Fox News 2024-02-26 22:33:56


Trump makes ‘day one’ vow after authorities say UGA murder suspect in US illegally

Former President Trump blasted Democrat border security and law enforcement policies for the murder of Georgia student Laken Riley at the hands of an illegal immigrant, vowing that “when” elected, he will “immediately seal the border” and begin the “largest deportation operation of illegal criminals in American history.” 

Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student from Augusta University, was found dead on the University of Georgia campus Thursday after her roommate reported to authorities that she had not returned home from her morning run. 

ICE CONFIRMS GEORGIA STUDENT MURDER SUSPECT ENTERED US ILLEGALLY, WAS PREVIOUSLY ARRESTED IN NYC

The University of Georgia Police Department arrested Jose Antonio Ibarra and charged him with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call and concealing the death of another, UGA Police Chief Jeffrey L. Clark said during a news briefing Friday evening. 

The suspect is not a U.S. citizen. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Sunday confirmed that the Venezuelan national entered the U.S. illegally in 2022 and had previously been arrested in New York City.

“Crooked Joe Biden’s Border INVASION is destroying our country and killing our citizens!” Trump, the 2024 GOP frontrunner, said Monday in a post on his TRUTH Social. “The horrible murder of 22-year-old Laken Riley at the University of Georgia should have NEVER happened!”  

Trump said that “the monster who took her life illegally entered our Country in 2022… and then was released AGAIN by Radical Democrats in New York after injuring a CHILD!!”

GEORGIA STUDENT MURDER SUSPECT CONFIRMED TO BE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT

“When I am your President, we will immediately Seal the Border, Stop the Invasion, and on Day One, we will begin the largest deportation operation of illegal CRIMINALS in American History!” Trump said. 

He added: “May God Bless Laken Riley and her family!!! Our prayers are with you!” 

Fox News had previously reported that Ibarra had crossed into the U.S. illegally near El Paso in September 2022 and was paroled into the U.S.

LAKEN RILEY CASE: GEORGIA AUTHORITIES IDENTIFY MURDER SUSPECT IN CUSTODY IN NURSING STUDENT’S SLAYING

In a statement to Fox News Digital, ICE confirmed he had been encountered by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Sept. 8, 2022, after entering near El Paso and was “paroled and released for further processing.”

ICE also confirmed that Ibarra had been arrested by the New York Police Department a year later, on Sept. 14, 2023, and “charged with acting in a manner to injure a child less than 17 and a motor vehicle license violation.”

When ICE learns that what it believes to be a removable illegal immigrant has been arrested on criminal charges, the agency will normally lodge a detainer – a request asking local law enforcement to keep the suspect in custody until they can be transferred to ICE and put into deportation proceedings.

LAKEN RILEY MURDER SUSPECT JOSE IBARRA LIVED WITHIN 5-MINUTE WALK OF UGA CRIME SCENE

In this case, however, ICE’s statement says Ibarra was released before a detainer could be issued. NYC is also a “sanctuary city,” which generally restricts law enforcement from complying with ICE detainers.

Ibarra appeared in court on Saturday morning, when Clarke County Magistrate Judge Donarell Green denied his bond “for today.” Two translators were present. Ibarra nodded when spoken to.

Ibarra’s brother, Diego, was charged Friday with possessing a fraudulent green card and is being held in state custody. The federal arrest affidavit for Diego Ibarra says that in September 2023, Athens-Clarke County Police charged him with drunken driving and driving without a license. He was later arrested for shoplifting and later skipped court.

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In its statement, ICE said its Enforcement and Removal Operations office in Atlanta “encountered Ibarra pursuant to his arrest by the University of Georgia Police Department and being charged with murder and other crimes. ERO Atlanta lodged a detainer.” 

Clark said “the evidence is robust” against Ibarra. 

Fox News’ Michael Ruiz, Bill Melugin and Haley Chi-Sing contributed to this report.

