I have been casually collecting baseball cards for a few weeks now, and it’s exciting to use these cards to recognize live players in action on TV and on the Fantasy Stat Tracker. But it is quite the feeling to also recognize death based on my slowly growing collection. I was basically half asleep as I was checking the news online late this morning when I came across the headline that said something like, "Angels Pitcher Nick Adenhart Killed in Traffic Accident." A drunk driver reportedly ran a red light, smashing into Adenhart's car with his friends, and he died in surgery. The name and the note that he was a rookie pitcher rung a bell, and I immediately checked my 2008 Topps Stadium Club rookies. If it weren’t for Stadium Club’s mysterious serially numbered-and-different-photo-parallels of rookies, I probably would have forgotten about Adenhart and his cards. But in one of those $11.99/$14.99 packs from Meijer, I pulled one of his serially numbered parallels that had a different photo of him from the regulard base card (of which I have two—getting doubles undoubtedly contributed to my remembering him as well). Adenhart was only 22 years old! Baseball is about love, not real tragedy! Why must there be this occasional moment of insanity?
2009 is off to a dramatic start. I hope I don't have to make any more of these kinds of recognitions again.