Nick Adenhart’s family reacts to Noah Syndergaard wearing late P’s number
The family of the late Nick Adenhart is reacting to Noah Syndergaard’s decision to wear Adenhart’s old number with the Los Angeles Angels.
Adenhart’s stepfather, Duane Gigeous, who was also speaking on behalf of Adenhart’s mother, Janet Gigeous, and half-brother, Henry Gigeous, voiced strong approval this week for Syndergaard wearing the No. 34 jersey.
“We are of the opinion that we think there could be no one better than Noah Syndergaard to wear it,” he told The Athletic’s Sam Blum. “We appreciate the type of pitcher that he is and the type of competitor that he is.
“I think, hopefully, it will spark some conversations,” added Adenhart’s stepfather. “There’s a generation of baseball fans who don’t know who Nick is and don’t know Nick’s story. And  years later, it might be time that sparks a conversation of, ‘Hey, this was Nick Adenhart.’”
The ex-Angels pitcher Adenhart died in 2009 along with friends Courtney Stewart and Henry Pearson after being hit by a drunk driver. Adenhart, who was just 22 at the time of his death, wore No. 34 for the team. Though the number was never officially retired by the Angels, no player had worn it for them since Adenhart’s passing.
Syndergaard, who just signed a one-year deal with the Angels, has worn No. 34 for his entire career. He sparked mixed feelings from Angels fans when he announced earlier this month that he would be wearing No. 34 with the Angels as well. Syndergaard said that he was hoping to honor Adenhart and to wear the jersey with pride.
Blum’s story adds that the former All-Star Syndergaard initially considered changing his number out of respect to Adenhart. However, Angels GM Perry Minasian and his staff encouraged Syndergaard to keep the number, feeling it was time that someone wore it. Now Syndergaard officially has the blessing of Adenhart’s family as well.
Photo: Aug 4, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) reacts against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. The Mets won 13-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports