MLB's Austin Meadows No-Hitter For Skaggs??? That Was 'Jaw-Dropping'

Exclusive
IT WAS SURREAL
TMZSports.com

It's been 8 days since the Angels honored Tyler Skaggs by throwing a no-hitter ... but Tampa Bay Rays star Austin Meadows STILL can't believe it, telling TMZ Sports, "It was pretty surreal."

Skaggs tragically died at the team's hotel during a road trip to Texas earlier this month ... and in the Angels' first game back in L.A. without the pitcher, they threw a combined no-hitter.

The moment was amazing ... especially afterward, when players took off their jerseys and placed them on the mound as a tribute to the pitcher.

When we got Meadows out in NYC this week ... he said he's still having a hard time imagining the Angels were able to do all that, telling us, "It was unbelievable."

"It was just definitely jaw-dropping. It was amazing."

Meadows was able to hang out with the most famous Angel -- Mike Trout -- during the All-Star Game shortly after Skaggs' death ... and he told us being with Mike at that time was an incredible experience.

"That was awesome, man. Just being around him, just being in his presence, it was pretty special."

Meadows and the Rays visit L.A. in September for a 3 game series with the Angels ... no word yet if they plan to help honor Skaggs in some way during that time.

Super Bowl Champ Mitch Petrus Dead at 32

Breaking News
Getty

Ex-NFL player Mitch Petrus -- who won a Super Bowl with the Giants in 2012 -- tragically died of a heat stroke on Thursday. He was 32 years old.

Petrus had complained about feeling ill on Thursday after spending all day outside working at his family's shop ... and was taken to a local hospital, according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

Officials say he died at 10:45 PM after suffering a heat stroke.

Petrus was a standout guard with the Arkansas Razorbacks after walking on to the team -- earning All-SEC honors in 2007 and 2009 -- and was drafted by the Giants in the 5th round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

While at Arkansas, Petrus blocked for stars Darren McFadden and Felix Jones ... and didn't give up a single sack during his senior year.

He also played for the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans before retiring from the league in 2013.

Petrus played bass guitar in his band, Vikings of the North Atlantic ... and also made regular local TV appearances as a Razorbacks football analyst.

Petrus' Giants teammate, Lawrence Tynes, shared his condolences ... saying "RIP Mitch Petrus, another loss to our Giants family way too young. Fun dude who played hard. Prayers to his family and friends."

#RIP

'Titans' Crew Member Killed After Stunt Gone Wrong

Exclusive
Peter Muscat/CTV Toronto

A crew member on the show "Titans" was killed during a stunt after he was struck by a heavy object.

Production sources tell TMZ ... the crew member -- a special effects coordinator -- died Thursday in Toronto where the DC Comics show is filmed.

The tragedy occurred at a test facility where production crew work out the kinks for stunts.  Once perfected, the scene is played out on location.

The stunt in question at the test facility was a car that was supposed to flip on its side. The car did indeed flip, but a piece of metal from some sort of welded contraption that was attached to the car flew off.

That object struck the special effects coordinator -- who was standing nearby -- in the head. EMT's put the man on a stretcher and took him to the hospital, but cops tell us he died en route.

Production will be shut down for 2 days. The Ministry of Labour is now investigating.

Executive Producers from "Titans" tell TMZ, "We are heartbroken and devastated by the passing of our treasured colleague, special effects coordinator Warren Appleby, after an accident which occurred at a special effects facility during the preparation and testing for an upcoming shoot.  Warren is beloved by all who worked with him during an impressive 25-year career in television and motion pictures. The executive producers, along with everyone, in the TITANS family, Warner Bros. Television Group and DC UNIVERSE, wish to express our deepest condolences, and heartfelt love and support, to Warren's family and friends at this most difficult time."

"Titans" premiered in 2018 and stars Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson and Anna Diop as Starfire.

Tyler Skaggs Immortalized With Mural ... Near His Old H.S.

Breaking News

The tributes to Tyler Skaggs are still pouring in ... the Angels pitcher who tragically died this month was just immortalized with an insanely realistic mural outside of his old H.S. in Santa Monica.

Jonas Never -- the street artist legend who's painted famous murals of Conor McGregor and LeBron James in L.A. this past year -- did the art, and it's beautiful.

