CHANDLER, AZ — The East Valley Baseball League is mourning the loss of one of their own.
James Rubio, 45, passed away on Tuesday after complications from the flu and pneumonia. His grieving wife, MariaElena and son RJ sat down with ABC15 sharing stories, memories, and how much he meant to the young players he coached.
"All of them looked up to him and understood that if they ever needed something from him, that he was gonna be there and he'll never say no," RJ said.
Rubio's wife found him unresponsive at their East Valley home on Tuesday. Hard words for her to share but remembering what she'll miss most about her husband.
"I'm just going to miss holding him, and he just took everything on, he took every burden on," said MariaElena.
Community members and parents of those Rubio had coached, like Sarah Anderson, shared what they remember of a coach they trusted and loved.
"He's just been such a second father to so many of these boys, that no one's going to be able to fill that void," said Anderson.
The Rubio family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral cost and future expenses. Rubio is survived by his wife and five children.