SALT LAKE CITY (April 9, 2009) - The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim announced this morning the passing of right-handed pitcher Nick Adenhart who was the victim of a fatal automobile accident in Fullerton, Calif. Two other individuals were also killed in the incident.
Adenhart is survived by his father Jim and mother Janet. His family released the following statement:
"Nick's family expresses sincere gratitude for all the help the Angels have provided. He lived his dream and was blessed to be part of an organization comprised of such warm, caring, and compassionate people. The Angels were his extended family. Thanks to all of Nick's loyal supporters and fans throughout his career. He will always be in everyone's hearts forever."
Angels General Manager Tony Reagins issued the following statement on behalf of the club:
"The Angels family has suffered a tremendous loss today. We are deeply saddened and shocked by this tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nick's family, friends' loved ones and fans."
Adenhart, 22, was a passenger in a silver Mitsubishi along with three others. Fullerton Police reported the Mitsubishi proceeded through an intersection, when a van ran a red light and broadsided the vehicle. A female driver and male passenger in the Mitsubishi were dead when police and fire department personnel arrived. Adenhart died as the result of his injuries at UCI Medical Center earlier this morning. No other members of the Angels organization were involved.
Salt Lake Bees Field Manager Bobby Mitchell issued the following statement on behalf of the team:
"This is such a shock and tragic loss for all of us in the Angels family, not because he was a great pitcher but because he was a great person. It's tough to lose somebody like that at such an early age. We all loved him very much. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."
Salt Lake Bees General Manager Marc Amicone issued the following statement on behalf of the club:
"Nick Adenhart was a great young man with a promising future. He was a joy to be around and will certainly be missed. This is a sad day for the Salt Lake Bees and the entire Angels organization. On behalf of all of us at the Bees, our condolences go out to his family."
Adenhart pitched a masterful six innings in last night's game against Oakland (6 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 SO), leaving with a 4-0 lead before a late-inning rally resulted in a 6-4 Angels defeat.
Originally drafted by the Angels in the 14th round of the June, 2004 draft, Adenhart was in his fifth professional season and made the Angels Opening Day roster for the first time. He spent the majority of the 2008 season with the Bees, owning a 9-13 record with a 5.76 ERA in 26 games (all starts). Adenhart made his Major League debut last May 1 against Oakland. At the time, he was the youngest active-roster pitcher in the majors.
This season, Adenhart earned his spot in the Angels rotation via a spring training in which he recorded a 3-0 record and a 3.12 ERA (26 IP - 9 ER) over the course of six starts. During that span, he struck out 18 while allowing only five base on balls.
Memorial services are pending.