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OC Register: Mike Trout, Tommy La Stella to wear No. 45 in honor of Tyler Skaggs at All-Star Game

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CLEVELAND — Mike Trout and Tommy La Stella settled on the best way to bring Tyler Skaggs with them to the All-Star Game.

Trout and La Stella will both wear Skaggs’ No. 45 for the game on Tuesday night.

“We thought it would be a good way to show some love and respect for Tyler,” Trout said before the game. “That’s going to be fun for me. It’s going to be good for him, good for his family. And I know he is looking over us tonight.”

Trout said he and La Stella began discussing the idea in the days following Skaggs’ death last week. Major League Baseball gave them permission for the number change.

“It’s going to be, I’m sure, a very emotional night for all of us,” La Stella said. “I don’t know what to expect. It’s one of those things that’s not going to be easy, but it’ll be right to have him with us in that way.”

All of the All-Stars on both teams will also wear No. 45 patches during the pregame introductions. It will be up to each player whether he continues to wear the patch during the game.

Skaggs’ presence at the All-Star Game comes a year after had the best first half of his career, posting a 2.57 ERA. Despite his numbers, Skaggs was one of the notable omissions from the 2018 All-Star roster. Skaggs was open about his disappointment in not making the team.

“I think he was the best pitcher in the major leagues in June, or something like that (last year),” Trout said. “Obviously, we thought he deserved to be here. So that’s another reason we’re going to represent him. … He was working hard to become the pitcher he was. I know ultimately one of his goals was to make an All-Star team.”

One of the pitchers Skaggs worked with is an All-Star.

Lucas Giolito of the Chicago White Sox also grew up in Santa Monica and worked out regularly with Skaggs in the offseason. Giolito, who has been wearing Skaggs’ number on his cap, said he’s still having trouble coming to grips with the loss.

“When I first heard the news, I couldn’t believe it,” said Giolito, a product of Harvard-Westlake High. “I learned a lot from Tyler as soon as I got drafted. I looked up to him so much. It’s tough. It’s really tough.”

Earlier in the day, when Players’ Association head Tony Clark was holding his annual session with baseball writers, he made a point of addressing the impact Skaggs’ death had on him and his wife.

“When that news came through, it took us back to where I was and she was at 27,” said Clark, a former player. “The idea that I was likely on the road at some point in time. I had likely just told her I loved her and good night. When you think about Tyler. You think that was the last time it happened. It was tough.”

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