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01/13/09 1:21 PM EST

Tribe mourns the death of Centeno

Scout killed in a car accident in Venezuela on Sunday

CLEVELAND -- The Indians will remember Henri Centeno as a "go-to guy" who was instrumental in their Venezuelan operations.

Centeno, a scout who had been with the Tribe for about 10 years and who supervised the club's scouting in Venezuela, was killed in a car accident on Sunday. He was 39.

According to John Mirabelli, the Tribe's director of scouting operations, Centeno was on his way to a player showcase set up by the Indians' scouts in Porta La Cruz, when his car was involved in a head-on collision.

"There's no way to prepare yourself for that phone call," Mirabelli said. "It's just stunning and shocking."

Centeno, who played in the Astros' Minor League system from 1992-95, was well-respected in the game, and, particularly, in the Indians' organization. Mirabelli said he just saw Centeno a few weeks ago in the Dominican Republic, where Centeno took part in organizational meetings with the Tribe's Latin American staff.

"Anything that needed to be done, he was the guy all our scouts went to," Mirabelli said. "He handled logistics and visa issues. He was universally respected and loved by our guys. He performed a lot of roles, and he'll be missed dearly, as a professional and as a person."

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.