For decades, there appeared to be a curse hovering over the the Los Angeles-California-Anaheim-Los Angeles Angels, who suffered through one tragedy after another. Young and talented players, including some stars and many potential stars, died tragic deaths, many during the season. From the shooting death of Lyman Bostock, to the brain tumor that took Dick Wantz within a month of his major league debut, to the numerous traffic fatalities including Mike Miley, Bruce Heinbechner, and Chico Ruiz, and to the suicide of former star Donnie Moore. Career changing injuries were also part of the curse, exemplified by the beanings suffered by Paul Schaal and Don Mincher. Add to this, the devastating injuries suffered by Bobby Valentine and the kidney disease that derailed the career of Rick Reichardt. If something bad happened, it seemed to always happen to an Angel.
After years of seeming calm, the curse has returned.
For a couple of years, we heard that Nick Adenhart had the tools to be a star. In three games last year, he pitched poorly, but this spring, with so many injured pitchers, he earned the opportunity to begin the season on the Angels roster, and in the rotation, and he started last night’s game, showing everything that the team had said about him. He pitched six shutout innings, and appeared to be just what the Angels needed with three starters on the disabled list.
Then, a couple of hours after the game, he was killed in a Fullerton, CA traffic collision.
At this time, it is being said that another unnamed member of the Angels’ organization was also killed in the accident.
And, this just two days after a fan died at Angels’ Stadium, following the opening night game.
Our condolences to the Adenhart family and to the Angels’ organization. Let’s hope these are isolated incidents, to be followed by years of business-as-usual at Angels’ Stadium.