The piece is on the side of a teahouse just yards away from Santa Monica High School where Skaggs grew up pitching ... and it's about 10 feet wide and 10 feet tall.

27-year-old Skaggs graduated from SaMoHi in 2009 -- he was selected in the 1st round of the MLB Draft later that year.

Jonas says he was "proud" to be the one who did the honor ... and says Skaggs' mom, Debbie, and his wife, Carli, both stopped by to see the work.

As we previously reported, Skaggs died at the Angels' team hotel when they were on a road trip to play the Texas Rangers on July 1.

A cause of death has yet to be revealed ... but cops say they don't suspect suicide or foul play were involved.

Nipsey Hussle LAPD Says He Wasn't a Target ... But Why Was He Named in Gang Investigation?

Exclusive
TMZ

Nipsey Hussle was not going to be prosecuted for any type of gang activity at the time of his death ... the LAPD was trying to curb gang activity in and around his store, but he was never the target, according to law enforcement sources.

As TMZ and the New York Times reported, the LAPD and L.A. City Attorney were investigating Nipsey and his business partners for alleged gang activity at his Marathon Clothing store and the surrounding strip mall.

Sources connected to the 2 agencies now tell us, they weren't specifically targeting Nipsey -- they say the investigation centered around abating gang activity in the area, which has been a long-standing problem.

No one from either agency would be specific as to their end game. And, no one from either agency could explain why Nipsey's name was specifically mentioned in connection with the investigation, especially since they now say he wasn't a target.

One high-ranking law enforcement source tells TMZ, the investigation is now a hot potato in the wake of Nipsy's murder, because the City has hailed him as a hero and someone who was trying to prevent gang violence. 

WE MUST PUSH FORWARD
TMZ.com

Nipsey shunned gang activity at Marathon and although he allowed gang members to enter his shop he forbade any violence. As a matter of fact, he employed past felons and ex-gang members to keep them on the straight and narrow. 

By the way ... Nipsey's family closed the Marathon store after his death, but the online shop is still up and running.

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens Dead at 99

Getty

U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has died.

Stevens died Tuesday night ... the result of a stroke he suffered Monday. 

Stevens was the 3rd longest-serving Justice in the history of the United States Supreme Court. He served from 1975 to 2010.

Stevens was appointed by President Gerald Ford. His successor -- Justice Elena Kagan, who was appointed by President Obama.

Stevens was in the liberal minority during most of his tenure, and famously wrote a number of memorable dissenting opinions.

One of Stevens' biggest -- the 2002 Bush vs. Gore case, in which the Supreme Court effectively put Bush in office. Stevens wrote a dissenting opinion, saying the majority's ruling undermined the people's faith in government and the courts.  

Getty

Another big decision ... his dissent in the Citizens United case, which opened up campaign finance donations from wealthy individuals and corporations.

Stevens was a gun control advocate, once writing a dissenting opinion in which challenged the majority's decision to a major gun control law. In 2018, years after Stevens retired, he publicly challenged the Court's reading of the 2nd Amendment in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, saying it was a "relic of the 18th Century."

Stevens served as a Lt. Commander in the Navy in World War II and was awarded a Bronze Star and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Before joining SCOTUS, President Nixon appointed Stevens in 1970 to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Justice Stevens was one of only 2 Supreme Court justices to be divorced -- the other was William O. Douglas.

Stevens died at a Fort Lauderdale hospital with his daughters by his side.

Stevens is survived by his 2 daughters, 9 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren. 

Stevens was 99. RIP.

Cameron Boyce Death Certificate Reveals He Was Cremated

Disney star Cameron Boyce's death certificate reveals the actor was cremated ... and his ashes were returned to his father.

Cameron's death certificate -- obtained by TMZ -- says he died at 2:35 PM on July 6. The official cause of death has been deferred until the coroner completes their investigation. Boyce was cremated and his ashes were given to his dad, Victor. 

The certificate says Cameron has worked in the entertainment industry for 12 years. Forest Lawn in Los Angeles is listed as the funeral establishment. 

