The death of longtime minor league pitcher Matt Pobereyko was revealed on Monday by his family. He had been hospitalized since Friday in the Chicago area. At the time, Pobereyko was 31 years old.
Brother Daniel informed NBC News that Pobereyko slumped unexpectedly in his residence on Friday and was later recovered by his girlfriend. The native of Hammond, Indiana settled in Warrenville, a western suburb of Chicago, during the Mexican Pacific Winter League offseason.
Saraperos de Saltillo his current team released a statement Saturday claiming the pitcher died of a heart attack, but a spokesperson for the DuPage County Coroner’s Office said the death was “still pending investigation” and that an official cause of death could take up to eight weeks to be determined.
According to Daniel Pobereyko, their parents, who had just seen him earlier in the week, were also shocked by their brother’s death.
“He just dropped and that’s all we know,” Daniel Pobereyko said. “We don’t know. There’s nothing outstanding on the autopsy. But from what I understand, he would have gotten a clean bill of health if he had a pulse.”
Before making the jump to the pros in 2016, Matt Pobereyko starred at Kentucky Wesleyan. There were a few stops along the way with the Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Mets, and Miami Marlins (with the Mets getting as high as Triple-A in 2018), but the last four years of his career have been spent mostly in independent and Mexican leagues.
On Sunday, his previous team’s stadium, Kuroda Park in Guasave, was featured in a tweet from the Liga Mexicana del Pacifico. The pitcher’s mound has a wreath on it and the number 56 written in chalk.
— Liga ARCO Mexicana del Pacífico (@Liga_Arco) February 26, 2023
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This past winter, he pitched for Algodoneros de Guasave and tallied 43 strikeouts in 70 and third innings. He last played for the Sioux City Explorers in the American League.
We mourn the loss of Matt Pobereyko. A great baseball player and an even better person. RIP Pobo
— Sioux City Explorers (@SiouxCityXs) February 26, 2023
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