Angels' Adenhart killed in accident
Rookie right-hander dies in three-car hit-and-run crash
ORANGE, Calif. -- On one of the saddest mornings in Angels history, a groundskeeper on the field in Angel Stadium smoothed the pitching rubber on which Nick Adenhart stood 13 hours before.
In a conference room on the third floor of the park, Adenhart's No. 34 uniform was draped over a table atop the dais. On its left sleeve, a "Preston" patch commemorating the recent passing of Angels exec Preston Gomez.There will soon be another patch on those uniforms, in memory of Adenhart, the victim of a tragic hit-and-run accident in Fullerton, Calif., in the wee minutes of Thursday. The sudden and shocking development moved the Angels to cancel Thursday's night game, the finale of a four-game series with Oakland. Makeup plans will be announced later. Into that third-floor room, media members, club officials and Fullerton police and fire department officers filed in with long faces and vacant eyes. They were there to discuss the 12:24 a.m. accident that took three lives and left a fourth in critical condition, and to reminisce about an exceptional 22-year-old. As Tim Mead, the Angels' vice president of communications said in opening the proceedings, "It is with deep regret that we are having this press conference."
Of all the sad, thoughtful and poignant sentiments that ensued, nothing spoke louder of Adenhart's effect than the eyes of agent Scott Boras, which weren't vacant but wet.Looking completely distraught when his turn to speak came, Boras took several deep breaths before saying, "Nick's parents, Jim and Janet, wanted me to convey to the entire Angels organization ... " Then the tough-as-steel agent broke down, audibly sobbing before again collecting himself to say through quivering lips, "He was a great kid. His life goal was to be a big league baseball player. He'd summoned his father [on Tuesday], telling him 'You better come [to Wednesday's game]. Something special's going to happen.'" Something special did: Adenhart blanked the Oakland A's for six innings of what turned out to be an Angels loss. "After the game," Boras said, "he was so elated. It was tremendous fun. A great moment for all of us, seeing a young man take a huge step." A couple of hours after that 6-4 loss, the Angels suffered a loss much more painful and lasting. A van driven by Andrew Thomas Gallo, a 22-year-old Riverside resident, ran a red light at the Fullerton intersection of Lemon and Orangethorpe and slammed the two-door Eclipse in which Adenhart was a passenger, hurtling it against a telephone pole.
Active player deaths since 1990
|Joe Kennedy||Blue Jays||11/23/2007|
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.