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"I went from the best moment of my life to the worst in about 15 hours," Price says. "I probably signed at six and found out at nine. That was the first death in my life of somebody close to me. When I have a son—and I plan on having a boy—I want him to be like Nathan. That's the biggest compliment I can pay him. I want my kid to be like Nathan."
Just eight months later, the start of his 2008 season delayed by a forearm strain, Price was lying in bed one morning when he picked up his phone and found a voice mail from a friend, who'd heard that there had been a bad wreck in Murfreesboro early that morning.
Tyler Morrissey was in that wreck, and it didn't look good.
Price quickly dialed another friend and was met by heavy sobbing. It was then that he knew. Tyler was dead. He had been a passenger in the front seat of a car that was reportedly traveling more than 100 mph when it crashed. The driver was charged with DUI and later pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide.
Tyler was 21 years old. Nathan was 22.
"At the beginning, I was mad," Price says. "But I have a Christian background. My parents said, 'Don't be mad about it. This is not God trying to punish you or their family. They're in a better place now. It was their time. There's nothing you can do to bring them back. You just have to move on, but remember them.'
"That's why I've got them on my glove."
Embroidered on Price's glove are the dates Nathan and Tyler died.
"There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about both of them," he says. "I look at my glove, probably before every pitch. I see those dates a hundred times a day, a hundred times a game when I'm out there. I know they're with me. I know they're out there. There's stuff that happens all the time where I'll go, 'Wow, that's Tyler.' 'That's Nathan.' Numbers on the scoreboard, the clock ... there's always something that reminds me of one of those two. It's a good feeling. I love it when it happens."
Six months after losing a second friend, Price, at 23, armed with a hard slider and a harder fastball, slammed the door on the Red Sox to put the Rays in the World Series. (The embroidery on his glove that night read LIVE LIKE NATE. He gave the glove to Nathan's parents after the World Series.)