As we reported ... Cameron suffered a fatal seizure last weekend and died in his sleep. Our sources say his roommate found him unresponsive, and when paramedics arrived they could not revive him. Cameron, who was just 20 years old, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

TMZ broke the story ... Cameron had been dealing with seizures, triggered by epilepsy, for a long time. His condition, however, didn't prevent him from acting in movies and TV ... and achieving great success in both.

After his death, Cameron's family said, "The world is now undoubtedly without one of its brightest lights, but his spirit will live on through the kindness and compassion of all who knew and loved him."

Boxer Pernell Whitaker Dead at 55, Hit By Car In Virginia ... Driver Not Arrested

10:49 AM PT -- The driver in the crash was NOT arrested -- and law enforcement officials tell us they do NOT believe drugs, alcohol or speed was a factor. 

The driver was not cited -- though we're told that person is cooperating with authorities. 

We're told the case will be kicked over to prosecutors to evaluate but it's unlikely the driver will be hit with criminal charges. 

In fact, as one person involved in the investigation put it ... "It appears to just be a horrible accident."

8:56 AM PT -- TMZ Sports just spoke with boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. -- a long time friend of Pernell -- who tells us how much Whitaker meant to boxing ... and to him personally. 

ROY JONES JR. REMEMBERS PERNELL
TMZSports.com

7:26 AM PT -- Pernell took a photo with Floyd Mayweather at an autograph show they were both appearing at in Virginia on the day before he died. 

Floyd paid tribute to Pernell on social media saying, "R I P champ, one of the best fighters to ever do it."

Boxing legend Pernell Whitaker was killed Sunday night after he was hit by a car in Virginia Beach, TMZ Sports has learned. He was only 55. 

We're told officials received a call around 10:04 PM in response to an accident at the intersection of Northampton Boulevard and Baker Road.  

When cops arrived, they located the man who had been hit by a vehicle who was in really bad shape -- and our sources tell us that man was Pernell Whitaker. 

Emergency medical personnel at the scene tried to resuscitate Whitaker -- even performing CPR on him -- but unfortunately, Whitaker succumbed to his injuries and died. 

DISPATCH AUDIO

Cops are investigating. Unclear if the driver of the car was arrested but he did stay on the scene to speak with police. It's NOT a hit and run situation. 

By the way, we're told the area where Pernell was hit is NOT a popular nightlife area -- in other words, it's not like he was out partying. 

Whitaker (who's from Virginia) was a BEAST in the ring ... winning world titles at 4 different weights -- lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight and light middleweight. 

Sweet Pea was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2006 -- and is considered by many to be one of the greatest fighters of ALL TIME. 

He fought everyone from Oscar De La Hoya to Julio Cesar Chavez -- and even though he lost to Oscar and Julio was a draw ... many people believe he was ROBBED in both decisions because he clearly won the fights. 

His pro career began in 1984 and spanned all the way through 2001, with an amazing 40-4-1 record including 17 knockouts.

He also won a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics in L.A. 

From 1993 to 1997 he was considered the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Ring Magazine named him the Fight of the Year in 1989. 

Whitaker is survived by his 5 children. RIP

Ex-NFL star Michael Vick, who's also from Virginia, tweeted about Whitaker's passing -- saying, 'Sweet Pea' Whitaker was our hometown legend and the greatest of all time. My prayers are with his family and loved ones."

Magic Johnson added ... "Pernell 'Sweet Pea' Whitaker was in the class of Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard as one of the most entertaining fighters in my lifetime. Iā€™m praying for his family."

Getty

Originally Published -- 5:59 AM PT 

Cameron Boyce Charity Raises Thousands in Honor ...With Adam Sandler's Help

Exclusive
Getty

Cameron Boyce's shocking death triggered a flood of donations to a charity about which he was passionate ... with some help from Adam Sandler.

The Disney star, who was just 20 years old when he died this last week, worked closely with a charity called Thirst Project, which builds wells bringing clean drinking water to villages in need. 

Thirst Project's co-founder and CEO, Seth Maxwell, tells TMZ ... more than 350 people have donated money to the initiative in Cameron's honor, totaling $15,000.

Maxwell says the money is pouring in from online donations through the charity's website, and a large chunk is coming from a Facebook fundraiser started by Adam Sandler. 

