I was at softball practice today in Manhattan and I was checking my phone for updates of the Red Sox-Rays game at Fenway Park. I hadn't checked any sports news in the morning, and on my cell I discovered that Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart was tragically killed in a car accident in Fullerton, CA, after he had pitched in his first game of the year on Wednesday night at Angel Stadium against the Oakland A's.
Nick Adenhart was only 22.
He was a player with a future, and had made the Angels rotation out of spring training. He was a 14th round draft pick in 2004 by the Angels, even after coming back from Tommy John surgery in high school. It was just his fourth MLB start, a game I watched briefly after the Red Sox game ended. By the time I returned home last night, Adenhart had been removed after pitching six shutout innings, and the Angels pen let the lead get away and he wound up getting a no-decision.
But hours after the game, Adenhart and three companions were driving in his sports car when it got hit by a drunk driver in a minivan who went through a red light and struck the car. Two of Adenhart's friends also perished in the crash. The third is in serious condition. The police caught the other driver a short time later, as he fled the scene on foot after the accident occurred.
Here is more on the tragedy.
It's a tragedy that affects all of baseball, and it will hit the Angels hard, losing a teammate as well as a friend. Tonight's Angels game with the A's was postponed, and the Angels will begin a series with the Red Sox beginning tomorrow in Anaheim.
But everyone's thoughts are with Nick's loved ones. My deepest condolences to the Adenhart family as well as all Angels fans.
Here is a video tribute to Nick Adenhart, from YouTube.