MLB deaths: The 2018 All-Eternal Team

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 26: A general view of the Willie McCovey statue ahead of a game between the Colorado Rockies and the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 26: A general view of the Willie McCovey statue ahead of a game between the Colorado Rockies and the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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MLB deaths
Players of Venezuelan baseball team Los Cardenales de Lara, carry on their shoulders the coffin of their teammate Luis Vallbuena, who died in a crash caused when thieves put a stone in the highway to disable his van, during a mass at the Antonio Herrrera Gutierrez stadium in Barquisimeto, Venezuela on December 7, 2018. – Four people have been arrested in Venezuela in connection with the deaths of former American big league baseball players Luis Vallbuena and Jose Castilllo. According to police reports stone criminals positioned on the road in a bid to rob the van caused the crash, a common assault strategy in crisis-wracked Venezuela. (Photo by Nesttor VIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read NESTOR VIVAS/AFP/Getty Images) /

SS) Luis Valbuena, 2008-2018, Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels

No player whose primary position was shortstop died during 2018. Among those who had some experience at the position – Frank Quilici, Jose Castillo, Wayne Krenchicki – Luis Valbuena had the best credentials.

Valbuena played his first big league game with the Mariners in 2008, and quickly adapted to his role as a utility player. He went to Cleveland as part of a three-team, 12-played deal and played sporadically before being sold to Toronto and then waived to the Cubs prior to the 2012 season.

Valbuena enjoyed possibly his best season with the Cubs in 2014, batting .249 in 149 games, mostly as an infielder. Traded to the Astros for Dexter Fowler, prior to 2015, he hit .260 for Houston in 2016 but was released and caught on with the Angels, where he spent his final two seasons before being released in August.

Valbuena and Castillo were teammates on a Venezuelan winter league team when their SUV was accosted by bandits who threw items in their vehicle’s path as they returned one night from a game. The car swerved to avoid the objects and crashed, killing both men. Valbuena was 34.

For his career, Valbuena played in 1,011 games. He batted .226 with 114 home runs and 367 runs batted in.