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Longtime left-handed relief pitcher Rheal Cormier has died at the age of 53, the Philadelphia Phillies announced on Monday.  The Darren Daulton Foundation also posted this message to social media on Monday, stating that Cormier passed away after battling pancreatic cancer: 

Cormier had a 16-season MLB career and pitched to a 4.03 ERA in 683 games, 575 of which were relief appearances. He pitched for the Phillies for six seasons, in addition to stints with the Cardinals, Red Sox, Reds, and Montreal Expos.

 His best season came in 2003, when he registered a 1.70 ERA in 84 2/3 innings for the Phillies. The following season, he ranked third in MLB with 84 appearances. Cormier retired at age 40 following the 2007 season. A native of Canada, Cormier was originally a sixth-round pick by the Cardinals in 1988. 

"Rheal was one of the most vibrant people I've had the pleasure of knowing," friend and former teammate Jim Thome said in a statement released by the Phillies. "He loved baseball, but he always put his family first. Frenchy was the kind of guy who would do anything for you and I'm lucky to have called him my friend for many years. Our time spent together in Philadelphia as teammates was unforgettable. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten."

According to the Phillies, Cormier is survived by his wife Lucienne (née LeBlanc), son Justin, and daughter Morgan.