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Czech National Team Coach David Winkler Dead at Age 44

 Leif Skodnick  |    Feb 26th, 2024 10:23am EST

Matej Mensik of Team Czech Republic high-fives third base coach David Winkler #17 after hitting a home run in the third inning during the game between the Team Czech Republic and the Team China at Tokyo Dome on Friday, March 10, 2023 in Bunkyo City, Japan. Winkler passed away at the age of 44. (Photo by Yuki Taguchi/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Staff Reports
World Baseball Network

Czech national team manager David Winkler died suddenly over the weekend, according to a post from BaseballCzech on X.

Winkler, 44, served as the third base coach for the Czech national team at the 2023 World Baseball Classic under manager Pavel Chadim.

Winkler debuted in the Czech Extraliga in 1998 and played in the loop through 2020, batting .304/.371/.445 with 274 runs and 306 RBI in 430 career games with Technika Brno, Draci Brno, Hrosi Brno, Trebic Nuclears, and Olympia Blansko, according to a biography on baseball-reference.com.

He made his Czech national team debut in 2001 at the European Championship, and managed the Czech team at the 2021 U18 European championship.

New York Yankees complex coordinator and Great Britain national team manager Drew Spencer said of Winkler, “This is a huge loss for Baseball. Coach Winkler was a familiar face in European Baseball who played a key role in the development of many young players, and not just in the Czech Republic,” in a post on X.