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Heavy Hearts: Akerfelds's Impact Was Far-Reaching

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The world lost a great man today. Darrel Akerfelds's impact was felt beyond the Padres family and beyond baseball as a whole. His tenacity and refusal to dignify the disease were beyond inspirational. If you haven't, reading Tom Friend's excellent Outside The Lines piece from December is a must; even if you have, it merits a re-read. I'm not generally one to get emotionally invested in the lives of people I don't know but it hit me hard when I got the news today. Like many of you, I found out by way of Yonder Alonso's tweet shortly before gametime.

Shortly thereafter, additional members of the team and others outside the organization began expressing their loss:

As word began to spread, his pupils who have since moved on began to weigh in:

Particularly hard hit was former Friar Jake Peavy, who had become close friends with Ak:

This is by no means a comprehensive list, just a small sample of the live effected by Akerfelds. Numerous other players, fans, journalists and others weighed in throughout the day on the man they called "A-K" or "Ack". In Texas, former Padres setup man Mike Adams pitched with "AK" on his hat. He was also reportedly sporting a brand new tattoo on his arm but it is yet to be confirmed whether that is a tribute as well.