Christian school refuses to stay silent after declining to compete against trans player

The coach of a Vermont basketball team that forfeited a game against a transgender player broke his silence after the state banned the team from competing in future tournaments. 

Chris Goodwin, who coaches at Mid-Vermont Christian School, said the team was notified of the transgender player on the other team, but it wasn’t until the playoffs last year that the team ended up facing them on the court. 

Goodwin joined “Fox & Friends” Monday alongside his attorney Ryan Tucker to discuss why they took legal action over the state’s decision to bar them from upcoming competitions. He emphasized the danger of a biological male playing against high school girls.

“I’ve got four daughters. I’ve coached them all at one point in their careers playing high school basketball. I’ve also filled in for the boy’s coach when he can’t make a practice, and I run those practices, and boys just play at a different speed, a different force… than the girls play,” Goodwin told Lawrence Jones during the exclusive interview.

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“It’s a different game,” he continued, adding that it would be “irresponsible” and “asking for an injury” to a smaller female player.

The girls’ basketball team forfeited the game against the team with the transgender player back in February 2023, which prompted the Vermont Principals’ Association (VPA) to ban the team from future tournaments. 

Officials worried at the time about the safety repercussions stemming from a biological male competing against the female players. 

“Mid-Vermont Christian School has every right to teach its beliefs to its own students. It cannot, however, impose those beliefs on students from other public and private schools; deny students from other schools the opportunity to play; or hurt students from other schools because of who those students are,” the VPA said in a statement to CNN in November. 

The school filed suit alongside families over the prohibition, arguing the decision is discriminatory in nature against the school’s religious beliefs surrounding gender and human sexuality. 

GOP SENATOR FUMES OVER ‘WACKO’ DEMOCRATS’ LACK OF ‘COMMON SENSE’ ON TRANS SPORTS: ‘GOING TO GET HURT’

“After discussions with the administration and our players and parents, we decided that instead of going against our religious beliefs that… there are differences between male and female, we are created differently, we decided to forfeit that game and withdraw from the tournament,” Goodwin said. 

“And at that point, the state of Vermont governing body kicked us out of all athletic competitions in the state.”

Tucker, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, expressed his confidence that the school will prevail in court as they await their next hearing date. 

“The state is basically attempting to purge individuals like Chris and other family members in the state, from public discourse, from the ability… to speak out… on issues of significant, public concern,” Tucker said, accusing the state of failing to consider “the biological reality” and the health and safety risks to female athletes.

 “We’re very confident that we’re going to prevail,” he concluded.

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Expert sounds the alarm on TikTok trend for travelers trying to get comfortable on planes

A new TikTok trend has travelers getting “creative” in an effort to get comfortable.

Multiple videos have surfaced on the platform showing airplane passengers using the seat belt to keep their feet up on the seat.

Instead of clipping the seat belt around their waists, travelers are wrapping the strap around their shins and ankles — and clipping it into place to prevent their feet from sliding down.

JUST ‘PLANE’ BAD ETIQUETTE: AIRPLANE PASSENGER DRAPES HER LONG, THICK HAIR OVER THE BACK OF HER SEAT

One TikTok user posted a video on Feb. 2 as she tried out the trend with the caption, “To whoever it was that said to put the plane belt around your ankles … I owe you my life!!!!”

The TikTok currently has 20.7 million views and 1.9 million likes with mixed reactions in the comments.

“That’s actually so smart,” one user said.

TikTok user @thatonekenyan asked, “Why are you guys saying this is smart??!? If bad turbulence happens she’s OFF that seat.”

AIR TRAVEL DRAMA: TALL PASSENGER WHO DIDN’T BUY ADDITIONAL LEGROOM IS CHEWED OUT ON FLIGHT

TikTok creator and solo world traveler Taylor Futch (@tfutchh), who is based in Miami, said she tried out the trend for herself on a flight in Europe.

She posted a video on Jan. 25 with the caption, “Saw a TikTok where they said to put your seat belt at your ankles and I’ll never be the same.”

