Angels' Noah Syndergaard to Honor Late Pitcher Nick Adenhart by Wearing No. 34 Jersey

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 17, 2021

New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard works against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
AP Photo/Ben Margot

Noah Syndergaard will be the first Los Angeles Angels player to wear No. 34 since Nick Adenhart, who died in a car crash in 2009.

Though the team has avoided using the number since his death, Syndergaard received permission from Adenhart's family. His stepfather Duane Gigeous explained the decision to Sam Blum of The Athletic:

"We are of the opinion that we think there could be no one better than Noah Syndergaard to wear it. We appreciate the type of pitcher that he is and the type of competitor that he is. … I think, hopefully, it will spark some conversations. There’s a generation of baseball fans who don’t know who Nick is and don’t know Nick’s story. And [13] years later, it might be time that sparks a conversation of, 'Hey, this was Nick Adenhart.'"

Adenhart made four starts in the majors, including throwing six shutout innings in his first start of the 2009 season. Later that night, he was killed by a drunk driver at the age of 22.

Syndergaard will hope to honor the pitcher's memory in his first season with the team after signing a one-year, $21 million deal in the offseason. He previously told AM830's The SportsLodge that he wanted "to honor his name and wear that jersey with pride."

The 29-year-old has spent his entire major-league career with the New York Mets, earning one All-Star selection in parts of six seasons. He has pitched just two innings over the last two years while recovering from Tommy John surgery.