CHICAGO, June 22 (UPI) -- St. Louis Cardinals pitching star Darryl Kile was found dead in his hotel room Saturday. He was 33.
The cause of death had yet to be determined, although Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and general manager Walt Jocketty said Kile may have died in his sleep at the Westin Hotel.
An autopsy will be performed Sunday. Kile's father died at the age of 44 due to a blood clot in his brain.
Jocketty said the Cardinals realized Kile was not with the team around 1:15 p.m. EDT, some two hours before their scheduled game with the Chicago Cubs, which was later postponed.
Jocketty said Kile's room was called several times before hotel security was informed. Security then used forced entry to gain access to the room, where Kile was found in his bed.
"He appeared like the same as if he had gone to sleep last night and never got up," said Joe Walsh, a member of St. Louis' security staff.
The team said there were no disruptions present and foul play was not being considered by Chicago police. Team officials also said Kile's pre-season physical examination showed no hint of disease.
"Our club is just totally staggered, devastated," La Russa said.
The Wrigley Field crowd was in place and awaiting the start of the game when, 25 minutes after the scheduled starting time, Cubs catcher Joe Girardi broke the news to the fans.
"We regret to inform you because of a tragedy in the Cardinal family that the commissioner has canceled the game today. Thank you," Girardi said, his voice breaking with emotion. "I ask that you say a prayer for the St. Louis Cardinals family."
The Cubs players had earlier been informed by umpire Mark Hirschbeck.
"I couldn't believe it and still don't believe it," said Cubs manager Don Baylor, who managed Kile in Colorado four years ago. "DK was a very special player. Anyone who has ever been a teammate of Darryl's is going to be devastated."
It was not immediately clear whether Sunday's game would be played.
"I think it will be tough to play for a while," Jocketty said. "This is a real tough mourning period for the Cardinal organizaton and the fans of St. Louis and the citizens of St. Louis.
"But we have a job to do. We have to be strong and try to battle through this and go on. I'm sure Darryl would want us to go on and compete and try to win our division."
A three-time All-Star who once threw a no-hitter, Kile was 5-4 with a 3.72 ERA during his 12th major league season and third with St. Louis. One of his best seasons came with the Cardinals in 2000, when he went 20-9 with a 3.91 ERA.
The righthander was scheduled to pitch Sunday against the Cubs.
Kile, a native of Garden Grove, Calif., was survived by his widow, 5-year-old twins and a 10-month-old son.
Kile's death came four days after the passing of Hall of Fame Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck. To honor Buck, there was a moment of silence before Friday's game at Wrigley Field.
It is the second death of a major leaguer player in four months. San Diego Padres outfielder Mike Darr was killed in a one-car crash just before spring training on Feb. 15.
Kile was named to three All-Star teams, pitching two scoreless innings against the American League in 2000. He also was on the NL squad in 1993 and 1997, although he did not pitch in either game.
First in the National League Central, the Cardinals were considered favorites to make it to the postseason, especially with Kile, who had logged at least 219 innings in six of the previous seven years.
Kile spent his first seven seasons with Houston, throwing a no-hitter against the New York Mets on Sept. 8, 1993. He went 15-8 that year while leading the league with 15 hitbastmen.
Kile led the league in walks in 1994 and in hit batsmen in 1995, but by the 1997 season, he had blossomed into one of the best pitchers in baseball, going 19-7 with a career-best 2.57 ERA.
Kile parlayed the career season into a three-year, $24 million deal with the Colorado Rockies, but was a disappointment in the thin air of Coors Field, going 21-30 with a 5.84 ERA in two disappointing seasons.
Acquired by St. Louis in a seven-player deal, Kile rejuvenated his career two years ago by winning a career-high 20 games and helping the Cardinals to the postseason.
Last year, Kile went 16-11 with a 3.09 ERA as St. Louis earned the NL wild card. He was 133-119 with a 4.12 ERA 359 major league appearances for the Astros, Rockies and Cardinals.