Former Detroit Tigers‘ outfielder and current Philadelphia Phillies‘ manager Gabe Kapler has lost his house to the Woolsey Fire. Thankfully Kapler’s family had left their Malibu home on Friday following a mandatory evacuation order and were not hurt during the incident.
In an interview with The Athletic, Kapler wanted to raise awareness for family’s less fortunate than his own that have been impacted by the Woolsey Fire:
“It’s crazy to me,” Kapler said. “All of it.”
In the last 48 hours, friends from across baseball have contacted Kapler. How can I help? What can I do? Please let me know. And Kapler wanted to make something clear. “Look, we’re going to be fine,” he said. “Our family is going to be fine. The love and support is incredible.” He had something larger in mind as the fires all over California continue to rage.
“Keep talking about it,” Kapler said in a phone conversation Monday morning as he drove to Citizens Bank Park for work. “When you’re out in your community, talk about it with other people. Use it as a way to come together. I sent this text message back to people: Talk about it. Shine light on it. Raise awareness. Feel it.
“That’s my main point for other people. We’re good. Our family is good. There are a lot of other families who are not.”
Southern California’s Woolsey Fire has scorched 96,314 acres across Los Angeles and Ventura counties and was 35% contained as of Tuesday morning, according to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials. The fire has killed two people and destroyed 435 structures so far.
In addition to the Woolsey Fire, first responders are also currently battling several other wildfires including the Camp Fire in Northern California which has killed 42 people, destroyed more than 7,000 structures, and forced more than 52,000 residents to evacuate.
Kapler’s time with the Tigers
For those that might not remember Gabe Kapler’s time with the Tigers, here’s a quick rundown. The Tigers drafter Kapler with the 57th-round pick (1,487th overall) in the 1995 MLB draft. Kapler played for the Tigers during the 1998 and 1999 seasons.
When Kapler made his Major League debut in 1998, he became the first Tiger since the inception of the draft to be selected as late as the 57th round and make it to the majors. Kapler hit 10 home runs in his first 64 games, which was the fastest pace for a Tiger since 1954 and was not surpassed until Matt Joyce‘s rookie year in 2008.
In November 1999, Kapler was traded with fellow Tigers Al Webb, Frank Catalanotto, Francisco Cordero, Bill Haselman, and Justin Thompson to the Texas Rangers for Juan González, Danny Patterson, and Gregg Zaun.