Today was supposed to be a good day. Sure, I had a meeting with a professor that I was dreading. Yes, my schoolwork was piling up. And I had to return a couple of books to the library I still needed to use. But when I went to bed last night, I didn’t really care about any of this. I kept falling back on two things that I knew would be there. Andrew Bynum was returning to action for the Lakers, and I was going to the Angels game – my first of the year. Nothing else mattered. It was going to be a good day.
I woke up at 6:40 am, three hours before my alarm. That’s happened a couple of times this week. I sat up in bed, my laptop with me, doing nothing – surfing the web, watching the news. Around 8:30 am, my cell phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number, so I let it go. I googled it, and found that the call originated from Redskin Park. That’s my friend Todd. He’s not inconsiderate, so when the phone rang again 30 seconds later, I picked up. And that was how I learned that Nick Adenhart was dead.
My friend Roger and I went to Adenhart’s major league debut last year. It wasn’t a very good start – he got knocked out early, and the Angels lost a slugfest. Nothing particularly memorable. I remember the two of us dismissing the kid afterwards, half-joking as we characterized his career trajectory. Another overvalued prospect. He wasn’t ready for the show. Back to Salt Lake, or Albuquerque, or wherever. He needed more time in the minors. More time to develop. That was May 1st. Adenhart started just three more games in his life.
Nick Adenhart was 22 years old. His friends were 20 and 25. We take it all for granted – sports, life, whatever. The game would be there tonight. Adenhart would have that time. And they all had everything in front of them. No one ever imagines otherwise.
Rest in Peace.