Hey everyone! My name is Justin Turner, and I’ve been given the opportunity to provide you with an in depth look into my life as a member of the Norfolk Tides. I will not only be sharing with you my daily occurrences, but also giving you insight into the experiences of Norfolk Tide Baseball.
Before I begin, I only feel it is right to give you a little background information about who I am. My nickname is “Red”, and I have been known as “Red” since the day I was born. For those who don’t know me or have not seen me, the nickname stems from my bright red hair.
My professional career began when I was drafted out of Cal State Fullerton in 2006 by the Cincinnati Reds organization in the 7th round of the MLB Draft. I spent two and half years in the Reds organization before I was traded to the Oriole’s along with fellow O’s Ryan Freel and Brandon Waring in exchange for Ramon Hernandez. I broke camp with the Norfolk club and am looking forward to playing my first season for the O’s!
Thursday April 9, 2009 was an Opening Day unlike any other, and one with which I will never forget. It started with a bus ride to Durham, North Carolina, where we were to take on the Bulls. The mood in the bus was high as we were all anxious to get our season under way. As the bus set route and the team settled in to make the trip, I received a phone call that at the time would unknowingly provide me with devastating news.
As I am sure most, if not all of you are aware of, there was a tragic car accident in Fullerton, C.A. on the night of April 8, 2009. Angel’s pitcher, Nick Adenhart along with two other passengers lost their lives after their car was struck by a drunk driver. This was overwhelming news to everyone on the bus. Although I never had the opportunity to meet Nick, I was in disbelief and at a loss for words as this is a shock to the baseball community. On behalf of the entire Norfolk Tides team, our thoughts and prayers go out to Nick, his family and the families of the other two passengers who have left this world far too soon.
After hearing about the accident, I received a text that personally hit me hard. As per the news I was aware that there were three other passengers in the car and only one survivor, but that was the extent of my knowledge. The survivor of the accident is friend and former Titan teammate, Jon Wilhite. Jon is one of the best teammates I have ever played with. His love and passion for the game and for the well being of the team was contagious! He grinded it out for five years and is a fighter. He was the guy that always got the job done when asked and came through in “clutch” situations. He is doing the same now! I have been receiving constant updates, and he is making progress! At this time I ask that you keep him and his family in your thoughts prayers.
“Jon, I’m thinking about you bud and keep on fighting! Everyone is right there with you, shoulder to shoulder. I can’t be there in person but there’s not a moment that goes by that I’m not thinking of you! Stay Strong!”