16-year MLB veteran Rheal Cormier, a reliever who spent three seasons with the Red Sox over two separate stints, died Monday at the age of 53 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Known primarily for his six-year run with the Phillies, the Canadian-born lefty was with the Sox via trade in 1995 and then joined the team as a free agent for a second stint from 1999 through 2000, and appeared in 172 total games with the Red Sox over his two-stint, three-season run with the franchise.
Cormier also played a significant role during Boston’s 1999 run to the ALCS, tossing 7.2 innings of shutout ball (and with eight strikeouts) over six total appearances against the Indians and Yankees.
He was also one hell of a teammate, both to his current and former teammates, as confirmed in this anecdote shared by 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Tony Massarotti.
Also very sad to hear this. Teammates called him "Frenchy." Tremendous guy. Once drilled Jim Thome (a former teammate in Cleveland) to start a brawl at Fenway, then saw Thome waiting for a cab and drove him to the hotel. Old school. https://t.co/BFiTJg8gR1— Tony Massarotti (@TonyMassarotti) March 8, 2021
Cormier, who retired following the 2008 Olympics, was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012.