Other celebs are raising awareness and driving donations as well ... actors Skai Jackson and Nolan Gould, some of Cameron's industry friends, also went on social media encouraging fans to donate to Thirst Project in Cameron's name. 

Maxwell tells us Thirst Project has been overwhelmed by DMs and emails from people asking how they can get involved ... and he says there are lots of ways people can carry on Cameron's legacy.

Disney canceled a "Descendants 3" red carpet event to honor Cameron ... opting instead to donate money in his name to Thirst Project. Those funds are separate from the $15,000 in individual donations.

As we first reported ... Cameron, who died in his sleep from a seizure, suffered from epilepsy

Roy Halladay Still Impacting Phils' Locker Room ... Zach Eflin Says

ALWAYS THINKIN' ABOUT HIM
TMZSports.com

Roy Halladay -- nearly two years after his tragic death -- is STILL having an impact on the Phillies' locker room, so says stud pitcher Zach Eflin.

"We're always thinking about him," Eflin tells TMZ Sports ... "There's a lot of things I take away from him."

Halladay died after the plane he was piloting in the Gulf of Mexico crashed into the water on November 7, 2017.

It was a horrific moment for baseball -- losing such a legend at just 34 years old -- but Eflin says his legacy is still carrying on strong in Philadelphia.

In fact, Eflin tells us he's still to this day using tips Halladay taught him during their offseason together ... and says, "He's awesome, man. He was an amazing person."

Halladay will be recognized for his baseball greatness later this month ... the 2-time Cy Young winner is set to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 21.

Wynonna Judd Sad She Can't Attend Beth Chapmann's Memorial ... But Her Presence Will Be Felt

Exclusive
TMZ

Wynonna Judd is super sad she can't be there to perform at her late friend Beth Chapman's final send-off ... but she's still making her presence felt from afar. 

Beth's memorial service is going down this afternoon in Colorado ... and she was a huge fan of Wynonna's music and the 2 got close, so the family asked the country music icon to come and sing. 

Unfortunately, Wynonna's on tour and can't be there to support a dear friend ... so she's giving Beth's family permission to feature her music during the service, including Beth's favorite Wynonna song, "Rescue Me."

Wynonna posted a tribute to Beth right after her death. 

Beth's memorial service, which is being planned by reality star Kim Fields, will feature video messages from some of Beth's celeb friends ... and Wynonna is part of it.

The send-off was planned in part by Beth herself. A massive crowd is expected to attend. 

Cameron Boyce Disney Nixes 'Descendants 3' Red Carpet ... Will Donate $ in His Honor

Exclusive
Getty

Disney has decided to honor Cameron Boyce by canceling its "Descendants 3" red carpet premiere event ... and instead will donate to a charity close to him in his honor. 

Disney tells us the company will make a donation in Cameron's name to the Thirst Project ... a nonprofit that helps deliver clean water to communities around the world. Cameron helped raise more than $30k for that organization ... one that was close to his heart.  

Disney said, "We are proud to be part of Cameron Boyce's legacy by showcasing his talents on screen but we are cancelling the red carpet premiere event for 'Descendants 3' scheduled for July 22 and instead, The Walt Disney Company will make a donation to the Thirst Project, a philanthropic organization to which Cameron was deeply committed. Thank you for understanding."

Cameron appeared in every 'Descendants' film. He played Carlos, Cruella De Ville's son. He began his Disney career in 2011 on the series "Jessie" and also appeared in "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" and the Disney XD series "Gamer's Guide to Pretty Much Everything."

The company said, with permission from the Boyce family, the Disney Channel will dedicate the telecast of "Descendants 3" in Cameron's memory.

As we first reported ... Cameron, who died in his sleep, suffered from epilepsy. He was only 20 years old.

Miley Cyrus Pet Pig Goes to Hog Heaven ... 'I Will Miss U Always'

Miley Cyrus' beloved pet pig, Bubba Sue, has died ... and is now gobbling down apple cores and rolling around in mud in the afterlife.

Nothing breaks like a heart of a person who loses a pet, and Miley's sharing her sadness on a series of Instagram Stories paying tribute to Bubba, aka Pig Pig.

THE SWEET SWINE

The singer first posted a short vid of PP going to town on what's left of an apple as she holds her over her shoulder like a baby. She wrote ... "Very sad to say...my dear friend Pig Pig has passed away....I will miss u always (pig emoji) thank you for so many laughs and good times girl."

