Tuesday, August 24, 2010
The Best There Ever Was, and The Best That Could Have Been.
Today is August 24th. Today, Tim Salmon, the Greatest Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angel of all time turns 42-years-old.
I was lucky enough to be at his final game. I was lucky enough to cheer for him when he took his final curtain call. I was lucky enough to get his signature that day. I was lucky enough to have seen him play.
It was a tough luck game, because he never got that 300th career home run. But we loved him anyway.
I was also lucky enough to be at this years Celebrity and All-Star Softball game. Tim Salmon looked as great as ever, even though he was only hitting underhanded pitches. The crowd went crazy, I went crazy. It was a good night to be an Angels fan.
Tim Salmon will likely forever be the most beloved Angel of all-time. He will be the player I will tell my Nieces and Nephews I was most proud to see in person. My jacket he signed will always be one of my most prized possessions. Even though I could find something bad to say about anyone, I can't think of a single bad thing to say about Mr. Angel, Tim Salmon.
I was lucky enough to be at his final game. I was lucky enough to see him pitch out of several jams like he was a 10-year-vet. I was lucky enough to give him a standing ovation as he was being lifted from the game for a reliever.
Nick Adenhart was the most promising pitching prospect the Angels have had since Francisco Rodriguez. He had the control, he had the speed, and he had the guts. I always saw all of this on display every time he pitched, but especially on that cool April night. He pitched the game of his life, which was tragically cut short hours later.
The Angels didn't get the win that night, but I vividly remember leaving that game thinking "this kid is going to be great." I remember reading an article a few days after the accident in which the author said something along the lines of "I wont be able to help it, when the 2011 and beyond Cy Young award winners are announced, thinking that Adenhart would have made a run at that award." There isn't a doubt in my mind that Nick Adenhart would have been a Cy Young Candidate, a perennial All-Star, and one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Nick Adenhart would have turned 24 today. Rest in Peace.