Total sorrow. Unimaginable and seemingly implacable sorrow. Nobody ever should be made to feel how Oakland Athletics pitcher Pat Neshek and his wife Stephanee Neshek must feel right now.
In a series of tweets that are simply devastating, Neshek and his wife communicated how they anticipated and celebrated the birth of their first child. They also reflected on the rebirth of Neshek's career and the A's incredible season. And they plainly described the stunning horror of losing a newborn son. The tweets include a family photo, obviously taken shortly after Stephanee Neshek gave birth.
Gehrig John Neshek — weighing 8 pounds, 5 ounces — was born Tuesday. He didn't make it to Thursday, and the Nesheks don't know why. Warning: The following Tweets — listed with the most recent message on top — are hard to read:
Neshek had been granted leave from the A's in order to attend the birth in Florida. So he missed the team clinching the AL West in Oakland, completing a 13-game climb to overtake the Texas Rangers. But what does baseball mean when compared to the birth of your first child?
The Nesheks probably have been told that the time they got to spend with their son before he died will ease the burden of having to live inside the void his death leaves. It probably won't comfort them now, or even soon, but it also might be the only way they'll someday be able to overcome the emotional devastation they're feeling.
Neshek has pitched in the majors since 2006, mostly with the Twins, but after having Tommy John elbow surgery in 2009 and kind of bouncing around ever since, he posted a 1.37 ERA in 19 2/3 innings with the A's this season. He's also a strong writer, having blogged way before it became cool or common, and he has run his own website. It might seem unusual for him to announce the worst news possible on Twitter so soon after it happened, but it figures rightly. He has lived a fascinating life and he was looking forward to being a dad. Stephanee Neshek obviously was excited about becoming a mom.
What happened to them wasn't fair.
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