Clippers, Indians mourn death of Pruzinsky

Players raise more than $50K for family of late clubhouse manager

By Danny Wild / MiLB.com | December 12, 2017 12:40 PM

Cleveland Indians players have helped raise more than $55,000 for the family of Matt Pruzinsky, the former Columbus Clippers clubhouse manager who died suddenly on Sunday afternoon.

Pruzinsky, 32, suffered a heart attack while at a Cleveland Browns game this past weekend, leaving behind his wife, Shannon, who is expecting twins in March. Indians reliever Shawn Armstrong set up a GoFundMe page on Monday to assist Pruzinsky's family and memorialize the beloved Triple-A clubbie.

"Matt was a brother and teammate to each and every individual that stepped foot in that clubhouse," Armstrong wrote. "No matter what the circumstance was he always found a way to look at the positives in life."

The GoFundMe, which initially had a goal of $25,000, has already raised more than $55,000 as of noon Tuesday. Many of the contributions have come from Indians players.

"Really tough to hear about the sudden passing of Matt Pruzinsky," Indians infielder Jason Kipnis tweeted. "Guy was the [Columbus] clubhouse manager for us in the Indians org and easily became a friend to all those that played there."

"My prayers go up for Shannon and Matt's family. My heart is heavy for their loss," said Luke Carlin, a former Indians catcher who is currently the manager of Cleveland's New York-Penn League affiliate. "Matt was always a positive light in the clubhouse. Rest In Peace my friend."

"Really at a loss for words," said Justin Toole, a former Indians Minor Leaguer who spent parts of five seasons at Columbus. "Can't say enough great things about Matt. He was part of my baseball family. Anything to help Shannon and the boys is appreciated."

Pruzinsky "went into cardiac arrest and died Sunday" according to the Columbus Dispatch. Pruzinsky was watching the Cleveland Browns host the Green Bay Packers at FirstEnergy Stadium.

"Matt has been a part of the Clippers and Indians organizations for many years, this is a tragic loss for all of us," the Clippers said in a statement. "Our heartfelt condolences go out to Matt's wife Shannon and their families."

"Today we lost a big part of the Indians and Clippers family," Indians center fielder Bradley Zimmer wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. "Win or lose, he is always there for the boys! Thanks for everything you did behind the scenes and always being you! Love you Matty."

"The Indians and Clippers family lost a great one, he was always there when any of us needed help," tweeted Indians righty Mike Clevinger. "Cheers to our true 26th man who helped make the ends meet behind the scenes. RIP Matt thank you for all you did."

Pruzinsky, who listed Mentor, Ohio, as his hometown, previously worked as the clubhouse manager for the Indians' Class A affiliate at Lake County. He got married last October and was a big fan of Cleveland-area sports teams, including the Browns, Indians and Cavs.

"Matt was the Captains clubhouse manager for several years before moving on to the Clippers. Our thoughts and prayers are with Matt's entire family and his wife Shannon, who was also a former Captains staff member," the Captains wrote on Twitter.

"I'm at a loss of words right now and just completely devastated," Cleveland Indians lefty Shawn Morimando posted to Twitter on Monday. "Matt, you were always there for us. I cant thank you enough for everything you've done brother! We love and will miss you!"

Tweet from @DannySalazar67: So sad to lose a great friend like you Matt, but I���m sure God has better plans for you my good Friend, my prayers to your wife and those twins that are on their way and th rest of your family #R.I.P.Mattpruzinsky #Ilostafriend @CLBClippers

Tweet from @AustinAdams49: Completely devastated by the passing of my clubhouse manager and friend Matt Pruzinsky! The @CLBClippers and @Indians org. lost a great member of the family! Fly high my friend and watch over those twin boys on the way! Keep Matt���s family in your prayers please! #26thman

Danny Wild is an editor for MiLB.com. Follow his MLBlog column, Minoring in Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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