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Texas Rangers, former teammates remember Christopher Gradoville

Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 4:03 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - As our community mourns the untimely death of Creighton’s Baseball Director, Christopher Gradoville, more emotional responses are pouring in from his extended sports family.

Dustin Smith described the realization that he’d never see or hear from Gradoville again as stunning.

Smith had spoken to Gradoville just twenty-four hours before his life was taken Thursday morning.

“I ran into him and talked to him for about 20 minutes and caught up with him. Then... got a call the next day about what happened and I was stunned,” Smith said.

The meeting was another full-circle moment for both men, as it was their first reunion in years during Creighton University’s MLB scout day.

Creighton is where Smith discovered Gradoville and scouted him for the Texas Rangers. He said it was more than just athletic talent that caught his attention

“He plays a position as catcher where it’s very important that you’re a leader and you bring energy every day. More than the ability, that’s what we were really drawn to,” Smith added.

Gradoville’s former Rangers teammate Adam Fox echoed that, saying his baseball brother and friend lived his life out loud.

Fox found out about Gradoville’s murder while driving and the news hit him so hard he had to pull over.

“How does somebody do that? I don’t understand people. This is a crazy world,” said Fox.

The tragedy perplexed both of Gradoville’s friends who also expressed concern for the family Gradoville leaves behind.

“He just had this way about him that when you talked to him, he genuinely cared about it. He wasn’t just talking to you to pass the time. He was a good, genuine person.” said Smith.

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