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The immortal Adenhart (1986-2009)

Honest. Cross my heart. On my kids. I’m not trying to be flip with that headline. I swear!

But this afternoon, that’s just what Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart has become. And hopefully, a long, long, long time from now, that will bring the Adenhart family some peace.

I mean, players who get to the bigs harbor an even bigger dream once they get there. It’s to be remembered. To go down in the annals. You know Adenart had to have thought about that once or twice in his most private, private of thoughts, because you don’t become what he was — one of the best righty prospects in the game — without having them.

It’s tragically ironic, isn’t it? The kid who made only four major-league starts won’t be forgotten. Not by anybody who really follows the game, anyway. You don’t watch a guy pitch on television or in person — much less a guy shoving the ball up the opponents’ you-know-where — and then learn of his death a few hours later and ever forget it.

It’s eerily similar to the case of Lyman Bostock. I was 10 years old when Bostock was murdered, and I can still see his swing, his mannerisms. In baseball circles, Bostock is revered and the conversations usually start with, “Do you remember …?”

Had this occurred then, I wouldn’t be saying this about Adenhart. But given the 24-hours news cycle of the 21st century, Adenhart’s name is being drilled into the heads of millions around the country, and highlights of the guy pitching are all over cable.

Add to it that the story includes the societal sickness — a felony hit-and-run — and I’m guessing a lot of people who are baseball fans (and some who aren’t), will say 10 years from now: “I remember where I was when …”

And in baseball, they’ll say, “Do you remember?”

It’s the ultimate baseball epitath.

RIP Nick.

rhurd