Tallest Baseball Player In The World Loek Van Mil Dead At 34 — Here's What We Know

Rest in peace, Loek Van Mil.

How Did Loek Van Mil Die? New Details On The Death Of The Dutch-Born Professional Baseball Player At 34 Years Old Getty images

He was once named the tallest baseball player in the world. And, his recent death at the age of 34 shocked, not just the sports world, but the pop culture world in general. How did Loek Van Mil die?

Here's what we know about this sudden, and unfortunate, death. 


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1. He had a long and storied history in baseball. 

According to People Magazine, Loek Van Mil played for several professional baseball teams throughout the course of his career, and those teams included both national and international teams. 

"Van Mil had a long and successful baseball career in which he played in the Dutch big league for HCAW and Curaçao Neptunus. The pitcher played as a pro in America for the Minnesota Twins and the Los Angeles Angels and in Japan for Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles,” said the outlet.

Loek Van Mil played professional baseball. 


2. Loek Van Mil hadn't played baseball in a while. 

Even though he had a long and storied career in baseball, Loek Van Mil was billed as a "former" professional baseball player, according to Fox 17

"Van Mil also spent 10 seasons in the minor leagues in the United States, pitching in the systems of Minnesota, Cincinnati, Cleveland and the Los Angeles Angels. He played for his native Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic in 2013 and 2017," reported the outlet.

Loek Van Mil retired from baseball due to his injuries.


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3. The injuries that claimed his life happened back in December 2018. 

According to Yahoo, the injuries that ultimately claimed Loek Van Mil's life happened all the way back in December 2018, when he went hiking with a few friends. 

"Van Mil was in a serious hiking accident Canberra, Australia in December 2018. He was left unconscious in nature for 24 hours after hitting his head on rocks. He was admitted to the hospital and received treatment for multiple fractures, hemorrhages, and bleeding of the brain," reported the outlet, who added that he'd decided not to play baseball anymore so he could recover from his injuries. 

It's unclear what, precisely, the extent of those injuries were. We do know, however, that one such injury was a head injury, and that's the injury that's speculated to be the direct cause of his death. 


Loek Van Mil was involved in a tragic hiking accident last year. 

4. At the request of his family, Loek Van Mil's official cause of death has not been released. 

According to USA Today, even though the official statement about Loek Van Mil's death involved "fatal injuries," further details weren't released at the request of Van Mil's family. 


"Former MiLB pitcher Loek van Mil died Sunday following injuries from a “fatal accident,” according to the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association KNBSB. Van Mil was tied for the tallest baseball player ever at 7-foot-1, matching the height of former Arizona Diamondbacks prospect Ryan Doherty. But van Mil was the more successful of the two towering record holders," reported the outlet.

Loek Van Mil's official cause of death has not been released out of respect for his family. 


5. This is the second sports-related death in just as many weeks. 

According to Radar Online, the tragic death of Loek Van Mil comes just one week after Major League Baseball player Tyler Skaggs lost his life due to unknown causes, as well. 

"Van Mil’s death comes weeks after Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Tyler Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room at age 27, and over one month since Boston Red Sox icon David Ortiz was shot in the back during a Dominican Republic trip with friends. On Twitter and Instagram, van Mil’s fans, friends, and loved ones, are continuing to mourn his death," reported the outlet.

Our thoughts are with Loek Van Mil's family during what is undoubtedly a difficult time. 


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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. For more information about Bernadette Giacomazzo, click here.