SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Some sad news Tuesday night in the sports world, as longtime western Mass. baseball star Karl Oliveira has died.
Oliveira was known for not only his commitment to the game but an overall passion.
"He was always quick to offer a scouting report for me on how our players were performing in the summer, in the tri-county league," Western New England University Athletic Director Matt LaBranche said.
Dedicated to the game and committed to putting western Mass. on the map was longtime baseball star Oliveira's mission.
“He just obviously loved baseball so much and had such a terrific competitive streak. He just had so much pride in his team, in coaching, and just the program that was being run as one of the main stages of the tri-country league," LaBranche said.
Tied to the game for much of his 57 years of life, the former Western New England University star player died on Monday.
A friend sending Western Mass News a video of Oliveira back in 2009. He was the only non-professional baseball player inducted into the Western Mass Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019.
"Karl was a heck of a player here. He played on some really good teams in the 80s when the school was still competing as an NAA school and played on one team that won a district title, played on another team at that time, held the school record for wins, and had a season one year where he hit close to 400. His junior year was his best year and set the school's single-season record for RBI's at that time," LaBranche said.
After learning about Oliveira’s passing, LaBranche said practice has been difficult for some players who were close with him.
"Karl’s legacy and contribution to local baseball are consistent over the years. One of our local players that played for him really felt strongly about the impact and the connection that he had with Karl and the impact that he made on his overall experience and the news of his passing certainty designated at baseball practice yesterday," LaBranche said.
But what LaBranche said lives on forever...
"His passion. His passion and his competitiveness for the sport," LaBranche added.
As of now, we do not have any word on how Oliveria has died but will update you once we learn more. There is a GoFundMe set up by his family if you would like to help support them.