Sad news for the Minnesota Twins family as longtime minor-league coach and manager Riccardo Ingram passed away Tuesday night at the age of 48 after a second fight against brain cancer, La Velle Neal III of the Star Tribune reports.
In 2009, Ingram was diagnosed with Grade 4 blioblastoma – a form of brain cancer – which, according to the Star Tribune, 90-95 percent of people with that type of cancer were expected to die within a year of diagnosis.
Ingram survived it.
In a 2010 interview with MLB.com – just 16 months after the diagnosis – Ingram recounted what he told the doctor who gave him the bad news.
"I said, 'You know Doc, I never do anything miniature. I do it all the way,'" Ingram said. "He was a little surprised at my reaction, but I told him there is a purpose for everything. I don't know what this is right now, but there is a purpose for this too."
Ingram, who was a football and baseball star at Georgia Tech, had a very brief two-season stint as a Major league Baseball player before beginning his Twins coaching career in 1998. He served as a hitting coach at Class A and AA for five seasons before becoming a manager at the Rookie League, A and AA levels from 2004-2007. He rounded out his coaching career at AAA Rochester and the Gulf Coast League.
According to News-Press, the 2005 Fort Myers Miracle team he managed featured current Twins All-Star closer Glen Perkins and former Twins standout centerfielder Denard Span, who now plays for the Washington Nationals.
The news of his death hit past and present players hard.