Oscar Acosta, international coordinator of instruction and manager of the Gulf Coast Yankees, and Humberto Trejo, field coordinator of the Dominican Summer League Yankees, reportedly lost their lives on a highway outside of Santo Domingo. No further details of the accident were available.
"The Yankees grieve the tragic loss of Oscar Acosta and Humberto Trejo," said Yankees principal owner George M. Steinbrenner in a statement issued Thursday by the team. "They were both fine men and great Yankees, and we are praying for their families and loved ones."
"Oscar Acosta and Humberto Trejo touched countless people within our organization," said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. "Their dedication and passion to improving young lives far exceed the boundaries of a baseball field. We ask that you join us in keeping Oscar, Humberto, their wives and children in your prayers."
Acosta was also the Rangers' pitching coach in 2002. Current Texas closer Francisco Cordero reflected Thursday on Acosta's sudden passing.
"I feel sorry for their families," Cordero said. "I got to know Oscar in 2002 when he was the pitching coach. The slider I have, it was because of him. My slider was really long and he worked hard with me, kept telling me I could do a good job. He tightened it, showed me a different grip. I've been using it ever since. He helped me a lot."
Acosta, 49, served as the manager of the Yankees' Gulf Coast team in Tampa since 2004, guiding the team to the Gulf Coast League championship in each of the last two seasons. He joined the Yankees' organization in 1996, spending three seasons as the pitching coach at Triple-A Columbus (1996-98). Acosta also coached at the Major League level, serving as the pitching coach for the Chicago Cubs (2000-01) and Texas Rangers (2002). He is survived by his wife, Kathy, and three children -- Melissa, Amanda and Ryan.
Trejo, 38, was in his 16th season working for the organization. He served as a manager, coach and coordinator in the Yankees' Latin American player development program since 1991. He is survived by his wife, Beatriz Sanchez, and two children, Geralin and Jessica.
The Yankees will observe a moment of silence in honor of Acosta and Trejo prior to Friday's 7:05 p.m. ET game versus the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium.
The Associated Press contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less