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Playing for Keli McGregor

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The Colorado Rockies suffered a painful 5-2 loss to the Washington Nationals two days ago and looked to come into last night’s game with a much better result. The loss had the potential to loom large in the Rockies’ minds during yesterday’s game (the Nationals are a generally bad team). But those concerns were suddenly diminished when it was learned that team president Keli McGregor had been found dead in his Salt Lake City hotel room.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that McGregor was in Utah with other team leaders, attending meetings to promote the Rockies, and couldn’t be reached when colleagues tried to call him. They asked the hotel to check on McGregor, and it was the hotel workers who found him dead. It doesn’t appear foul play was involved, but the official cause of death has yet to be announced.

McGregor, 48, is survived by his wife and four children, as one of the team’s owners mentions in the team’s official statement.

“Our thoughts, our prayers are with Lori and the entire family as we all try to cope and understand how such a tragic loss could occur with such a wonderful man,” writes Rockies chairman and CEO Charlie Monfort.

McGregor was a star football player at Colorado State University and played for several NFL teams, including the Broncos. He joined the Colorado Rockies in 1993 as senior director of operations and eventually rose to the level of president.

A situation like this puts tough losses on the field into perspective, but the players knew they needed to battle against the Nationals yesterday just like they would on any other day, The Denver Post points out.

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki called on his strong Christian faith to wrap his mind around the situation, and he led off the Rockies’ 10-4 romp over the Nationals with a second-inning solo home run. Pitcher Jorge De La Rosa improved his record to 2-1 and helped himself with two hits, including a bases-clearing double. A jersey with the number 88—the number McGregor wore on his football jerseys—hung in the dugout throughout the game.

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