Body of former MLB pitcher, El Paso native Frank Castillo recovered from Ariz. lake
The body of former Major League Baseball player Frank Castillo was recovered Monday afternoon, according to Maricopa County Sheriff's Office officials.
Castillo, a former standout pitcher for Eastwood High School in El Paso in the early 1980s who played in the major leagues for 13 years, drowned in Bartlett Lake in Arizona near his home Sunday afternoon.
He was 44 and is survived by two daughters.
Authorities say Castillo was on a pontoon boat with a friend when he decided to go swimming. Castillo's friend reportedly called for help when Castillo did not come back up out of the water.
Castillo's family released the following statement to KVIA on Monday:
"Frank Castillo died on Sunday in a drowning accident while with his family at a lake near his home. Frank was a wonderful son, terrific brother, and an extraordinary father to his two beautiful girls.
"Everyone who knew Frank loved Frank . We are devastated by this loss.
"It is impossible to express in words the level of sadness we feel due to this tragedy.
All of those who counted Frank as a personal friend, and to all those wonderful fans
who cheered for him during his major league career, we genuinely appreciate your prayers and kind words during this extremely difficult time.
"While we may not be able to thank each of you in person, it is very comforting to know that you are with us in spirit.
"We will provide information about the funeral once we are ab le to make all of the arrangements
Castillo was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1987 and played for them for seven years starting in 1991. He also played for Colorado, Detroit, Toronto, Boston, and Florida.
He won a World Series ring in 2004 while with the Red Sox and had a career 4.56 ERA and a record of 82 wins and 104 losses. Castillo was inducted into the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.
"He spent over a decade in the big leagues but you wouldn't know it if you met him," said Ruly Medrano, a former high school teammate of Castillo. "He was just a real humble guy, very friendly to everybody, very mild mannered. He didn't have the ego. He wouldn't tell you he was a big league ballplayer."
Former Eastwood teammate Butch Henry also pitched in the Major Leagues for eight seasons.
"Frank and I thrived off of each other," Henry said. "We thrived off of each other in a sense where it was a competition, but it wasn't. Where he pushed me, I pushed him, even beyond high school. I was always looking to see how Frank was doing and wanting to do as well, if not better."
Henry said he will miss his old friend.
"We were friends," Henry said. "This is a sad day. You don't think about somebody as young as him perishing, but it brings things into realization that in the blink of an eye, everything you have can e gone. My heart and prayers go out to his family and I hope someday the pain of this will go away, but I can't imagine what they're going through. I really can't."
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