Futch’s video has been viewed 3.2 million times so far, with multiple flight attendants leaving comments urging caution.

One user, Shannon Blevins, commented, “Flight attendant here. Please don’t do this. I know it’s comfortable, but if we hit unexpected turbulence or rough air, you’re not protected. It happens more than you think!”

AIR TRAVEL CONTROVERSY: PASSENGERS WHO RECLINE THEIR SEATS ON FLIGHTS ARE SEEN AS ‘RUDE’

Another user, who also claimed to be a flight attendant, warned, “This will not protect you in a sudden turbulence event. Please keep your belt fastened the way it should be.”

In a conversation with Fox News Digital, Futch clarified that she tried the trend while flying at a “safe altitude and only for a few minutes just to change positions.”

“I don’t think this would be a good position for hours of sitting, but if you needed to change things up a bit, it was great to prevent my feet from sliding,” she said.

Futch mentioned that this seat belt bind has a similar function to an airplane foot hammock, a device that clips onto a tray table and hangs down to become a leg and foot rest. 

PASSENGER’S RECLINED PLANE SEAT SEEN IN TIKTOK VIDEO REAWAKENS DEBATE: ‘BANE OF MY EXISTENCE’

Michael Wallace, travel expert and CEO of Greenback Expat Tax Service in Detroit, Michigan, warned in a statement to Fox News Digital that this flight trend “might not be the safest option.”

“We’re always looking for ways to make our flights a more comfortable experience,” he said.

“With smaller seats, longer flights and some key amenities becoming fewer and farther between, it’s no surprise that we jump on any trend that will make our trip even slightly more pleasant.”

But the travel expert emphasized that this trend should be “taken with a grain of salt.”

Wallace said, “While attaching your seat belt around your ankles might give you some short-term comfort, it’s actually an incredibly dangerous thing to do.”

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“In the event of sudden turbulence, you should have your seat belt secured around your waist.”

Having the seat belt tied around your ankles could put you in a “life-threatening situation,” Wallace warned, as you “take extra time to first unbuckle and then rebuckle your seat belt.”

“If the plane hits turbulence that causes you to lean forward at an increased rate … even a slight knock to your head on your knees could cause a concussion,” he said.

Having the seat belt “tightly hugging your ankles” can lead to “poor circulation,” Wallace added.

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“Passengers could develop minor symptoms such as discomfort or numbness,” he said. 

“In more extreme cases, you could develop blood clots.” 

He added, “This is why some people wear compression socks on long-haul flights to ensure their feet don’t swell uncomfortably due to poor circulation.”

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Dr. Phil condemns pandemic school closures on ‘The View’, ignites fiery debate

Dr. Phil McGraw rattled “The View” co-hosts on Monday after he criticized pandemic school closures and their lasting effect on school children, receiving push-back from the liberal hosts of the ABC show. 

Sara Haines asked him about his new book, “We’ve Got Issues,” and how one of the issues was social media. 

“In, like, ’08, ’09, smartphones came on, and kids started, they stopped living their lives and starting watching people live their lives, and so we saw the biggest spike and the highest levels of depression, anxiety, loneliness, and suicidality, since records have ever been kept, and it’s just continued on and on and on. And then COVID hits 10 years later, and the same agencies that knew that, are the agencies that shut down the schools for two years. Who does that? Who takes away the support system for these children? Who takes it away and shuts it down?” McGraw said. 

“And by the way, when they shut it down, they stopped the mandated reporters from being able to see children that were being abused and sexually molested and, in fact, sent them home and abandoned them to their abusers with no way to watch and referrals dropped 50% to 60%,” he continued. 

PANDEMIC LEARNING LOSS COULD COST STUDENTS THOUSANDS IN INCOME OVER THEIR LIFETIME: STUDY

Co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Whoopi Goldberg pushed back on McGraw and both said the school shutdowns during the pandemic were about “trying to save” the lives of children. 

