Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Streets of Heaven Are Too Crowded with Angels Tonight

I just saw the news that Nick Adenhart, a rookie pitcher for the California Angels, was killed in a hit-and-run car accident early this morning.

"The crash took place only hours after the 22-year-old pitcher played in last night's Angels game.

Police say the driver of a minivan ran a red light in Fullerton and struck two cars, killing three people in a Mitsubishi and critically injuring a passenger.

Police Lt. Craig Brower says the minivan driver fled the crash scene and was captured a short time later. The driver was arrested and booked for investigation of felony hit-and-run.

Police say the van ran the red light early Thursday and struck the gray Mitsubishi, which then slammed into a light pole. Two people in the Mitsubishi died instantly, and a third died at a hospital a short time later.

A fourth occupant was in critical condition at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange." was running the story before most news outlets and included a line that I have not seen in any other stories:

"We're told one of the other men killed in the crash was also affiliated with the Angels organization."

(UPDATE: According to CNN/SI, the Angels have stated that no other members of the organization were involved in the crash.)

Coupled with the news that a 27-year old man was killed after a fight at the Angels Opening Day game, the organization has to be absolutely reeling.

I can't imagine a member of the Angels trying to stay focused and playing baseball after such a tragic turn of events darkened what should have been a time of hope and optimism.

I remember the feelings of shock and grief exhibited in the ballpark the day that Darryl Kile was found dead in his hotel room before a Cubs/Cardinals game in 2002. The Cardinals were shattered and the Cubs were equally shaken. Joe Girardi could barely deliver the brief statement through his tears to the hushed stadium that the game would be postponed due to a "tragedy in the Cardinal family."

Baseball teams have a bond that can be as strong, or even stronger than family ties. Losing a teammate like this has to feel like losing a brother.

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone associated with the victims' families, whether they are bound by blood or baseball.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, the 22 year old drunk driver reportedly had several other DUI arrests/incidents in the past, and now Nick Adenhart, his family, fans and baseball has to suffer for the stupidity

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