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Former Cardinals hitting coach Mitchell Page dead

Former Cardinals hitting coach Mitchell Page has died at 59.

Page, who was a major league player for eight years and later a coach with the Cardinals, Royals and Nationals died Saturday. He was let go by the Cardinals after three years in 2004 because of alcohol-related issues. In 2006 he was hired as Washington's hitting instructor but he was serving as a roving instructor, apparently on leave from the major league club.

There is no official word on the cause of Page's death. But NBC reports he died in his sleep.

Page was a very promising player with the Athletics early in his career. He hit .307 with 21 homers and 42 stolen bases his rookie year of 1978. But Page couldn't keep it up, only once hitting higher than .256 after that. He was reduced to being a part-time player by 1980.

But, according to multiple stories about his passing, he was a popular teammate who found his true passion as a coach. Page loved to teach young players about the game.