Minnesota’s baseball community mourns the loss of beloved umpire Eleazar “Zar” Kovalov, who died after weeks in the hospital with COVID-19.
News of Kovalov’s death has spread on social media after a GoFundMe was launched to help his family cover medical expenses.
“It is with a heavy heart that I inform you all that Zar did not survive the hospital treatment protocol for COVID-19. He has been battling the disease since October 13 and only recently passed away,” the GoFundMe campaign started by Tom Naeger and Joshua Maiman says .
Kovalov leaves behind his wife Rebekah and four children, Yvi, Alex, Aaron and Savannah, GoFundMe says. The fundraiser has raised more than $8,000 from a $15,000 goal to date. To donate, click here.
“Anyone who has ever played or stood on the field as an umpire has made a positive impact just by knowing him,” GoFundMe says, noting that he was a “high-level baseball player” before he retired. became a “high-level referee”.
In a Facebook post, fellow umpire John Gerards commemorated Kovalov by writing, “If you met Zar once, you would remember him forever. Zar was a good guy.”
Numerous college and amateur teams have expressed their shock, sadness and condolences after learning of Kovalov’s death.
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“Very sad news as it has always been a pleasure for Zar to referee our games for many years. Prayers for his family and the BU baseball family, please consider helping them,” said Bethel’s baseball twitter account.
St. Thomas baseball tweeted that “Zar was an excellent umpire and person.”
Augsburg said he “ALWAYS gave everything he had when he was on the pitch” and was “a positive influence on those he came in contact with.”
A memorial service for Kovalov is expected to take place after Thanksgiving.