22-year-old Nick Adenhart, along with two others , was killed by an alleged drunk hit-and-run driver April 9. He had just started his first Major League Baseball game for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
This was the latest in a litany of tragedy that happens to have befallen this team and is referred to by some as "The Curse of the Cowboy," after original owner, actor, and "singing cowboy" Gene Autry.
After Adenhart's death, fans of the team were shocked and saddened. Many wanted to buy a customized shirt, with his name and number, as a way to honor and remember him.
Some went to baseball's own retail site, MLB.com, where, if they put in Adenhart's name and number 34 into the customization boxes, they received this message: "Your current entry cannot be processed. Language deemed inappropriate, derogatory, or profane will not be accepted. Please create a new entry."
Perhaps this wording was designed to prevent the creation of shirts mocking the mockable. Curt Schilling, perhaps, or Alex Rodriguez. But this was an entirely different context.
A short while later, MLB.com seems to have realized that this might have seemed odd, so now the words read: "Your current entry cannot be processed. Some entries are prohibited due to guidelines for past and present player names. Please create a new entry."
Essentially, the site is telling all those who would like to purchase a commemorative, customized Nick Adenhart jersey that they can't.
The site's logic is curious. As Nick Adenhart, being dead, is no longer active on a roster, you are not allowed to buy a shirt with his active roster number.
You can, because I have just tried, have his name and the number 1. Or 12. Or even 66.
In fact, MLB.com just offered me the following message when I entered 'Adenhart 66': "Great choice! To purchase your customized jersey, click on "ADD TO CART."
One would have thought that a great choice would be to buy the shirt that you actually want to buy.
Unfortunately, for Major League Baseball that logic appears a little too human.