Late last season after the trading deadline the Arizona Diamondbacks put in a waiver request on pitcher Joe Kennedy. At the time the move was partially one to keep one of the other National League Western Division teams from picking up Kennedy from the Oakland Athletics and partially because General Manager Josh Byrnes thought Kennedy could help the Diamondbacks in their push to the post season. Kennedy joined the Diamondbacks on August 4 and pitched out of the bullpen for Arizona. He made three appearances for the Diamondbacks pitching a total of 2.2 innings where he allowed 7 runs on 4 hits. On August 15 Arizona parted ways with Kennedy designating the left-hander for assignment thereby ending one of the shortest tenures of any player in franchise history. Kennedy would end up catching on with the Toronto Blue Jays where he would play the remainder of the season. That in itself would not be very noteworthy.
Yesterday news surfaced that free agent left-hander Joe Kennedy passed away while visiting his wife’s family for Thanksgiving. According to reports Kennedy went to bed early Thursday evening but awoke during the night and got up to get a drink. He passed out and was pronounced dead by the authorities. The cause of death is unknown but early indications are that it could have been a heart attack or a brain aneurism. Kennedy was 28 years old and is survived by his wife Jami and his one-year-old son Kaige. The Kennedy’s in the Denver area during the off season. Joe was very good friends with Rockies first baseman Todd Helton.
They just bought a house, this was the first Thanksgiving we haven’t spent together in quite a while. This is just really sad news.
Although Joe Kennedy was only with the Diamondbacks a short time he made an impression. He was quick to acknowledge the fans and willing to stop and talk. Prior to the first game he played he happened to come over and talk to my son Dakota. He was a pleasant man who made a little boy feel very special. It was something that Dakota made mention of on more than one occasion. It is always sad when someone passes away. We can only extend our deepest sympathies to his family during this time. While we did not have the privilege to get to know Joe very well, from the brief time we did he seemed to be a genuine person who you would be proud to list among your friends.