The Boston Red Sox were once again confronted with tragedy Wednesday morning.
Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart was scratched from the team’s spring-training lineup after learning of the death of his younger brother, Romell Jordan, the Red Sox announced Wednesday.
“Jordan, who played running back at the University of New Mexico, was 23 years old,” the statement read. “No details of the death have been released, and the Swihart family has asked the public to respect their privacy.”
The news comes less than a week after the Red Sox — and the rest of the baseball community — mourned the death of longtime Boston Globe reporter Nick Cafardo.
The Albuquerque Journal previously reported that Swihart’s family took in Jordan during his last two years of high school due to problems at his home. Jordan listed Swihart as his brother in his bio on the Lobos’ web site.
“He always was a family friend and stuff happened,” Swihart told The Eagle-Tribune in 2014. “And he asked to come live with us and we said, ‘Yes as long as we get to take care of you fully.'”
Jordan ran for 551 yards and five touchdowns over parts of three seasons during his career at New Mexico. He also returned kicks and punts.
The team told reporters Wednesday morning that there was a “family emergency” with one of its players, but it did not immediately name the player nor specify the nature of the emergency.
“Through triumph, tragedy, and heartbreak this team/organization sticks together!!” pitcher David Price wrote on Twitter, adding the hashtag “#extendedfamily.”
Manager Alex Cora told reporters that Wednesday’s news, like learning of Cafardo’s death, hit the team hard.
“It hurts,” Cora said before the team’s spring-training game. “It’s tough. That’s a special group in there. We will be OK. It puts everything in perspective again. It’s just a game. It is a tough day.”
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