Eight years ago today, Major League Baseball lost a young star, and although I’m not a Los Angeles Angels fan, it still sticks with me.
Pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed by a drunk driver just hours after starting the previous night’s game. He was a passenger in the car that was struck and died as a result of his injuries later at the hospital. Two other individuals in the car Adenhart was in died as well. The drunk driver, Andrew Gallo, was charged with three counts of murder, one count of felony hit-and-run, driving under the influence and causing injury, and driving with a .08 percent blood alcohol or higher (his BAC was .19).
In December of 2010, Gallo was convicted on three counts of second-degree murder, two counts of driving under the influence causing great bodily injury, and one felony count of hit-and-run. He sentenced to 51 years in prison.
Memorials popped up after Adenhart’s death, including one outside of Angels Stadium. For the 2009 season, the players wore a patch with his number, 34, his locker in the clubhouse was left as is, a locker was dedicated to him on the road, and the team hung his jersey in the dugout. Jered Weaver, pitcher for the Angels, named his son, Aden, after Adenhart.
This was the first death of a young player I had experienced, and it will always stick with me. And even more so now after the deaths of Jose Fernandez, Yordano Ventura, and Andy Marte. These lives were taken way too soon, and we can only wonder how their careers would have panned out.
These young deaths remind us that life is short, and I always make an effort to acknowledge Adenhart on the anniversary of his death. Rest in peace, Nick.
I want a reason for the way things have to be
I need a hand to help build up some kind of hope inside of me
And I’m calling all angels
I’m calling all you angels