The freak accident occurred in a game between the Drillers and Arkansas Travelers at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock, Ark. Coolbaugh was hit when Tulsa DH Tino Sanchez, a left-handed batter, pulled a pitch foul in the top of the ninth. The contest was suspended after a delay of approximately 30 minutes.
Coolbaugh was unconscious and was not breathing when paramedics began administering CPR on the field, according to MiLB.com. His neck was immobilized before he was taken to Baptist Health Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 10:47 p.m. EDT.
"The Indianapolis Indians regret the passing of former Tribe player Mike Coolbaugh," Indians Vice President & General Manager Cal Burleson says. "Our sympathies are extended to his entire family, and to everyone involved with the Tulsa Drillers and Colorado Rockies organizations."
A memorial fund has been set up for the Coolbaught family. Checks can be made payable to:
Mike Coolbaugh Memorial Fund c/o/ Spirit Bank 1800 S. Baltimore Ave. Tulsa, OK 74119
Coolbaugh was an International League All-Star in 2001 when Indianapolis last hosted the Triple-A All-Star Game. In 94 games for the Indians that season, he hit .268 with 10 home runs and 50 RBI.
Coolbaugh took over as Tulsa's hitting coach on July 3, 2007. He spent most of his 17-year playing career in the Minor Leagues, appearing in 39 affairs for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2001 and five tilts for the St. Louis Cardinals the following year.
Coolbaugh was originally taken by Toronto in the 16th round of the 1990 draft. He batted .260 with 258 long balls and 1,007 RBI in 1,690 Minor League contests.
Coolbaugh is the younger brother of former Major Leaguer Scott Coolbaugh, who serves as hitting coach for Double-A Frisco (Texas). He is survived by his wife, Mandy, and two young sons, Jacob and Joseph. Mandy is expecting the couple's third child in October.
The Indians will honor Mike Coolbaugh's memory with a moment of silence prior to Monday evening's game against Durham.