Being a lifelong fan of the California Angels baseball team [now known as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim] has never been easy.
For most of my childhood, the team was a struggling second division team. With the exception of 1967, when they somehow managed to win 84 games, seasons above the .500 mark were few and far between.
And then, in 2002, they managed to pull off the miracle: The Angels were crowned World Champions. It was as if they had finally buried a curse that seemed to plague their very existence, both on and off the field.
Early on, players Minnie Rojas, Chico Ruiz, Bruce Heinbechner, and Mike Miley were all killed in tragic car accidents.
In 1978, star outfielder Lyman Bostock was shot and killed in a case of mistaken identity.
In 1982, after winning the first two of a best-of-three series playoff series against Milwaukee, the Angels fold and lose three straight.
In 1986, the Angels were one inning away from winning the American League Pennant and going to the World Series...until the Boston Red Sox somehow managed to win that game, and the next two to advance.
In 1989, the pitcher who gave up the crucial home run that cost the Angels the pennant in 1986, Donnie Moore, shoots his wife and commits suicide, unable to shake the demons from that game.
And then came 2002, the World Series win against the Giants, and it appeared the curse had been broken.
Early this morning, after pitching six shutout innings against the Oakland Athletics, 22-year-old Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed in a car accident.
It is the latest in a long line of tragedies that have struck this franchise since its inception in 1961. The prayers of the baseball world go out to his family and parents, Jim and Janet Adenhart.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!