A young pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels, 22–year–old Nick Adenhart, died after his vehicle was struck by a hit–and–run driver last night.
Adenhart had just made his first start of the season hours earlier.
I wrote recently on this blog about how the start of baseball season brings out the kid in me. Adenhart's death, in the earliest days of the 2009 season, has the opposite effect. It reminds me how much closer I am to the end of my life than I am to the beginning.
Even if I die in my sleep tonight, I will have had many more years on this planet than Adenhart or his two companions, but I haven't accomplished nearly as much as he did — although I am proud to say that I've done many of the things I always wanted to do. I may not accomplish all of them, but I have achieved many.
In spite of a ligament injury in his pitching arm, Adenhart worked hard and "lived his dream," as his parents said. He pitched in the major leagues. Not everyone lives his/her dream, but Adenhart did. The lesson is that we should all continue to strive for our goals every day.
Clearly, this is a reminder of how brief life can be. Most of us live past the age of 22, but few of us make as much of the time we have.
Adenhart can leave this life with only one regret — he was denied the gift of years to share his talent with the world.