The music played a little softer than it usually does at Angel Stadium during batting practice Friday. The soothing sound of acoustic guitar replaced the hard rock that normally reverberates around the stadium before games. The dark, overcast sky mirrored the mood of the team as they took the field. Rain gently sprinkled the field like tear drops from heaven.
Just 48 hours earlier, Angels players had watched rookie
"To see someone lose their life at such an early age, it takes you out of that bubble as a baseball player and a person," said Angels pitcher
Adenhart's locker remained intact before the game as his father,
"I think the things we were able to tell Mr. Adenhart and to give him a hug, I think for a second it brought Nick back for him," said Moseley. "We're big boys and we're giving him a hug and I'm sure it felt like he was giving Nick a hug."
A couple days before the game, Nick had called his dad in Maryland and told him, "You better come here because something special is going to happen."
"I think sometimes as people, we say things and we don't even know why we say them, but sometimes I think God speaks to us," said Moseley. "For him to say that to his father and for his father to get here to see him, I know that his father is so glad that he got to see [him play]."
Adenhart's parents met with pitcher
"Everyone has a heavy heart, there are a lot of guys in that clubhouse who were very close to Nick, and it's going to take some time," said Scioscia. "He's going to be with us. That's something the guys felt very strongly about."
Outside of the stadium, the small vigil that had started on the concrete pitcher's mound in front of main entrance Thursday morning had ballooned into a hill of flowers, balloons and posters with personal notes to the pitcher. While fans paid tribute to the pitcher in their own way, Angels players each wore a black circular patch with Adenhart's name and No. 34 above their hearts. A red No. 34 was also painted behind the pitcher's mound and a video montage of Adenhart played before the game to Train's "
The Angels also announced that Adenhart's locker will remain untouched at the stadium for the rest of the season and he will have a locker on the road as well.
While each member of the Angels organization was coping with the sudden loss of Adenhart, few had it as rough as Angels pitching coach
"It was 2 a.m. and my caller ID said 'Nick Adenhart' because I have him programmed into my phone," said Butcher. "I'm thinking, 'OK, I'm going to have to go get Nick somewhere, but in a good way.' Then I heard his father, who said Nick had been in an accident and was at UCI Medical Center in critical condition."
After Butcher arrived at the hospital, he knew something was wrong when they weren't given any updates three hours later. He tried passing the time by talking to Jim about Nick and telling him what he had told him during the game a few hours earlier.
"After I took Nick out of the game Wednesday night I asked him, 'Is the ball coming out of your hand like it's supposed to?'" Butcher said. "He said, 'Butch, I got it.' To see a kid figure it out that early, to understand it and own it, and a few hours later he loses his life."
The reality of it all still hadn't sunk into pitcher
"I think regardless of my next start, ninth start, 19th start, this whole year and our whole careers are going to be attributed to Nick," said Saunders. "We're always going to remember him and I'm always going to remember having him next to my locker. I'll always remember that and I'll never forget him."