Goldberg said she and her fellow hosts knew a lot of people who died from COVID and Dr. Phil responded, “not school children.”

“Maybe we’re lucky they didn’t, because they kept them out of the places that they could be sick, because no one wanted to believe that we had an issue,” Goldberg continued. Co-host Ana Navarro asked him if he was saying no school children died from COVID. 

“I’m saying it was the safest group, they were the less vulnerable group, and they suffered and will suffer more from the mismanagement of COVID than they will from the exposure to COVID, and that’s not an opinion. That’s a fact,” McGraw responded during his media appearance.

US STUDENTS NEED NEARLY 4 MONTHS OF EXTRA SCHOOL TO FIX POST-COVID ‘ACHIEVEMENT GAPS’ IN READING, MATH: STUDY

Goldberg lamented that the co-hosts and their guest didn’t even have time to “talk it out,” before going to commercial. 

Several studies conducted post-pandemic found that shuttering schools and forcing kids into remote-learning was harmful to their education and mental health. The Department of Education published a report in 2022 that found students’ reading and math test scores plummeted. 

“Average scores for age 9 students in 2022 declined 5 points in reading and 7 points in mathematics compared to 2020,” the DOE found. “This is the largest average score decline in reading since 1990, and the first ever score decline in mathematics,” the DOE report read.

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Dr. Phil argued the effect of school closures and lockdowns would have a lasting impact during an episode of his show in 2022.

“Seventy million children will be forever affected by what they’ve gone through with the pandemic — how things were handled when our country was locked down, the pandemic that they’ve endured — all of us will be,” he said. 

Fox News’ Alexander Hall contributed to this report.

Kevin Costner unveils first look at project 30 years in the making

Kevin Costner rode off into the sunset from “Yellowstone” and into the American Southwest with the release of the first trailer for his four-part Western drama, “Horizon: An American Saga.”

The teaser clip for the post-Civil War epic was filmed in Utah and made by Territory Pictures (Costner’s production company), in association with Warner Bros.

In addition to starring in the feature film, Costner also directed “Horizon,” based on a script he co-wrote with John Baird. 

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When asked during a Zoom panel if “Horizon” was more difficult to make than “Dances with Wolves,” Costner revealed that his 30-year epic took the cake.

“This is by far the biggest struggle,” Costner said, via Variety. “I’m shocked at what we were able to get. I shot ‘Dances’ for 106 days, I shot the movie you’re just seeing right now in 52.”

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He added, “I did learn a lot and I was able to use every trick in the book to try to bring this movie to ground and to bring it to an audience. And there’s four of them!”

“Horizon” marks the fourth time Costner’s sat in the director’s chair. His last directorial effort was more than 20 years ago with “Open Range,” followed by the 1997 film “The Postman.” He earned multiple Academy Awards for “Dances with Wolves” in 1990.

While the premise of “Horizon” wasn’t explained in the three-minute trailer, Costner highlights the beauty of the American Southwest before zeroing in on the ensemble cast, which includes Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington, Giovanni Ribisi, Jena Malone and Abbey Lee.

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In one scene, Jamie Campbell Bower points toward Costner’s weapon and asks, “You use that much this year?”

Costner responded, “Haven’t had much need of it yet,” before flashbacks show him wielding his weapon with ease.

“Looks like we got ourselves a bad man right here,” Bower said as Costner walked away.

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Michael Rooker, Danny Huston, Luke Wilson, Isabelle Fuhrman, Jeff Fahey, Will Patton, Tatanka Means, Owen Crow Shoe and Ella Hunt and round out the star-studded roster.

Costner’s country western saga debuts in theaters on Friday, June 28. The second part of the epic will be released 49 days later, on Friday, Aug. 16.

The “Field of Dreams” actor was so impressed with the Utah landscape while filming “Horizon” that he decided to put down roots in St. George and build a state-of-the art film studio.

St. George Mayor Michele Randall confirmed with Fox News Digital that Territory Film Studios is hoping to “break ground in the spring or summer,” depending on permitting processes.

