Last season, I took it upon myself to become the unofficial toastmaster of Bus Leagues, preparing a “Now Pitching For” or “Now Batting For” post whenever a hot young prospect was called up to The Show. I quickly came to enjoy this aspect of the blog, the act of briefly getting to know a young guy as he passed by on his way to the coolest job on Earth. I’m a Red Sox fan by birth, but every player I talked about in those posts became one of “my guys”.
Nick Adenhart was one of “my guys”.
I didn’t go out of my way to follow his career beyond his debut, but every time I saw his name after last May (when he was called up to replace Dustin Moseley on the major league roster), there was a little glimmer of recognition and a feeling that I cared at least a little more about Adenhart’s successes and failures than those of most other players.
And so, I was a little sadder this morning than I might otherwise have been when I heard that Adenhart had been killed in a traffic accident in Fullerton. Hours before, he pitched six shutout innings for the Angels, earning a no-decision when the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead. Now, he is the latest name on a sad list that includes Cory Lidle, Darryl Kile, Lyman Bostock, Thurman Munson, and many others who lost their lives too soon.
There will be a “Now Pitching For” post later, welcoming Rick Porcello to the majors. Somehow, that’s fitting.