Greg Halman’s recent murder, and to some extent the kidnapping of Wilson Ramos before it each provide us with a harrowing reminder. This reminder is that these players who seem superhuman are in fact mortal. They may be young, vibrant men in better shape than 99.9 percent of us, but they’re still human, and some are still cut down in the prime of their lives.
In light of Halman’s passing, I’d like to take today’s post to remember some of the more recent players (the past 40 years) to pass on while still active. I may be an exception, but even as a somewhat astute baseball fan, I forget about these players from time to time. Please forgive if this is less than a statistically-infused column, and more of one in memoriam.
I still remember hearing about Adenhart’s passing. I was just wrapping up my Junior year in college and was doing so while working overnights. I’d inadvertently forgotten to set a sleep timer on the television, and was jostled awake by the breaking news passing towards the end of the 11 am ET edition of SportsCenter. Adenhart was a passenger in a Mitsubishi Eclipse which was broadsided by a Toyota Sienna that had run a red light in Fullerton, Calif. He was rushed to UC-Irvine Medical Center, where he died a short time later. Even after being a baseball fan some 16 years to that point, I think I was struck most by how Adenhart was younger than I was – a full six months younger. As someone who has experienced their fair share of death, it still struck me that a man so far from the prime of his life could be taken in an instant. Not only was Adenhart a top baseball prospect — named to Baseball America’s top-100 list four times — but at age 22, Adenhart was one of life’s top prospects.
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