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Hideki Irabu Remembered By Teammates, Honored With Moment Of Silence

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Hideki Irabu, the former New York Yankees pitcher found dead of an apparent suicide on Wednesday in Rancho Palos Verdes, was remembered Friday night by his famous teammates and honored with a moment of silence at Yankee Stadium before a game against Baltimore, notes the Associated Press.

A photo of Irabu "tipping his cap to the crowd" was displayed on the video board in center field and the Yankees remembered him as "a talented pitcher who was fun to be around."

In a note to the AP on Friday, Los Angeles County Assistant Coroner Chief Ed Winter said the 42-year-old died by hanging himself, and that "the mode was suicide." Irabu did not leave a note, he said. An autopsy was performed Friday and toxicology results are expected to take six to eight weeks.

"It's really devastating. I got to know him real well," longtime Yankees star Jorge Posada said. "A guy that came out here with a lot riding on his shoulders, but he did a hell of a job for us. Tough times." "I was caught off guard, to say the least," Derek Jeter said. "Irabu was fun. He didn't speak a lot of English, but he probably knew more than he led you guys to believe."

Irabu, who went 29-20 for the Yankees from '97-'99, was "forever tagged with a label from late owner George Steinbrenner, who called him a 'fat ... toad' after Irabu failed to cover first base during an exhibition game."
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