Thursday, April 9, 2009

Not Just a Baseball Player- Nick Adenhart, 1986-2009

Nick Adenhart’s death is not about the death of a Marylander. His death is no more special because he was from this state, nor is it any more special because he pitched here in high school. Nor is his death any more special because he was a baseball player, because he was the top prospect in the Angel’s organization, or because he played with a major market club.

No, this death is tragic because he was a 22 year old kid with his entire life ahead of him. It is tragic that this boy, the same age as this writer, had his life stolen from him when it seems that he did not make the slightest mistake to cause it. Nick Adenhart had a promising career, yes, but no one knows where that may have led him. He gave his time on this Earth to this sport, putting years into honing his craft, for this game that we spend billions to support. He gave most of the years of his life to perfect his game, and will not be able to see that effort come to fruition.

It seems as though every year we hear another story about a young man who is cut down in the prime of life, and it is never fair, it is never right. These young men spend their lives under a microscope, every action scrutinized and every movement picked until they can turn on the TV any given night and hear why they aren’t the real deal. Let us hope that Nick is remembered for the passion he played with, and for the games he longed to play in his career.

The day of his death began as inspiring as the night was tragic. Nick Adenhart pitched six scoreless innings against the Oakland Athletics, showcasing the talent that had brought him to the big leagues. Within hours of the game’s conclusion, he had perished at the hands of a drunk driver.

Let us also remember the other people in the car with Nick that horrible night, the two friends of his whose lives were lost. We cannot, as many in the media often do, belittle their families’ losses by omission. Here also were young people with their entire lives to look forward to, 20 year old Courtney Stewart and 27 year old man whose identity has yet to be released as of the writing of this piece. Let us remember Nick Adenhart and his friends, and not as a baseball player. We must use this moment to consider every young person whose life is taken before it even truly starts. Let us remember how fortunate we are to be able to enjoy these games, and how fleeting these lives are that we analyze and dissect.

Nick Adenhart was not just a Marylander. He was not just a pitcher. He was not just a major leaguer. He was most importantly someone with an entire life left to live, a life he should have been able to enjoy. May he, Courtney Stewart, and their compatriot have the best of lives on the other side of this world.

No comments: