Former MSU closer Tanksley killed in line of duty

Dallas firefighter William Scott Tanksley, 40, died Monday night after falling from an icy overpass as emergency personnel responded to a traffic accident. (AP Photo/Dallas-Fire Rescue )

Dallas firefighter William Scott Tanksley, 40, died Monday night after falling from an icy overpass as emergency personnel responded to a traffic accident. (AP Photo/Dallas-Fire Rescue)

By Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

The Mississippi State baseball family is mourning the loss of former pitcher Scott Tanskley.

Tanskley was killed Tuesday after falling from an overpass while working as a member of the Dallas Fire Department, according to Dallas-Fort Worth CBS affiliate channel 11 in Texas.

According to the police report, Tanksley was working a multi-car chain reaction accident on an icy Spur 408 bridge when another car struck the 14-year veteran fire fighter, sending him over the bridge and onto Interstate 20, a 56-foot fall. Tanksley was pronounced dead at Methodist Hospital in Dallas from blunt force trauma injuries.

Tanksley, 40, leaves behind a wife and three children ages 4 to 13.

“Dallas mourns the loss of one of our own, Dallas firefighter William Scott Tanksley,” said Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings in a statement. “As a member of Dallas Fire-Rescue for 14 years, Tanksley dedicated his life to serving the residents of our city in time of need. His death proves what a dangerous job our firefighters are tasked with every day. On behalf of the City of Dallas, I extend heartfelt condolences to the Tanksley Family and the entire Dallas Fire-Rescue team.”

Tanksley lettered for the Diamond Dogs from 1993-95 under Ron Polk. He was named a Mizuno Freshman All-American in 1993 and was the last freshman to throw a complete game shutout at MSU. He still ranks in the Top 10 in seven statistical categories for the Bulldogs.

Tanksley pitched in 82 games and ranks third on the school’s all-times saves list with 24. He shared the single-season saves record of 13 with Van Johnson that was broken by Jonathan Holder last year.

After earning SEC Academic Honor Roll honors in 1995, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound right-hander was drafted in the 22nd round of the MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins. He was also drafted in the 42nd round out of Kemp (Texas) High School by the Baltimore Orioles in 1992 but elected to play at State instead.

Tanskley pitched three seasons in the minor leagues, going 2-6 with a 3.34 ERA, 51 strikeouts and 18 walks over 36 appearances.

logan.lowery@journalinc.com