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  1. 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

  2. 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.

    Comment by Robert D — November 29, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

  3. 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.

    Comment by Matt K — November 29, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

  4. The relevant portion has been deleted; the author, punished duly.

    Comment by Carson Cistulli — November 29, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

  5. more on Stenson’s murder –

    Comment by 44 — November 29, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

  6. 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.

    Comment by Joey B — November 29, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

  7. Awesome. You guys rock. Truly a moving piece that acts as a reminder that while they may seem larger than life on the field, they’re all still human. Thanks for breaking this down.

    Comment by Robert D — November 29, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

  8. Sorry about that, I had him in the last bunch there.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — November 29, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

  9. Thank you so much Robert for bringing this to my attention. I take full blame for this wording (and have since corrected it completely), as I was working hastily to try meet deadline and mis-worded.

    A million apologies for the misplaced affiliation, as I completely understand your issue.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — November 29, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

  10. Absolutely excellent!

    Comment by Brandon Warne — November 29, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

  11. Don’t forget Donnie Moore, as well….

    Comment by ettinone — November 29, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

  12. Geremi Gonzalez was killed at age 33 (struck by lightning). Maybe not technically an active major leaguer by that time, as he played in Japan in his last year, but certainly notable.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — November 29, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

  13. Also, let me thank you personally Robert for reading!

    Comment by Brandon Warne — November 29, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

  14. Also a good one. As I approached 2000 words I knew I had to miss a few here and there. I’ll add him on the bottom.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — November 29, 2011 @ 5:33 pm

  15. Also a good one!

    Comment by Brandon Warne — November 29, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

  16. Good artice Brandon. Adenhart is the one that really sticks out to me, absolutely tragic and it puts a magnifying glass on the problem of drunk driving in today’s society.

    Comment by Vin — November 29, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

  17. 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

  18. Thurman Munson?

    Comment by Joe — November 29, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

  19. Indeed.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — November 29, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

  20. it’s a bit blurry but… pic I took on the last day I saw him. I’m in the middle, Nick is on right and Steve Clevenger on the left. Rest in peace, dude

    Comment by Always Sunny in CP — November 29, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

  21. Pretty cool!

    Comment by Brandon Warne — November 29, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

  22. Ken Hubbs

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — November 29, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — November 29, 2011 @ 7:26 pm

  26. This was one I hadn’t heard yet. Thank you.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — November 29, 2011 @ 7:33 pm

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. Burn in hell munson

    Comment by shthar — November 29, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

  31. Go, go PC police!

    And I type this as seriously, and somberly, as possible.

    Comment by Notrotographs — November 29, 2011 @ 11:08 pm

  32. I mean…really?? Come on now.

    Comment by Eric — November 30, 2011 @ 12:38 am

  33. He knows why.

    Comment by shthar — November 30, 2011 @ 4:16 am

  34. Terrific article, Brandon. Well done.

    Comment by WilliaminMaine — November 30, 2011 @ 7:37 am

  35. Lolz notrotographs, you are so fucking cutting edge.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — November 30, 2011 @ 8:28 am

  36. Fell for the troll-bait. Still kicking myself.

    Comment by Eric — November 30, 2011 @ 11:10 am

  37. 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.

    Comment by Bart — November 30, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

  38. 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 are all of these.

    Comment by seth — November 30, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

  39. I think it’s really sad that three sports figures committed suicide in the past six months — Mike Flanagan, Hideki Irabu and Gary Speed. None were active major leaguers but sad nonetheless.

    If you’re looking for more active major leaguers who died, I think Ed Delahanty might be one.

    Comment by IvanGrushenko — November 30, 2011 @ 4:40 pm

  40. While he didn’t make the major leagues, I had a 1994 Topps Traded rookie card of Doug Million, a promising prospect in the Colorado Rockies system, who died of an asthma attack.

    Comment by Ryan — November 30, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

  41. Thanks as always, Flagrant

    Comment by Brandon Warne — December 1, 2011 @ 12:27 am

  42. 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

  43. 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

  44. And now Oscar Taveras is added to the list.


    Comment by Cool Lester Smooth — October 27, 2014 @ 1:37 pm

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