Cerutti found dead in hotel

Updated: October 3, 2004, 6:24 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- John Cerutti, a former Toronto pitcher and current Blue Jays television announcer, was found dead in his hotel room Sunday, the team said. He was 44.

It was believed Cerutti died of natural causes and foul play was not suspected, the Blue Jays said in a statement.

Cerutti was scheduled to attend an 11 a.m. production meeting in preparation for the broadcast of the season finale against the New York Yankees. Police and emergency medical workers found him dead at a hotel at SkyDome.

Cerutti played golf Saturday in Toronto with members of his family, the team said. He was married with three children.

"It was an unbelievable shock," Blue Jays president Paul Godfrey said. "It goes to show how unimportant wins and losses are at a time like this."

Cerutti, a native of Albany, N.Y., was Toronto's first-round pick in the 1981 draft. He made his major league debut with the Blue Jays in 1985.

The left-hander spent six seasons with Toronto and signed with Detroit as a free agent after the 1990 season, pitching one season for the Tigers.

Cerutti finished with a 49-43 career record and 3.94 ERA.

He began his Blue Jays broadcasting career in 1997 as a color commentator for CBC. He spent the past three seasons as lead analyst for Rogers Sportsnet.

"He had three loves. He loved baseball. He loved golf and he loved his family," said Rick Briggs-Jude, the vice president of programming at Sportsnet.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press