Lest we forget Michael Curtis Darr back in 2002. He was ready to take a starting role for the Padres right around the time I started following baseball as a kid. It really seemed to leave an impact on the team as veterans Ryan Klesko and Phil Nevin were very visibly affected. At the time I didn’t understand how his death could affect so many people who I assumed couldn’t have known him that well, but now that I myself am just a few short months shy of the age he was when he died, it’s surreal to think a young man in his physical prime could be cut down.
Even now you mention his name, long time Padres fans cannot help but feel grief over the lost potential and life of this young man.
Comment by Milo Minder Bender — November 29, 2011 @ 4:52 pm
Please correct the last item. Roberto Clemente is a national hero in his homeland of PUERTO RICO. Not Nicaragua. The fact that he jumped at the opportunity to help out a country he had no real affiliation with is what makes his story all the more moving. Having grown up in Puerto Rico, I can tell you first hand, we’re an island of proud people who take great offense when the products of our land are incorrectly attributed.
Brian Cole. Mets. March 31 2001.
Promising young prospect, great CF defense and promising top of the order bat in the Mets organization, who was driving from spring training in Port St Lucie Florida to his home in Mississippi, but died along the way in a ford explorer rollover crash.
His family recently won a lawsuit against Ford for in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
It’s really a heck of thing. There are a lot of unfortunate, untimely deaths, but to have this happen on such a charitable venture, for people you don’t even know, just vaults him into the HOF for caring players.
I met Nick Adenhart two months before the tragedy. He was working out in the batting cage I used to go to in Glen Burnie, MD. He would be throwing a bullpen session to Cubs minor leaguer Steve Clevenger and I would be right behind the cage being wowed thinking that “so this is what Major League pitches look like”. Nick was very very nice, told me some pitching advices and gave me good words of encouragement on improving my game (that was back junior year in high school for me). I was excited to follow him for that season and last thing I told him was “When the Angels visit Camden Yards, I’m going to look for you!”. That didn’t happen, sadly. I can’t believe it’s going to be 3 years after he’s gone in next April… still makes me really sad
Comment by Always Sunny in CP — November 29, 2011 @ 5:55 pm
Comment by Hurtlockertwo — November 29, 2011 @ 6:08 pm
I will always remember Adenhart because i was driving down to San Diego for a day game to see my bums and i listened to it on the radio all the way down there. I didn’t even know who the guy was until that morning….
The weird thing with Roberto Clemente is he was said to have always had dreams that he would die in a plane crash! He always told people he was going to die in a plane crash, what a trip.
Comment by DodgersKings323 — November 29, 2011 @ 6:52 pm
I’m sorry, but I’m a little off put by the enthusiasm you are showing towards examples for people dying. I do not think the proper response to people detailing the tragic loss of life should be “good one!” “Absolutely excellent!!” and “pretty cool!” I know you’re not being intentionally irreverent (I think), but a more somber, serious tone might be more appropriate.
Comment by DavidCEisen — November 29, 2011 @ 7:11 pm
I get what you’re saying. My mistake. I’ve been working on wedding thank yous and I think they’re seeping into my mind.
Adenhart played high school ball in the county beside my hometown. To talk with friends who played against him really made it all the more real to me. A terrible tragedy but eulogized very well here. Thank you.
Comment by futurecfo — November 29, 2011 @ 7:58 pm
Lyman Bostock is a pretty forgotten player. He had a heck of a year in 1977, his age 27 year. He was probably the best all-around CF in MLB that season. He had an interesting life, as well: moved from Alabama to Gary, Indiana, like many African-Americans during the Great Migration; father was a long-time Negro League ballplayer (Lyman, Sr.); didn’t even play during his first two years at college in California, choosing instead to involve himself in student activism; signed by Gene Autry’s Angels as one of MLB’s first big money free agents; immediately donated $10,000 upon signing this contract to a Sunday School in Birmingham that needed to be repaired; got off to an embarrassingly slow start in his first year as an Angel (and his last season, as it turned out) and was so disgusted with his performance that he told management that he wanted to return his April salary to the team; the team refused, whereupon Bostock incredibly donated his entire April salary to charity.
Comment by Robbie G. — November 29, 2011 @ 10:14 pm
Thank you. I don’t want it to seem like I was attacking you, because I was fairly certain you weren’t attempting to be flippant.
And congrats on getting married…I guess…are you sure about that?
Comment by DavidCEisen — November 29, 2011 @ 10:43 pm
The first baseball player I recall being killed in a plane crash was Ken Hubbs in 1964. He played for the Chicago Cubs for a couple of seasons and I was shocked to learn of his death because I was kid, around 12 years old who had his baseball card. For me that was the first time I realized that baseball players are mortal and human like the rest of us.
The Stenson murder really stands out for me. I played against him in the state playoffs his senior year I believe. The scouting report we got on him was walk him…even if the bases are loaded. We kind of chuckled about that until we saw him hit. He was a man among boys. I think we got him out one time in the 3 game series and that out would have put a hole in our 2nd baseman if he hadn’t caught it. Such a shame..as are all of these.
How could you leave off arguably the most notable death since Clemente? Just 5 years ago, Kirby Puckett, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2001, died of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was only 45, and died at the second-youngest age (behind Lou Gehrig) of any Hall of Famer inducted while living, and the youngest to die after being inducted in the modern era of the five-season waiting period.
Comment by Steve Lidd — December 17, 2011 @ 12:17 am
My mistake. I just re-read your posting and see it was about those who died while still active, so Kirby Puckett should not have been included (although Puckett was younger than either Randy Johnson or Roger Clemens when those two retired).
Comment by Steve Lidd — December 17, 2011 @ 12:43 am