It has been two years. Time flies.
Although you frequent my thoughts, it’s on this day, every year, that I always wish I could askyou so much.
I can’t possibly fathom the idea of watching your child pitch six scoreless innings, arguably the greatest game he had ever pitched, only to have to bring the lifeless body of him home, bury him, and say goodbye.
My heart goes out to your family. A beautiful life, 22 years of dreaming, cut short. A mistake? What do you call Andrew Gallo’s actions? Careless? He’ll be 72 when he’s eligible for parole. You would be 71. Would you have looked back at your life, a life filled with baseball, rings, and a Cy Young award?
Can you even imagine the life that you could’ve had? Too often, I take for granted the fragility of life. Your life, Nick, like anyone else’s could’ve been, was taken away in a flash. Can you fathom if you had been at that intersection 30 seconds later? Maybe even 10 seconds later. But it was that moment. You had your whole life ahead of you, a life destined for greatness. Could you ever forgive him?
Were you the motivation that got the Angels to clinch the AL West? Or would it have beenanother moment in your potential life? Where would you be today? An Angel? A Yankee? Where would you be in the future? A pitching coach? Managing? A hall of famer?
Two years later your picture is still displayed in the outfield. Your teammates still think of you. I still think of you. I still think of everything you could’ve been, and everything you are not because of someone’s reckless disregard for your life.
Your life, Nick, will not go unremembered.
The other day I was looking through my profile pictures on Facebook. I came across one that I had posted on April 11th; it was Nick Adenhart.
My heart felt heavy as I remembered watching the news on April 10th and learning of his death. Learning about his pitching, his 1-0 record, his 6.00 ERA, and his nine strikeouts.
For some reason, on this day, his death struck me with a surplus of grief. He was a few months younger than I was and he was living his dream.
I consider myself to be on a constant spiritual quest, while I don’t claim to be religious nor believe in a god, I contemplated the most pronounced features I knew about Adenhart.
He wore number 34. Perhaps it’s a stretch, or merely coincidence, but the numbers three and four add up to seven. Being someone who once considered herself religious, I thought about the number seven and the context it had toward Adenhart, I stumbled across a website that explained it to me:
“When man began to analyze and combine numbers, he developed other interesting symbols. He took the perfect world number, four, and added it to the perfect divine number, three, and got seven, the most sacred number to the Hebrews. It was earth crowned with heaven – the four square earth plus the divine completeness of God. So we have seven expressing completeness through union of earth with heaven. This number is used more than all other numbers in the Word of God…
“The whole Word of God is founded upon the number seven. It stands for the seventh day of the creation week and speaks to the millennial rest day. It denotes completeness or perfection.”
I sat and wondered if Adenhart had thought of these things, he pitched for the Angels, his number when broken down, was considered divine. Maybe he had, maybe he hadn’t. Had he ever considered himself to be a mark of perfection? I don’t think that anyone ever considers themselves perfect, I don’t think anyone ever considers themselves divine, but had these ideas ever crossed his mind?
I pondered the man who had taken Adenhart’s life away from him, away from the Angels, away from us. Had he thought about these things? Did he think about the lives he’d impact when he got into a car with a BAC higher than 0.19? Had he considered what he’d taken away when he plead “not guilty”?
I don’t claim to have been friends with Adenhart or even have heard of him before his death; but somehow, it struck a note with me. On some level, I’d like to have the belief that Adenhart’s team and number are no coincidence, and somehow he really does represent that of an angel, maybe watching over his team; but the skeptic in me wants to dismiss it.
The key phrase is “wants to.” There was something very settling about looking at Nick’s picture that day, a calming presence that simultaneously moved me to tears. Like I said before, maybe it was coincidence, or maybe there’s something bigger. Either way, despite not knowing Adenheart, despite not hearing of him until his death, I can’t help but think of him often, linger on what might or might not be, and think that maybe, just maybe, he’s watching over me too. Maybe it wasn’t coincidence that I wrote this blog, maybe it wasn’t coincidence that his number was somehow broken down in my mind, maybe we all need an angel to believe in, maybe Nick is that Angel.