Yakima Pippins First General Manager Tragically Passes Away
It has been a rough week for fans of professional baseball here in the Yakima Valley.
First we heard the news on Monday (March 29) of the tragic passing of former Yakima Bears Field Manager Mike Bell passing away due to kidney cancer. Today, we have learned of the tragic passing of the Yakima Valley Pippins first-ever General Manager Noel Zanchelli.
Seattle sports radio broadcasting legend Dave "The Groz" Grosby lamented Zanchelli's passing via his official Twitter account:
RIP, Noel Zanchelli .
Thanks for all the Mariners stories and laughs.
Say hello to Dave Niehaus
Via his personal Facebook page, his mother had some details of his passage:
I have been asked by Noel’s mother Pat to let you know that Noel passed away yesterday morning, April 2, 2021.
Since early December, Noel had been in the hospital after taking a serious fall and losing consciousness in the cold outside. Hypothermia damaged his organs. He made miraculous strides to heal— amazing even the doctors— but his body just ultimately shut down. It was a shock to all of us. We truly thought he was going to make a full recovery.
Pat is planning a Celebration of Life for sometime in the summer with hopes that COVID restrictions subside and we can all attend. More information to come. If anyone would like to reach out to Pat, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to her at Pat Zanchelli, 14214 188th Avenue E., Bonney Lake, WA 98391.
And if anyone has photos of or stories about Noel, please feel free to post them here. I’m sure his friends and family would love to see them.
The last time I saw Noel in person after he had left the Pippins and Yakima was in the centerfield concourse at SafeCo Field. He was managing for Center Plate a catering and food service company at the stadium. He noticed me first and, ultimately, comped me and my family food and beverage. He was just that type of guy.
Zanchelli always was laughing and smiling and used to regale me with stories about legendary Seattle Mariners skipper Lou Piniella and late radio broadcasters Dave Niehaus and Ron Fairly when they would go out for a few drinks following a Mariners game. I won't repeat them here. I just wish that Noel was still around to tell them to you.