Was Jeremy Giambi’s suicide triggered by brain injury from baseball?
A new report suggests that a baseball accident six months previous may have had a role in the former MLB player’s suicide last February.
Jeremy Giambi was always larger than life as a player, known for his raucous off-field antics, he spent five years playing for the Royals, As, Phillies, Red Sox, Dodgers, and White Sox. So when you think of any of the things that might befall Jeremy Giambi, suicide was the very last thing that you thought of.
Last February, the baseball world was stunned to hear that he had taken his own life. Details were scarce at the time and it seemed so out of character for this man who was very much the life of the clubhouse.
Now a new report has been released by the medical examiner, giving us an insight into the circumstances of Giambi’s demise, and it makes for unsettling reading.
According to the report, and confirmed by the Giambi family in a separate post, Jeremy had been working as a private hitting coach at PFA Baseball in Montclair, California. In August of last year, Giambi was struck in the face with a baseball during a hitting lesson and suffered severe damage to his face and skull.
His fractured zygomatic bone, which forms the prominent part of the cheek and outer eye socket, required surgery and during the healing, Giambi’s personality changed drastically.
Witnesses reported that following the incident, and during his recovery, Giambi became “very emotional, very negative, and would let the smallest things ruin his day.”
According to a post made by his family on GoFundMe, “After recovering from the broken bones in his face, Jeremy began suffering from severe emotional distress and depression. The accident traumatized and changed the Jeremy we all loved and adored so much.”
He was reported to have become “very emotional, depressed and paranoid.”
According to a Danish study published in 2018, traumatic head and brain injury increases the likelihood of suicide by over two-and-a-half times, and more than triples the possibility within the first six months following the injury.
Although not diagnosed with any neurological issues, and having no drugs or alcohol present in the autopsy, Giambi’s demeanor would indicate that he was affected by the incident in August more than his doctors were aware of.
Giambi was found dead in his mother’s home in Claremont, California on February 9 and the coroner’s report listed the cause of death as a single gunshot wound from a Winchester Model 94AE Level action repeating rifle to the chest.
If a baseball injury were to have played a role in Giambi’s decision to end his own life, the tragedy surrounding the event is amplified. The heart-rending action of anyone deciding to end it all is made all that much more appalling when the game that he loved so much, and devoted his life to, in the end became his undoing.