The pitcher made his major league debut May 1 of last year, also against Oakland. He made two other starts, getting his only decision in a victory over the Chicago White Sox on May 12. He was 37-28 in the minor leagues from 2005-08, including 9-13 last year at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Salt Lake Bees manager Bobby Mitchell issued the following statement on behalf of the team: "This is such a shock and tragic loss for all of us in the Angels family, not because he was a great pitcher but because he was a great person. It's tough to lose somebody like that at such an early age. We all loved him very much. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."
Aaron Wells was Adenhart's athletic trainer in 2005 when he played for Utah's Orem Owlz, a rookie league affiliate with the Angels.
"It was very obvious that he was going to be a successful professional pitcher," said Wells, now the team's general manager. "Very humble, extremely good in the club house. He was just such an unassuming guy, just went out and did his business."
Players and staff around the major leagues remembered Adenhart on Thursday, with some teams holding moments of silence in his memory before their games.
"Here today, gone tomorrow, you never know," Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "That's why you've got to enjoy today. That's sad."
"A young man realizes his dream of making the big leagues, pitches six shutout innings, drives home and he's gone," New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Your heart goes out to that young man and his family. It makes you realize how precious life is. You have to be happy to wake up every day."
Baltimore Orioles manager Dave Trembley had watched Wednesday's Athletics-Angels game on television.
"It really puts things in perspective," he said. "Don't take anything for granted, No. 1. Appreciate what you have."
The Angels' game against Oakland on Thursday night was postponed after commissioner Bud Selig conferred with Los Angeles owner Arte Moreno.
"Nick was just 22 years of age, with a wonderful life and career ahead of him," Selig said in a statement.
"The first thing you think about is his parents, his family," Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "It shouldn't take a great deal to have perspective in this game, but when something like that happens, it brings you back down to earth."
Indians infielder Ryan Garko remembered seeing Adenhart during spring training.
"Reality just kind of sets in, that this is a game, that this is a job, that there are a lot more important things in life," Garko said. "He seemed like a young kid just to me, I'm only 28. Just terrible. Just anytime to see a young kid go before his time. Just sad for a family."
In Halfway, Md., an unincorporated community 75 miles west of Baltimore where Adenhart played Little League, residents recalled him as a fun-loving youth whose following grew as his talent ripened.
"It's heartbreaking," said Staci Boward, president of Halfway Little League.
Tim McSherry, a neighbor, said Adenhart was a jokester and a Wiffle Ball fanatic who, along with another neighbor boy, challenged their parents and coaches to a Wiffle Ball tournament in their early teens.
The community cheered Adenhart on as his talent matured at nearby Williamsport High School, he said.
"That was a common bond for a lot of people: 'Hey, you going over to see Nick tonight?'" McSherry said.
AP writer Elizabeth White in Salt Lake City and baseball writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.
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