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The Adenhart tragedy, one year later

Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the tragic deaths of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two acquaintances, who were killed when a drunk driver allegedly ran a red light and slammed into their Mitsubishi Eclipse.

The tone around the Angels this week regarding the anniversary has been one of tasteful restraint. Gone is the makeshift memorial that sat outside Angel Stadium throughout the 2009 season, where fans left flowers, photos and notes. Gone, too, is the "34" patch Angels players wore on the shoulder of their uniforms last year and the banner on the center field wall depicting Adenhart, who was 22 years old when he died, in mid-delivery. The Angels no longer hang Adenhart's jersey in their dugout or keep a fully stocked locker for him in their clubhouse.

According to an Angels spokesman, Adenhart's family -- his father, Jim, lives in Williamsport, Md., where Nick grew up, while his mother, Janet, lives in Illinois -- have a standing invitation to attend any Angels games they want, but they are not expected to be on hand Friday night. The only acknowledgement of Adenhart's death will be when Jered Weaver is presented with the inaugural Nick Adenhart Award as the organization's most valuable pitcher in 2009.

Hard as it is to let go -- when, after all, only six months ago the team was rallying around Adenhart's memory with impressive intensity during their playoff drive -- the Angels' present stance towards Adenhart is the proper one.

A year later, the memory of their fallen teammate is no longer an organizational prerogative, but a personal one.

By Dave Sheinin  |  April 9, 2010; 10:13 AM ET
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Not an Angels fan, but as a Maryland resident I was touched by Nick Adenhart's death. As unfortunate and senseless a thing as could have happened. A very poignant but well-written article, as I'm sure the pain of his death will remain a personal burden for anyone who crossed paths with Nick Adenhart.

Posted by: mjsciann1 | April 9, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Love you Nick,

You are still in my heart.
The whole thing still makes me sick, but
that's the way it goes sometimes.

Throw a no-hitter in heaven for me.


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