​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.

​​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.

​​He spent parts of 11 seasons with five different teams, and while he may not have always been the best player out on the field, he sure knew how to be the one having the most fun.


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.