David Price said goodbye to one of his closest companions and biggest fans Wednesday.
In posts on social media, the Red Sox pitcher announced that Astro, the fan-favorite French bulldog he has had since his early years as an MLB player in Tampa Bay, had died.
“I knew this day was coming sooner rather than later but it still hurts the same,” Price wrote on Twitter. “Astro took his last nap today and we will miss him dearly!”
I knew this day was coming sooner rather than later but it still hurts the same. Astro took his last nap today and we will miss him dearly! Thank you to everyone who always checked in on him and asked me how he was doing! ?? pic.twitter.com/MabUKSlh3j
— David Price (@DAVIDprice24) July 11, 2019
Price thanked fans for constantly checking in and asking about Astro, who had become something of a social media star. He also posted several of his favorite videos and photos of Astro on Instagram.
The 33-year-old pitcher — who is now married and has a son — has said he got Astro in 2009 when he was living in Tampa by himself and “needed a friend.”
“He makes me feel good, even after a bad outing,” the Cy Young award winner told ESPN in 2016. “I come home and Astro’s pumped, and I’m like, ‘Sorry, man, I didn’t pitch very well tonight,’ and he doesn’t care. He’s always got that love for me.”
Astro made frequent appearances on Price’s social media accounts, in the Rays’ dugout, and at the team’s spring trainings. He was even there when Price received the keys to the City of Tampa in 2012. Shortly after Price signed to come to Boston in 2015, the Red Sox sent a tweet welcoming Astro. The then-9-year-old French bulldog was featured on a bobblehead with Price and got to visit Fenway Park.
Price’s relationship with Red Sox fans had been turbulent prior to his performance during last season’s World Series run. But after the news of Astro’s death, the outpouring of support was overwhelmingly supportive. Thousands of fans replied to Price on Twitter and Instagram expressing condolences, as did a number of fellow MLB players, including former teammate Scott Kazmir, Josh Reddick, Dallas Keuchel, Gio Gonzalez, Tony Kemp, and Kirby Yates.
“RIP Astro” was trending on Twitter in the Boston area Wednesday night.
“The amount of support we have received over the last 12 hours has been unreal,” Price tweeted Thursday morning.