Following the tragic death of Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart in a hit-and-run accident early Thursday morning in Fullerton, the Angels and Athletics have postponed tonight’s scheduled finale of the team’s four-game series.
Adenhart and two others were killed when their silver Mitsubishi Eclipse was struck by a minivan at the intersection of Orangethorpe Avenue and Lemon Street at about 12:30 a.m.
The 22-year-old was a passenger in the car being driven by 20-year-old Courtney Stewart of Diamond Bar. A third person, who has yet to be identified, was also killed, and the fourth was in critical condition in the hospital.
Fullerton police Lt. Kevin Hamilton said that police have 22-year-old Andrew Thomas Gallo of Riverside in custody.
He said that Gallo, who was captured about 30 minutes after the accident, will be booked for driving under the influence, felony hit-and-run, vehicular manslaughter, and possibly murder.
Police said that Stewart and Adenhart had known each other for about a year and that the woman’s mother told them they were heading to a country dance club located less than a block away from the scene of the accident.
“On behalf of the entire Angels family, we are deeply saddened by the events of last night,” general manager Tony Reagins said. “Making phone calls this morning, disbelief is prevalent.”
“We are all in shock.”
A visibly shaken Scott Boras broke down crying during his statement at a press conference held this morning.
“Nick’s parents wanted me convey to the entire Angels organization the privilege…” Boras said. “He had summoned his father to come out, and told him ‘something special’s going to happen.’”
Earlier in the morning, center fielder Torii Hunter relayed a story of how he gave the young pitcher a ride home from a spring training game earlier this year.
“His roommates had left early, so he asked me for a ride,” Hunter told the MLB Network. “He was in the car and playing with my kids and having fun.
“When we dropped him off, my son said, ‘Hey, that guy is pretty cool.’ They’re in school right now and I don’t know if they have seen anything, but when they come home now, I have to tell them that the cool guy is no longer here.”
The tragedy is the latest in a string of them to strike the Angels' franchise over the years.
Longtime coach Preston Gomez died earlier this year due to complications from injuries suffered in a traffic accident last year during spring training.
The last tragedy to strike an active Angels player during the season was back in 1978, when outfielder Lyman Bostock was murdered while sitting in the back seat of a car in Gary, Ind. after a game with the Chicago White Sox.
The Angels won five of their last seven ballgames, but still finished five games behind the Kansas City Royals.
More recently, former pitcher Donnie Moore committed suicide in 1989, a year after leaving the game due to a combination of injuries and mental anguish from the events of the 1986 American League Championship Series.