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Nick Adenhart, Five Years Ago

Nick Adenhart in his senior year of high school. (2004 photo by Preston Keres)

One of the first full-length features I ever worked on for The Post was about a young pitching phenom from near Hagerstown named Nick Adenhart. You can read the story here, if you're so inclined.

He was a highly rated prospect that year, one of the best in the country. The first game I went to see Nick pitch, he blew out his elbow in the first inning.

"The bad news was all across the country 10 minutes after he walked off the field," one scout told me then. "There's about 50 Nick Adenharts out there; we're off to see if the next kid can pitch."

That changed our story a bit. I talked to Nick, his mom and step-dad quite a few times as they figured out that Nick would need surgery and would no longer be a high first rounder. They were all, obviously, in a state of shock for a few days, but they also were relentless about finding a silver lining. Like when his mom told me about their trip to Alabama to see Dr. James Andrews.

"Any time that we get to spend alone with Nick is nice," she said. "I have to say, that was a nice part."

I asked Nick whether he allowed himself what-might-have-been moments.

"I don't like to think about things like that, because there's nothing you can really change about that," he told me. "It's a fact you have to accept."

At the time, the whole thing felt like a tragedy of sorts. Obviously, that wasn't tragedy.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 10, 2009; 1:36 PM ET
Categories:  MLB  
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Dan, that was a really lovely article you wrote. I'm not really sure what else to add, except that it nearly made me cry.

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 10, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it was a lovely article (and no nearly here). My heart goes out to his family and friends. Just so very sad and senseless.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 10, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, the premature death of such a likable and high profile athlete gives new perspective on idiots thinking they aren't drunk when they get behind the wheel.

Posted by: StetSportsBlog | April 10, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I saw the news Thursday morning and as the day went on I heard more about him. When I saw where he was from, it all came together and I remembered reading about him years before. Thanks Dan.

Posted by: sitruc | April 11, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse

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