BASEBALL’S tallest player Loek van Mil has died at the age of 34 eight months — after surviving an accident that left him with a fractured skull.
The 7ft 1in Dutch pitcher hit his head on rocks while hiking last December and was unconscious for 24 hours before being found near Canberra, Australia.
He was found by another hiker and driven to hospital, before scans revealed he had fractured his skull and suffered bleeding to the brain.
Van Mil survived, retired and moved back to Holland, with Dutch authorities are looking into whether his death was related to the accident.
Rotterdam Neputunus spokesman Michel Streur told De Telegraaf: “We are very shocked, but we also know nothing else.”
The Dutch baseball association said: “The KNBSB is very grateful to Van Mil for what he has done in his career for Dutch baseball and wishes his next of kin a lot of strength in deal with this major loss.”
Brisbane Bandits tweeted: “The Brisbane Bandits are in mourning tonight after learning of the death of Bandits pitcher Loek Van Mil in a fatal accident in Europe in the last 24 hours.
“Our love & condolences go out to all members of his family, his friends & the baseball community.”
While he never made a breakthrough in the MLB, Van Mil played in the minor leagues after signing his first contract with the Minnesota Twins in 2005.
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He then moved to Los Angeles Angels in 2010 and then the Cleveland Indians two years later, but again never made his Major League debut.
That prompted a move to Japan with the Rakuten Golden Eagles, before he went to Curacao Neputnus in 2015.
His accident in Australia came about while he was playing for Brisbane Bandits, before he returned to Holland with Rotterdam club Neptunus.