We recently summarized our findings on the mortality of Major League Baseball (MLB) players born outside the United States. In the source study we hypothesized that violent crime may have been responsible for some of the excess mortality observed for MLB players from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
The recent tragic death of Pascual Perez adds to the evidence in favor of this hypothesis. A 55-year-old former MLB pitcher from the Dominican Republic, Mr. Perez was murdered in his home near Santo Domingo during a robbery gone awry. One report noted that Mr. Perez was killed on the very day he started receiving his MLB pension, and suggested that the robbers may therefore have been acquaintances who were hoping to find large sums of cash in his home.
I mourn the senseless loss of another MLB player. Mr Pascual's death adds to the evidence suggesting that the excess mortality we have observed in MLB players from the DR may be due, in part, to violent crime in that country. A heightened awareness of this may help prevent such deaths in the future. MLB Players' Union, are you listening?