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#pounditSunday, January 16, 2022

Noah Syndergaard’s jersey number with Angels sparks sensitive topic

Noah Syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard is revealing the jersey number that he will wear for the Los Angeles Angels next season, and it is sparking a sensitive subject.

Syndergaard appeared Friday on Angels Radio AM830’s “The Sports Lodge” and said that he will be wearing No. 34 for the team. While that is the jersey number that Syndergaard has worn for his entire career, it is also the number that belonged to former Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart.

In 2009, Adenhart and friends Courtney Stewart and Henry Pearson were killed by a drunk driver in Fullerton, Calif. Adenhart was just 22 years old. While the No. 34 jersey was never officially retired by the team, no Angels player has worn it since then.

Syndergaard added during his appearance on “The Sports Lodge” that he is hoping to honor Adenhart by wearing the number.

“I just want to honor his name and wear that jersey with pride,” Syndergaard said of Adenhart.

The reaction of Angels fans to the news was definitely a mixed bag. Some approved of Syndergaard using it as a way to pay tribute to Adenhart while others were more conflicted.

On one hand, Syndergaard was already wearing the No. 34 jersey elsewhere and is only on a one-year contract with the Angels. But on the other hand, he seems to appreciate the significance of the number in Anaheim and have a genuine desire to honor Adenhart. It is definitely a delicate subject with no one right answer. But regardless, Adenhart will always remain close in the hearts of all those in the Angels organization.

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

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