Wednesday, 15 April 2009

State of...Living Tributes

It was a rough few days for the baseball community. First Nick Adenhart was struck down by a drunk driver and then Harry Kalas, the voice of the Phillies, passed away. As I was watching the memorials and hearing about how the players payed tribute to their fallen brothers I was struck by both the similarities and differences.

The entire baseball world stopped to make mention of these two. The Angels postponed their evening game while the Phillies decided to play on in honor of Kalas (with heavy hearts they 'won one for the gipper'). Both were the right decision by the way. Adenhart was a promising 22 year old pitcher while Kalas was a living legend in the broadcasting community, serving as the voice of the Phillies for nearly 40 years. When players spoke of either Kalas or Adenhart it was with great sadness and passion. You could tell that both were dearly loved and will be sorely missed. Jered Weaver, a teammate of Adenhart, sketched the initials "N.A." into the dirt on the mound during his next start and when leaving the field pointed to heaven; to their newest starting pitcher. John Kruk, another Philadelphia legend, talked about Kalas as a dear friend and father figure. He was moved to tears in the interview.

While I'm sure that both Adenhart and Kalas knew how people felt about them I was saddened that they may not have known just how much outpouring of affection was given to them after their deaths. It made me sit and ponder my own life and the people who are important to me. Do they know how I really feel about them? When was the last time I spoke to my siblings? We get so wrapped up in what we consider important (work deadlines, proposals, deals, etc.) that sometimes we miss what is truly important in our lives (family and friends). It shouldn't take a tragedy like this for people to show how they truly feel about one another. If Kalas and Adenhart can teach us anything it's that we just don't know our expiration dates. Anyone can be struck down by a drunk driver. Don't miss your opportunity; give a "living" tribute to the ones you love!

Nicholas "Nick" Adenhart
August 24, 1986 - April 9, 2009

Harold "Harry" Kalas
March 26, 1936 - April 13, 2009

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