A's Hendriks Loses Close Friend to Coronavirus

John Hickey

To this date, no Major League Baseball player has been among the more than 1,000 Americans to have died from the COVID-19 coronavirus.

That doesn’t mean players haven’t been touched by the growing pandemic.

On Thursday night, A’s closer Liam Hendriks went to Instagram with the story that one of his friends, musician Conrad Buchanan, had died from the disease.

Buchanan, a Brooklyn-based musician who did DJ work under the name “Griff Gotti,” had announced on Facebook that he’d tested positive for COVID-19 only a week earlier. Hendriks, his buddy, took Thursday’s news of his death hard.

“An incredibly talented, loyal and amazing friend was taken by COVID-19 today,” Hendriks said in his Instagram post. “It all happened so quickly.

“Our hearts are absolutely breaking right now.”

When Gotti, 39, made his original post, it was clear he knew coronavirus was a danger.

In making his post, he said, “Keep your distance from people. Please, if you don’t have to be in public settings, choose solitary confinement as your first option. Be safe.”

In his post on Instagram, Hendriks expressed many of the same ideas.

“Please say a prayer for his wonderful wife and sweet daughter tonight,” Hendriks wrote. “Squeeze your loved ones a little tighter and remind them how much they mean to you.

“And I implore you: PLEASE take this virus seriously. Stay home not only for your health, but for the sake of others as well.”

As of Friday, the United States had reported more than 100,000 cases of coronavirus nationally with more than 1,500 deaths.