Former Lakewood High baseball player Tyler Leidholdt passed away late last month near Vandenberg Air Force Base. Leidholdt was hit by a bus on Highway One. He was 24.
A Celebration of Life is scheduled for Sunday, March 18 from 1-4 p.m. at the American Legion (5938 Parkcrest Street) behind the ELB Baseball fields in Long Beach.
Leidholdt was an Airman 1st Class in the U.S. Air Force and assigned to the 30th Security Forces Squadron. His wife, Tasha, is 8 months pregnant.
“Losing one of our own is heartbreaking,” Col. Michael S. Hough, commander of the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, told the Lompoc Record. “This is tragic and we are coming together across the base to make it through this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with this airman and his family.”
The Lakewood community rallied around the Leidholdt family last month with a candlelight vigil at the Lakewood baseball field. They also held a fundraiser for the family at Glory Days Bar & Grill, and there is a Gofundme page set up online for Tasha and the baby on the way. The Gofundme page already has raised $17,000.
Leidholdt was a three-year starter on varsity for coach Spud O’Neil at Lakewood. He hit .339 as a sophomore, and had a walk-off hit in the CIF playoffs as a junior.
“I can remember him diving for baseballs here and making great plays,” O’Neil told NBC 4 during an interview on campus. “You think as an old coach the kids would outlive you. This is horrible for all of us.”
Leidholdt’s former teammates took to social media to share their thoughts. Philadelphia Phillies shortstop JP Crawford wrote on Twitter, “Make sure you tell someone you love them today, never know when they can go. Love you forever Ty, RIP.”
Lakewood alum Kyle Clary also tweeted, “T Leid, you took all of us young bucks under your wing when we first stepped foot onto Lakewood. Thanks for all the awesome memories brotha. Rest easy and watch over all of us.”