It is supposed to be one of the happiest days in the life of major league pitcher Pat Neshek, the day after the Oakland Athletics clinched the American League West title.
But instead of joining his teammates on the field Wednesday following a 12-5 comeback win over the visiting Texas Rangers — Neshek had been granted leave from the A’s — he and his wife Stephanee were trying to understand how their newborn son, Gehrig John Neshek, could die 23 hours after birth.
“There was no cause of death and I am having trouble understanding why God can let such a thing happen an innocent being,” Stephanee Neshek wrote on her Twitter account (@StephaneeNeshek).
The Nesheks had tweeted their joy on the arrival of their eight-pound, five-ounce son and later the stunning horror of losing a newborn child.
“Please pray for my family. Tonight my wife & I lost our first & only son …,” Pat Neshek said on his Twitter account (@PatNeshek).
Stephanee had taken to using the Twitter hashtag “#playoffbaby” about her son, even during labour.
However, playoff time will forever carry on a different meaning for the Nesheks.
The A’s will visit Baltimore on Friday and play an AL wild-card game with heavy hearts, their first playoff contest since 2006.
Neshek will be far away in Florida, in no mood to build upon his team’s dream season and his own career campaign in which posted a 1.37 earned-run average in 19 2/3 innings over 24 relief appearances.
Neshek has been a great story this season, considering he didn't know where baseball would take him after missing the 2009 season after having elbow ligament replacement (Tommy John) surgery.
‘It makes my heart feel better to know how many people cared about Gehrig and are thinking of us during this difficult time,” Stephanie said.