ESPN is reporting that former Atlanta Braves pitcher Rick Camp died Thursday in northwest Georgia.
According to the report, the 59-year-old Camp was found at his house in Rydal, about 55 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta.
Authorities say that while an autopsy would be performed to determine Camp’s cause of death, there was nothing to indicate that he died from anything other than natural causes.
A Georgia native, Camp spent his entire nine-year (1976 – 1985) MLB career with the Braves and went 56-49 with a 3.37 ERA in 65 starts and 349 relief appearances.
Camp was cut by the team just before the start of the 1986 season.
Though he was a pitcher, Camp’s most memorable moment in the big league came during a trip to the plate.
On July 4, 1985, the Braves trailed the New York Mets 11-10 in the bottom of the 18th inning. With Atlanta out of pinch hitters, Camp stepped into the batter’s box and belted a game-tying homerun into the stands in left field. (The blast would be the only homer in Camp’s 175 career at bats.)
Despite Rick’s late-game heroics, the Braves wound up losing 16-13 in the 19th inning in what remains the latest finish to a contest (3:55 am) in major league history
The game was followed by a fireworks display for the approximately 8,000 still left from an original crowd of 44,947.
Here is a video on Rick Camp’s improbable 18th inning homerun:
Following Camp’s death, several members of the sports world took to the net to offer their condolences.
Former Braves first baseman Dale Murphy tweeted Thursday:
Will miss friend and teammate Rick Camp. Sad news. RIP Rick. Good memories. I join with all @braves family/fans w prayers to the Camp family
— Dale Murphy (@DaleMurphy3) April 25, 2013
Sports Illustrated’s Jay Jaffe added: