Dutch international pitcher Loek van Mil died Sunday evening from injuries sustained from a fatal accident, the baseball and softball association KNBSB announced on Monday morning. He was 34 years old.
Van Mil was admitted to an Australian hospital last December in "critical but stable" condition after sustaining serious head injuries while hiking. He had been found by a hiker after hitting his head on rocks and suffering multiple fractures and bleeding on the brain.
Van Mil had recently announced that he was stepping away from baseball as a consequence of the accident.
"The KNBSB is very grateful to Mil for what he has done in his career for Dutch baseball and wishes the surviving relatives strength to cope with this major loss," the association said in the statement.
Van Mil made his Dutch league debut in 2005 at 20 years old, pitching for Honkbalclub Allen Weerbaar (HCAW) in Bussum. He signed a seven-year deal as a non-drafted free agent with the Minnesota Twins in 2005 and had brief stints with the Angels, Indians and Reds during his time playing pro baseball in the U.S. He pitched 10 seasons in the minor leagues, topping out at Triple A.
A 7'1" closer, Van Mil was one of the tallest pitchers in baseball history, tied with former Diamondbacks prospect Ryan Doherty. He pitched in Japan before signing with Adelaide Bite of the Australian Baseball League in 2016 and the Brisbane Bandits in 2018. He played 48 international matches for Team Kingdom of the Netherlands and was a part of the 2007 Baseball World Cup, the World Baseball Classic in 2013 and the Premier 12 in 2015. In the 2017 WBC, he faced Israel’s Nate Freiman (6'8") in what was believed to be the tallest batter-pitcher matchup in baseball history.
As a closer, he helped his team win the European Championship final in 2016.