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Creighton baseball great Kimera Bartee passes away at 49

Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 11:11 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Former Central High School and Creighton University baseball star Kimera Bartee died suddenly Monday in Omaha. He was 49.

Bartee played at Creighton from 91-93, and his 27 stolen bases in 1993 are still in Creighton’s top 10 for a single season. The speedy outfielder was drafted out of Creighton by Baltimore in 1993, and played parts of six big league seasons with the Tigers, Reds and Rockies. He retired at 29 after a season at AAA playing for the Iowa Cubs.

After retiring he was a successful coach at the Major League level, and was set to begin his second season as first base coach for the Detroit Tigers in 2022.

The Detroit Tigers released statements from Manager A.J. Hinch and General Manager Al Avila.

“Like many across baseball, I was devastated by the news of Kimera’s passing. From the start of spring training last year, it was clear that “KB” was the epitome of a player’s coach, having an uncanny ability to build deep connections with anyone from a rookie to a 10-year veteran. I was proud of his selflessness and adaptability when he quickly shifted to the Major League staff last season, and how excited he was about the bright future he had in both baseball and life. The sport has lost an amazing man, but more importantly his family has lost a loving fiancé, father, and son.”

A.J. Hinch, Detroit Tigers Manager, speaking about the passing of Kimera Bartee

Kimera’s father was head coach of the Creighton program from 1978-80 and a star player at Central in his own right. According to the Detroit Free-Press, Bartee was visiting his father Jerry in Omaha when he collapsed and later died on Monday. No cause of death has been given.

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