Over the line. Check it out:
Arnie the Peanut Dude is a fixture at Astros games, his chatter and canny ability to toss accurately a bag of peanuts far distances often being enough to distract from the crummy play by the home team.
Change that "is" to "was."
That's how you're going to report that someone - anyone - passed away? Bush League. Nice way to slam a team that plays a game through an obituary, and then to remark on his death by using past tense.