As much as sports fans like to trash other teams and all that (I participate in that a lot being an Eagles fan living in Dallas), there’s certain things that just make you want to break down and cry. The Anaheim Angels lost their best pitching prospect last night in a car crash after he pitched. Nick was born August 24, 1986, and was killed last night by a drunk driver (he wasn’t the only one killed in this accident, actually). He was their number one prospect, and probably could equate (baseball wise, not human life wise) to us losing a Matt Harrison or someone of that caliber.
According to the report I read a minute ago (from TMZ, as this news isn’t on the major sites as I write this)…
Cops say someone driving a minivan blew through a red light, causing the Mitsubishi that Adenhart was riding in to hit a light pole. Three people were killed in the crash: Nick, another man and a woman. Cops say the person driving the van fled the scene — but was later caught and charged with felony hit-and-run. The suspect is currently being treated for injuries in a local hospital. We’re told one of the other men killed in the crash was also affiliated with the Angels organization.
His final pitching performance ever was quite a good one. Six innings pitched, seven hits, three walks, and five strikeouts. But most importantly for Nick and the Angels, no runs scored. His bullpen lost the game for him, but he was stellar. It was just his fourth major league start.
As a Rangers fan, it’s sad to read this. The human cost is far greater than anything we might gain as an opposing baseball team – that shouldn’t even matter. One of God’s children was really tragically taken for a stupid friggin reason. Drunk driving.
Baseball is not important, but God is. And to that, I offer up this piece of scripture which seems (in my mind, anyway) to fit the circumstance. I don’t know Nick, nor do I know if he knows God at all, but he was given a gift by God of being able to throw a baseball. To that, I offer up 1 Peter 1: 17-21:
Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
And my own prayer:
Our Father in Heaven, I lift up your son Nick, who was tragically taken from us. Only you know why these things happen, I cannot begin to comprehend it. Whatever it is, may his death serve a good that will in time be known to us. I do not know this man, but you do, and since I trust you, I trust that you will comfort and help through the pain his family at this time. I pray that anger not enter into their families reactions, as anger is not of you, it is of the devil, and has no place in the thoughts of a righteous man. Lord, raise up Nick, and keep his family in your arms at this time. In your son’s name I pray, Amen.
For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. (1 Peter 4:6)
UPDATE: The Angels site “Halo’s Heaven” has a lively commentary from not just Angels fans, but other team fans too. You can read that here. Also, someone there came up with another good piece of scripture I didn’t think of: Romans 12: 9-10
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
UPDATE 2: There’s an official story about it on the Angels site now. Go there and read the details.