The death of former Los Angeles Angels infielder Luis Valbuena rocked the baseball world this offseason. He and Jose Castillo were tragically killed in December in a car crash in their native Venezuela.
In his memory, the Angels placed his jersey next to Nick Adenhart's at Spring Training. Adenhart, a former Angels pitcher, was killed in a drunk driving crash just under a decade ago. He was only 22 years old.
From the @Angels photogs:— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) February 16, 2019
The Angels have now placed Luis Valbuena’s jersey next to Nick Adenhart’s old one in the club’s spring training facility. Valbuena and José Castillo were killed in a robbery in Venezuela in December. pic.twitter.com/yHbJms5LWx
The two jerseys side-by-side serve as a stark reminder of two players who were taken from the world far too soon by situations out of their control.
Valbuena was always known for the raw emotion with which he played the game of baseball. His emphatic bat flips may have been viewed as signs of disrespect by some, but they were just a harmless way for him to express his passion for the game.
Honoring Valbuena and Adenhart in the spring, a time of rebirth and renewal, is the ultimate gesture of respect. They're gone from this world, but not from our hearts. It's stuff like this that reminds us that baseball is, in fact, much bigger than just a game.