Former Montreal Expos pitcher Derek Aucoin died at the age of 50, his family confirmed on Sunday.
Aucoin had been battling brain cancer since August 2019.
“There are very few words to express the deep pain and sorrow that pervades us as our beautiful Derek left us peacefully surrounded by love yesterday in the early evening,” his wife Isabelle and son Dawson wrote in a news release.
“For 18 months, he had been resiliently fighting a hard fight against glioblastoma multiforme. Despite this merciless cancer, he lived in gratitude of the present moment in a way only he could.”
A native of Lachine, Aucoin pitched two games in the Expos uniform in 1996. He also spent time in the minor leagues with the New York Mets in 1998.
A need to give back
Baseball Canada’s business and sports development director, André Lachance, reconnected with him once Aucoin’s baseball-playing days were over.
“I had met him for the first time in 1997 and then we reconnected years later when his athletic journey was over and he wanted to give back as a coach,” Lachance said. “We shared lots of ideas, lots of best practices for young people, we developed a great friendship from there.”
For Lachance, Aucoin’s journey was proof that a young Quebec player could dream big.
As a host and analyst with TVA Sports and 98.5 FM for several years, Aucoin was inducted into the Quebec Baseball Hall of Fame in November 2019.