Once completed, the studios will have 70,000 square feet of sound stages, 51,000 square feet of production warehouses and nearly 32,000 square feet of production offices.

The lot will also include a sit-down restaurant and an on-site catering department.

“He has truly fallen in love with this state, because it’s so diverse and so beautiful, and people,” Greater Zion Tourism sales manager Joyce Kelly said. “So, I knew what he was looking for, and I believe I found him the right partner. And so they’re going to do a joint venture they called Territory Film Studios.”

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Former President Trump’s message to judge who ruled in $350 million civil fraud case

Former President Trump’s legal team has appealed a ruling from New York Judge Arthur Engoron’s finding him liable for more than $350 million in damages in the civil fraud case brought against him by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

With interest, the total amount Trump is currently on the hook for is just over $354 million, with post-judgment interest accruing at nearly $112,000 per day. 

James’ case also targeted Trump’s family and the Trump Organization. Engoron ruled that Trump and defendants were liable for “persistent and repeated fraud,” “falsifying business records,” “issuing false financial statements,” “conspiracy to falsify false financial statements,” “insurance fraud,” and “conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.”

The judge went on to criticize Trump’s behavior during the trial, saying that he “rarely responded to the questions asked, and he frequently interjected long, irrelevant speeches on issues far beyond the scope of the trial.”

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“His refusal to answer the questions directly, or in some cases, at all, severely compromised his credibility,” Engoron wrote.

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Trump attorney Christopher Kise teased plans for an appeal when he reacted to the decision earlier this month, saying the court “ignored the law, ignored the facts, and simply signed off on the Attorney General’s manifestly unjust political crusade against the front-running candidate for President of the United States.”

“Legal cases are supposed to be decided based on the application of established legal principles to the actual evidence,” Kise said. “During 44 days of trial, not one witness, not one complaint, and not one victim supported the Attorney General’s manufactured claims of ‘fraud.’  Moreover, the evidence established President Trump’s net worth far exceeded what was reported in his financial statements.”

TRUMP’S GAG ORDER CHALLENGE IN NEW YORK AG LETITIA JAMES’ CIVIL SUIT REJECTED

James’ office had requested that Engoron ban Trump, his sons and the other defendants from applying for loans in New York for five years, in addition to blocking the Trump Organization from handling any real estate business for the same period.

In September, Engoron ruled that Trump and the Trump Organization had committed fraud while building his real estate empire by deceiving banks, insurers and others by overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing financing.

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“He ruled against me without knowing anything about me,” Trump said on the stand during the trial last year. “He called me a fraud, and he didn’t know anything about me.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Maria Paronich contributed to this report

Former Duke star explains how to stop court stormers for good: ‘Will stop the next day’

Jay Bilas, a former Duke star who is a college basketball analyst for ESPN, blasted fans for court storming after a Blue Devils was injured on Saturday amid an incident with Wake Forest supporters.

Bilas appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” and suggested one idea to clamp down on court-storming.

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“The truth is nothing’s going to change now,” he said. “We’re going to talk about it. It’s going to go away, and nothing’s going to change. And if they wanted to stop it, they could stop it tomorrow. The administrations will tell you the security experts tell them that it’s not a good idea to try stop the court-storming, because that could cause more problems than it would solve.

“But you don’t have to stop the court storming. One time, all you have to do is, once they’re on the court, don’t let them off. Just say, ‘You’re all detained,’ and give them all citations, or arrest them if you want to. And then court stormings will stop the next day.”

Bilas then suggested the media was complicit in the court-storming.

ESPN PUNDIT BLAMES WAKE FOREST ADMINISTRATION FOR DUKE STAR’S INJURY AFTER COURT STORMING: ‘SHAME ON YOU’

“Years ago, when fans would run out on the field or the court during a game, it was network policy not to show that because we didn’t want to encourage it. So what does that say about the way we in the media use these images now? We can’t deny that we encourage it or at least tacitly approve of it.

