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Man dies after competing in taco eating contest during minor league baseball game

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FRESNO, Calif. — The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office has identified the man who died after competing in a taco eating contest at the Fresno Grizzlies game.

Authorities say Dana Hutchings, 41 of Fresno died shortly after arriving at the hospital Tuesday night.

A spokesperson for the Grizzlies says Hutchings was taken from Chukchansi Park by ambulance during the early stages of the game.

Hutching choked during the contest.

He told another fan at the game he was diabetic and had starved himself all day to prepare for the contest. The coroner’s office is checking to see if there were other factors contributing to his death.

On Tuesday morning, Fresno Grizzlies entertainment manager, Ray Ortiz said that the winner of the amateur eating competition would go up against professional eaters at Saturday’s World Taco Eating Championship to be held by Major League Eating at Fresno’s annual Taco Truck Throwdown.

“You could win your spot to go up against the world champion eaters on Saturday here at Chukchansi Park with Major League Eating,” said Ortiz.

However, a statement from the team Wednesday said that the amateur taco eating contest was not a qualifying event for a Major League Eating sanctioned competition.

RELATED: Taco Truck Throwdown 9 returning to Chukchansi Park

The Fresno Grizzlies team president Derek Franks announced Wednesday that World Taco Eating Championship will be canceled after the deadly incident.

The Coroner’s Office says it does not have a ruling on the cause of death but has an idea.

Grizzlies team president Derek Franks released a statement following Hutchings death:

“We are devastated to learn that the fan that received medical attention following an event at Tuesday evening’s game has passed away. The Fresno Grizzlies extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the family of Mr. Hutchings. The safety and security of our fans is our highest priority. We will work closely with local authorities and provide any helpful information that is requested.”

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