Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Passing of Nick Adenhart

After watching last night's frustrating loss to the A's, I went to bed with the comfort that today would be a new day. I looked forward to the chance for the Angels to turn the page on a bad ending to a good game. Little did I know that before I would wake up this morning, a tragedy would unfold that would profoundly effect this season and many more seasons to come for the Angels and their fans.

The day started normally for me. I drove to work listening to Colin Cowherd on ESPN. The recap played every ten minutes of how the Angels blew the lead, despite six strong innings from the young pitcher Nick Adenhart. When I arrived at work, I clocked in and started my work day. Before I was even completely settled in at work, I was already daydreaming about coming home to my family and watching the Angels game on the big screen tonight.

I was briefly chatting on AIM with my wife, when she informed me of the tragic collision. The news was being reported on TV.

At the young age of 22, Nick Adenhart had passed away, the victim of a senseless traffic collision. Two others were also killed, while one was in critical condition. The culprit, a man who made the poor decision to attempt to drive home under the influence of alcohol and with his license suspended. He ran a red light with his mini-van, striking the coupe Adenhart and three friends were traveling in.

Reports trickled out about how the man was humble, well liked and respectful to people he came in contact with. He overcame adversity in his career by recovering from tommy john surgery and worked hard to try and bounce back from a disappointing debut last year in the majors.

Last night's game was seen by many as a turning point professionally for him. It was a coming out party for a pitcher who was once seen as a prospect and was now a legitimate major leaguer. His father had even flown out from Maryland to watch the best game of his son's Major League career.

I have never met Nick Adenhart or even watched him play in person at the stadium. But I have to admit that this news has affected me more than I ever expected. It has affected me as a fan of the Angels, as a father, and as a fellow human being.

My deepest condolences go out to the family, teammates and fans of this obviously well-liked and talented young man.

One more Angel in heaven.

A right hander who had amazing potential and reportedly great heart.

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