“Everyone has to accept some responsibility for this. I don’t think it’s the right thing to allow this, but I know that it’s gonna continue. This is not going to stop.”

Duke star Kyle Filipowski had to be helped off the court after Saturday’s incident. It appeared a fan made contact with him running from the left side of the court. The fan who appeared to hit Filipowski fell to the court, and Filipowski somehow ended up in the arms of Duke staff.

Duke coach Jon Scheyer said Filipowski sprained his ankle, and the coach called for court storming to end.

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“When are we going to ban court storming? When are we going to ban that? How many times does a player have to get into something where they get punched, or they get pushed, or they get taunted right in their face? It’s a dangerous thing.”

Fox News’ Ryan Morik contributed to this report.

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Mom loses massive payout in disability case after winning tree-throwing competition

A woman in Ireland lost a more than $800,000 in an injury lawsuit stemming from a car crash after photos showed her launching a Christmas tree during a post-holiday competition – and winning the event. 

Kamila Grabska, 36, sued an insurance agency in the country, RSA Insurance, after a 2017 car crash she claimed caused her debilitating neck and back pain that prevented her from holding down a job for five years, the Irish Independent reported. Grabska is a mom of two from the town of Ennis in County Clare, Irish media reports. 

The car accident was the result of someone hitting Grabska’s car from the rear, and allegedly left her unable to carry her young children or complete household chores. She quit her job shortly after, received disability payments and argued that her previous and future lost income totaled more than $500,000, according to the Telegraph. 

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Newspaper reports, however, soon surfaced of Grabska competing in a Christmas tree-throwing event on Jan. 8, 2018, nearly a year after the accident supposedly left her with “disabling” pain.” The Irish High Court reviewed a photo of Grabska launching a tree, which the judge, Carmel Stewart, described as a “very graphic picture,” according to the Telegraph. 

The competition involves people throwing roughly 5-foot spruce trees as far as they are able. 

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The court also reportedly reviewed video recorded last year of Grabska playing with a Dalmatian in a dog park for more than an hour, media reports show. 

The judge ruled to dismiss the case following the review of photos and video. 

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“It is a very large, natural Christmas tree and it is being thrown by her in a very agile movement. I’m afraid I cannot but conclude the claims were entirely exaggerated. On that basis, I propose to dismiss the claim,” the judge said, according to the Irish Independent. 

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Grabska denied that she faked her injuries while in court, saying she was “trying to live a normal life,” according to the Telegraph. 

Fox News Digital reached out to Grabska’s attorneys, but did not immediately receive a reply. 

MLB veteran pitcher, who once led the National League in strikeouts, dead at 63

José DeLeón, a former MLB pitcher who played 13 seasons in the big leagues across five teams, has died after a battle with unspecified health issues. He was 63.

DeLeón passed away Sunday at a hospital in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, his Dominican Winter League team Los Leones del Escogido said. The team added that DeLeón was battling health issues without giving further information.

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The Dominican Republic native who played high school baseball in New Jersey made his MLB debut in 1983 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He would make at least 25 starts in most of his first 10 seasons in the majors. He led the National League in strikeouts in 1989 for the St. Louis Cardinals with 201.

But as the 1993 season wore on, he found himself coming out of the bullpen more. He appeared in 35 games and only made three starts between the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox.

He spent the last three seasons of his career as a reliever.

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DeLeón played for the Pirates, Cardinals, White Sox, Phillies and Montreal Expos from 1983 to 1995. He finished his career with 1,594 strikeouts in 415 career appearances.

He made only one postseason appearance – coming in 1993. He allowed one run in 4.2 innings of work across two games. He struck out six.

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“Saddened to learn of former @MLB RHP Jose DeLeon’s passing over the weekend at age 63,” Dan Evans, a former White Sox official, wrote on X. “We were together for five years with the @WhiteSox. He was consistently a kind person with a great smile. Oh my, he had plus-plus fastball life and was so versatile.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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