Tyler Skaggs’ wife, Carli Skaggs, didn’t react when Judge Terry Means sentenced Eric Kay for distributing the drugs that caused Tyler’s overdose death in 2019. Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room on 1st July 2019 – an autopsy determined that Tyler choked on his vomit. The toxicology report indicated that Skaggs had traces of alcohol, fentanyl, and oxycodone in his system.
“We are very grateful to everyone who worked so hard to investigate and prosecute Eric Kay,” a statement from Skaggs’ family read. “We will continue the fight to hold responsible those who allowed Kay to provide a deadly drug to Tyler. But for their actions, Tyler would still be with us today.”
Tyler and Carli wed a few months before Tyler’s tragic passing
Skaggs proposed to his then-long-term girlfriend, Carli, on 9th November 2017 in Bora Bora. Following the proposal, Tyler wished Carli a happy birthday via Instagram:
“Happy Birthday to my Best Friend my Future Wife and my Forever Travel Partner. I love you babe. Thank you for always believing in me and pushing me to be great.”
As the couple planned for their wedding in 2018, they received a call from the venue’s management stating that wildfires had destroyed most of the venue. Carli told Wealth Management:
“We were very lucky. Five days before the wedding, we learned the guest ranch would not be available due to the fire. The fires were followed by the threat of rain, which meant mudslides were a possibility.”
Thankfully, the couple’s wedding room wasn’t damaged, so the ceremony went ahead as planned. “2018 was the best year yet,” Skaggs captioned photos of the ceremony. “Thank you to everyone who helped make it special.”
Carli told The Los Angeles Times that she and Tyler texted so much that they argued over who loved the other more. She said:
“Every other text message was, ‘I love you, I miss you, you’re my best friend, I can’t wait to see you. He’d leave for the field and 15 minutes later there would be a text on my phone saying, ‘I miss you babe.’”
Therefore, on the morning of 1st July 2019, Carli found it odd that she didn’t receive a text from Tyler. After receiving the news about Tyler’s passing, Carli went into her parents’ house screaming. “I’ll never, ever forget that call,” Carli said.
Carli said she saw no evidence of Tyler’s alleged drug use
Eric Kay, the man convicted of supplying Tyler with drugs, told federal agents that he and Tyler had abused drugs for years. Kay also stated that some members of the Angels’ hierarchy knew about Skaggs’ drug use.
“He didn’t exhibit any behaviors of someone who was abusing or addicted to drugs,” Carli told The Los Angeles Times, an assertion supported by Tyler’s mother, Debbie.
On the last day of the prosecution’s case, four baseball players testified that oxycodone use was common in the MLB. “I’m sorry, guys,” Carli said on the stand. “This is just really hard for me.”
During the cross-examination, defense attorney Michael Molfetta asked Carli why she threatened to expose Tyler’s drinking problem the night before Skaggs’ death. Carli retorted: “You’re asking about a text that I sent out of anger saying something that wasn’t true that my husband couldn’t respond to because he was dead.”
The next Angels game was memorable for Carli and Tyler’s family. Debbie threw a perfect first pitch, setting up the Angels for a sensational no-hitter victory against the Seattle Mariners. All Angels wore Skaggs’ number 45 jerseys; after the game, they laid their jerseys on the mound in memory of their teammate.
“It was so surreal, so numbing,” Carli said. “Everywhere you looked, there was his giant photo and the words, ‘In Loving Memory.’ It was like, is this really happening? It was a magical game for a magical person. Tyler was definitely at the stadium.”
Carli drew courage from Tyler to speak during his memorial service
Tyler’s memorial happened in a packed St. Monica’s Catholic Church. Carli wasn’t supposed to speak, but she drew courage from Tyler and delivered a touching eulogy. “I was talking to Tyler in my head,” Carli said. “I told him, ‘I need you to give me some strength right now.’ He did. He always did.”
Skaggs said that she had no regrets about the love she and Tyler shared. “We never missed an opportunity to say how fortunate we are to have found our true love,” Carli said. “I’m grateful we never took our love for granted, always showing the utmost respect for each other.”
Carli remembered how Tyler often complimented her beauty and how she couldn’t take her eyes off him. She concluded:
“You are my forever soulmate, lover, confidant and best friend. You are my rock and I know you are by my side helping me to move forward one step at a time. I will love you until my last breath. Until we are together again, miss you, babe.”
On the anniversary of Tyler’s death, Carli hosted a gathering at her residence. She later scattered some of his ashes in the Pacific. “He loved the ocean,” Carli said.
Skaggs regretted that Tyler didn’t get the opportunity to become a father
In April 2019, Carli told Wealth Management that the couple’s life lacked stability because Tyler’s career kept him on the move. “Being a so-called ‘baseball wife’ has a stress all its own,” Carli said. “Since Tyler’s regularly on the move, we lack that traditional stability.”
Regardless, Carli and Tyler planned to start a family. “Tyler wants his children to be able to see him pitch,” Carli said. Wealth Management reported that the couple had purchased a home in Santa Monica, California. They were yet to move in before Tyler passed.
Carli told The Los Angeles Times she would likely rent out the property after remodeling it. Any tenant would have to allow her to stop by every now and again. “I like hanging out there,” Carli said. “I still feel his presence there.”
Carli and Tyler’s mother started the Tyler Skaggs Foundation to honor his legacy
Carli remembers Tyler as a compassionate and generous human being. During Tyler’s last game, an aspiring player watched the match courtesy of Tyler. After the match, a loss to the Oakland Athletic, Tyler brought the boy to the family room and advised him.
“Afterward, I saw the boy crying and asked his mom if he was OK, and she said, ‘Yeah, Tyler’s words just really touched him,’” Carli said.
Carli and Debbie started the Tyler Skaggs Foundation to honor Tyler’s legacy of generosity. The foundation’s about page reads: “Tyler always told the kids he worked with that anything is possible with hard work and dedication. We are keeping Tyler’s legacy alive by sharing that message with young people throughout our community.”