Cyrus also shared a cute pic of Bubba as a piglet, with Miley giving her a smooch, and her cover photo for the summer 2015 issue of "Paper" magazine ... for which she posed nude and muddy with Pig Pig.

Miley adopted the sweet swine in August 2014 after her dog, Floyd, died. It's unclear what Pig Pig died from.

Cyrus still has plenty of pets to give her comfort at this difficult time -- 7 dogs, 4 horses and 3 cats ... and her hubby, Liam Hemsworth, also has a dog.

Beth Chapman CO Memorial in the Hands of Kim Fields ... 'Facts'!!!

Exclusive
TMZ/Getty Composite

Beth Chapman's upcoming memorial service -- where thousands are expected -- is being run like a major Hollywood production, which is why showbiz vet Kim Fields is running point ... TMZ has learned.

Kim is coordinating security and overseeing production details, right down to the flower arrangement, as director of visual and social media at Beth's church ... according to sources close to Beth's family. How the 'Facts of Life' and 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star ended up in charge is pretty serendipitous. 

Kim relocated to Aurora, CO earlier this year and joined Beth's place of worship ... Heritage Christian Center. We're told Kim's pastor in Georgia asked her to help him with his new Colorado church and she happily obliged.

While Beth and Kim never met in person, we're told Kim took on this massive project because she felt like God was calling her to help people in mourning. 

Kim's many decades on Hollywood productions, and her obvious celeb experience, made her a natural fit to help Dog Chapman and his family pull off the high profile event. As we first reported, the family has been working with local police to make sure the venue is extremely safe and secure, in anticipation of a massive crowd. 

Some of the security protocols are interesting ... we're told all weapons will be banned at the service even though Colorado is an open carry state. All bags will be searched, and we're told the heightened security is partly related to the community still being sensitive to Aurora's 2012 movie theater shooting, and of course the nearby Columbine massacre.

Beth's Colorado service is her final sendoff ... following the heartwarming ceremony in Hawaii.  

SHE'S STILL GOT IT
BACKGRID

The service Kim's planning is part of Beth's final wishes, and we're told the church will be heavily decorated with hundreds of stargazer lilies -- Beth's favorite flower.

Rip Torn Dead at 88

Rip Torn, Emmy-winning actor and comedian, is dead.

Rip, perhaps best known for his role as Artie on HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show," died Tuesday. No cause of death has been released yet. 

He won an Emmy for his 'Larry Sanders' role, and was nominated 6 more times for it. He was also an Oscar nominee in 1984 for "Cross Creek." 

Rip made his film debut in the 1956 film "Baby Doll." From there, he began a prolific and decades-long career on stage and screen.

Torn's work on "The Larry Sanders Show" garnered him a whole new generation of fans, who would go on to enjoy his character work as Zed in the first two 'Men in Black' films. He also had memorable roles on "Will & Grace" and "30 Rock."

His full name was Elmore Rual Torn Jr. ... but he started going by the nickname Rip when he was a kid. Fun fact ... his cousin is iconic actress Sissy Spacek.

He is survived by his wife Amy, his 6 kids, his sister Patricia, and his 4 grandchildren.

Rip was 88. 

RIP

Michelle Obama Remembers Cameron Boyce ... 'Incredible Talent, Heart'

Michelle Obama shared a heartfelt tribute to late Disney star Cameron Boyce ... remembering him as a talented young man with an incredible heart.

The former First Lady shared a picture of her with Cameron on Twitter during one of his visits to the White House. She wrote, "I was lucky enough to hare a few moments with Cameron Boyce -- on set, at the White House, and on a service project -- enough time to recognize that not only did he have incredible talent, but also an incredible heart."

Michelle added, "Sending out a lot of love and hugs to his family, friends, and his many, many fans."

Even at a young age, Boyce was fueled by his philanthropic spirit. Back in March, he received the Pioneering Spirit Award at a gala for the Thirst Project ... which helps deliver clean water to communities around the world. He reportedly helped raise more than $30k for the org.

As we first reported ... Cameron, who died in his sleep, suffered from epilepsy. He was only 20 years old.