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Gerrit Cole pays respects to John Altobelli

When a famous person dies in tragic circumstances, other victims of the tragedy can get lost in the shuffle. That’s not the case with John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, who perished in the helicopter crash that claimed the life of Kobe Bryant and eight others on Sunday.

Gerrit Cole didn’t know Altobelli personally, but he had friends in common and played against Altobelli’s son, J.J., in college. Cole attended Orange Coast College’s (OCC) baseball season opener on Tuesday to pay his respects to the team’s fallen coach, and his family.

Cole made the following statement on Twitter:

Altobelli also managed in the Cape Cod League. Among his players were Aaron Judge and the Mets’ Jeff McNeill. The OCC Foundation has set up a memorial fund to benefit J.J. and Alexis Altobelli, and Johnson said the college and its athletic community will put its arms around the coach’s surviving children.