company at the center of the sports steroid scandal. He was quoted by the Kansas City Star in 2005 as admitting to using steroids.
“It’s something I did,” Giambi told the newspaper. ‘I apologize. I made a mistake. I moved on.’
In a 2007 report by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell on drugs in baseball, BALCO founder Victor Conte said he was selling steroids known as “the cream.” and “the clear” and advised dozens of elite athletes, including Jason and Jeremy, to use them. Giambi.
Giambi (right) played track alongside his brother, Yankees star Jason Giambi (left)
The Red Sox, where Giambi spent the last years of his career, also posted a tribute to their former outfielder on Twitter.
“We mourn the loss of Jeremy Giambi, who spent six major league seasons, including 2003 with the Red Sox. We send our sincere condolences to the Giambi family.
The Phillies also posted a tribute to Giambi, who played for the team in 2002 after being traded from the Athletics, who was later depicted in a scene from the movie “Moneyball.”
“The Phillies are saddened to hear the news of the tragic passing of Jeremy Giambi. Our condolences go out to his family during this difficult time.
His Phillies teammate Brett Myers, who was part of the 2008 World Series Championship team, also mourned the loss of Giambi on Twitter.
RIP Jeremy Giambi! Saddened and shocked here (sic) at the passing of my former teammate! You were a great teammate and a fun guy to have around the clubhouse! My prayers go out to family and friends!’
Giambi is best known for the final moments of the 2001 American League Divisional Series, where he was tagged by Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada of the Yankees.