Canadian pitcher Derek Aucoin, who played two games for the Montreal Expos in 1996, died of brain cancer on Saturday night, his family said. He was 50.
“There are very few words to express the profound pain and sorrow we feel as our dear Derek left us peacefully and surrounded by love,” his wife Isabelle and son Dawson said in a statement released Sunday by TVA Sports, where Aucoin worked as an MLB analyst. “For the past 18 months, he has been resiliently fighting glioblastoma multiforme. Despite this merciless cancer, he lived with gratitude for the present moment like only he could. We thank you for respecting our privacy in these difficult times.”
A native of Lachine, Que., Aucoin joined the Expos organization in 1989. The six-foot-seven, 235-pound right-hander allowed one earned run over two appearances when he reached the big-league level seven years later.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Derek Aucoin, who touched the lives of so many with his kindness and generosity,” the Toronto Blue Jays said in a statement. “His impact on the Expos and Canadian Baseball will never be forgotten. Our hearts go out to Derek’s family and friends during this difficult time.”
Aucoin became a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s board of directors in 2018.
“A gentle giant, Derek was a dedicated and passionate supporter of baseball on all levels and we will miss his infectious smile and enthusiasm for the game,” the Hall said in a statement.
“Our heartfelt condolences to Isabelle and their son Dawson. Derek, you will live on in our hearts and we look forward to honouring your legacy in the coming year.”
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante also expressed her condolences in a tweet on Sunday.
“All our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of Derek Aucoin. He has inspired generations and will remain an important ambassador for Baseball in Montreal and in Quebec, ” wrote Plante.
— With files from Global’s Brittany Henriques