Former baseballer dies months after horror fall
A FORMER Brisbane baseball player, dubbed "the tallest ever", has died from his injuries after a fall while hiking in December.
Former Brisbane Bandits pitcher Loek van Mil, 34, was hiking in Canberra on December 9.
The seven-foot-one-inch-tall Dutch international was trying to climb up onto a rock on his relaxing walk when a piece of granite "broke off'' under his weight.
He suffered 14 skull fractures.
Despite talking about his recovery in an interview with The Courier-Mail in January, van Mil succumbed to his injuries, a statement from the Australian Baseball League confirmed on Monday.
"Van Mil enjoyed a long and successful baseball career," the statement read.
"Professionally, the tall right handed pitcher played for the Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Angels, Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds in the US minor leagues, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan and the Adelaide Bite and Brisbane Bandits in the Australian Baseball League.
"The KNBSB is thankful for everything van Mil has meant to baseball in the Netherlands and offers sincere condolences to his family and friends."
Baseball Australia chief executive Cam Vale said the news of van Mil's passing was deeply saddening.
"All of us at Baseball Australia and across the Australian Baseball League extend our thoughts to Loek's family," Vale said.
"Loek had become a member of the Australian baseball family after spending the past four seasons in the ABL and we are truly shocked by this news."
Brisbane principal owner Mark Ready said the Bandits were in mourning.
"Our love, prayers and condolences go out to all the members of his immediate family, his friends and the wider baseball community who knew Loek," Ready said.
Van Mil joined Adelaide in December 2015 and played 47 games across three seasons for the Bite.
He joined Brisbane ahead of last season, featuring in seven games for the ABL champions.