Nick Adenhart: Heavens New Angel

Matt Royal@MattRoyal32Contributor IApril 22, 2009

SEATTLE - APRIL 14:  Members of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pause for a moment of silence honoring pitcher Nick Adenhart who was killed in a car crash last week, before the Seattle Mariners' Opening Day Major League Baseball game on April 14, 2009 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

You have seen them walking around campus earlier this week. Black and white shirts, the skull and crossbones beaming from the front and the VICTIM label on the back, their faces covered in ghost white colors, and the blood trickling down their faces.

No words and no communication with anyone, they are victims.

This article is not meant to preach the dangers of drunk driving, but reading it may help make your choices in the future a little easier. I was asked to be a victim of this project, but was unable to due to a busy schedule. I do know one person who would have liked to volunteer.

Unfortunately, this project is no imaginative eye opener to him, it’s the story of his life and his name is Nick Adenhart.

Nick was a baseball player, who started off the 2009 season with an impressive performance against a powerful Oakland Athletics offense. He took the mound, the ball in one hand and his glove in the other. Six strong innings of shutout baseball would pass before Nick was pulled due to a high pitch count.

So there it was, a young 22-year-old ball player who started his 2009 season with a bang, a bright future ahead of one of baseballs up and coming stars. More than 43,000 fans watched as Nick shut down the Athletics for six innings, and seven miles down the road, 43,823 fans watched as Nick was carried away in a body bag.

It happened six hours after he walked off the mound at Angel Stadium, Nick and two friends were killed early Thursday morning when their car was broadsided by a driver, a drunk driver. Andrew Gallo flew through a red light, fled the scene and blew a blood alcohol level three times over the legal limit.

He came and went; a young star with a future so bright, swept away from the earth by the hands of god.

Drunk driving is dangerous, it’s obvious to everyone. Getting behind the wheel of a car after a few drinks not only is dangerous but stupid. It kills. Not just an individual, it kills families, friends, spouses, and in this instance teams.

Nick showed promise as a ball player, a high school phenom who battled arm injury after arm injury to realize his dreams and goals. Nick had countless months in rehab centers in Arizona, numerous weeks in the minor leagues and one glorious moment in the big leagues.

Who is to say that his life ends short? Why are baseball fans and even Angels fans deprived of knowing the true talent of this pitcher? Better yet, why are his teammates, friends, and family forced to live with a burden on their soul of anger and sorrow?

Nick left the game after showing signs of brilliance and excellence, he dominated an Athletics team in his first start of the year. The Cy Young award is given to the best pitcher in baseball every season, and I can’t sit here and tell you who will win this award in 2011, 2012 and so on. But the thought will always creep my mind whether Nick was talented enough to be given this award.

Instead Nick lays six feet under, a skull and crossbones engraved on his tombstone, his face ghost white and pale, he is a VICTIM, no words and no communication with anyone.