The Missouri State baseball family was saddened to learn of the death of former Bears pitcher John Rheinecker, 38, late Tuesday night in St. Louis. According to family, Rheinecker had been suffering from depression and took his own life.
The Belleville, Ill. native was the first Bear to be drafted in the first round in 2001 by the Oakland A’s. He was later traded to the Texas Rangers and made his MLB debut in 2006. Rheinecker went 8-9 with a 5.65 ERA in parts of two seasons before injuries ended his professional career.
Rheinecker resided in Waterloo, Ill. where he worked as a truck driver. He is survived by his wife, two children and two step-children.
The visitation is Friday at Quernheim Funeral Home in Waterloo with the funeral mass Saturday morning at St. Augustine of Canterbury Church in Hecker, Ill.