Adenhart's parents to decide on his locker
Angels search for appropriate way to continue tribute to pitcher
ANAHEIM -- While Angels players cleaned out their lockers on Tuesday at Angel Stadium, there was one locker that remained untouched -- the locker of Nick Adenhart, who was tragically killed in a car accident on April 9.
Adenhart's locker remained in the Angels clubhouse throughout the season as a tribute to the fallen pitcher, who died just hours after throwing six scoreless innings against the A's.
The Angels staff will meet with Adenhart's parents to see if they want to keep his locker as a permanent fixture in the clubhouse, much like the Yankees did at Yankee Stadium with Thurman Munson after he died in a plane crash in 1979.
"I think now that the season has concluded it's something we'll sit down and talk about," said Tim Mead, Angels vice president of communication. "At some point we'll talk to the family and see how they want to handle it. When they were here in April we talked about them coming through and going through the locker after the season, so we'll talk to them and then talk internally."
The players seemed warm to the idea of keeping the locker intact to honor their teammate, but understood that it ultimately wasn't their decision.
"We'd like to keep it there," Torii Hunter said. "But I think it's up to the front office, his family and [manager Mike] Scioscia."
Left-hander Joe Saunders, whose locker is next to Adenhart's, said he'll respect the decision either way because he will remember his teammate no matter what happens.
"Regardless of whether his locker is here, Nick will be with us always," Saunders said. "If his locker is here it's awesome and if not, we'll still always remember him."
The Angels, no doubt, will do the right thing as they honored Adenhart all season with a No. 34 patch, a picture of him on the outfield wall, his jersey being hung in the dugout during every game as well as the newly created "Nick Adenhart Award," which honors the team's best pitcher as voted by teammates.
"We want Nick to be a part of this as Mr. Autry is, as Jimmie Reese is -- forever," Mead said. "How we choose to signify that will be the appropriate thing."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.