Ryan Bolden was the 40th pick in the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft, a prospect out of Mississippi projected to have a significant upside. Baseball did not work out for him. He struggled on the field and was forced to give up the sport because of a bad back last year.
At 23, Bolden had much more life in front of him. He was “someone people liked being around.”
But Bolden was shot and killed outside of Atlanta when an argument between kids turned violent. According to Fox 5 Atlanta, Bolden was at a College Park, Ga. apartment complex, just south of Atlanta.
Investigators said two children around 10- or 11-years-old were having a confrontation over candy. An adult arrived on the scene where Bolden was, too. Witnesses said the adults “got involved” in the situation. Details after that are not clear, but Bolden ended up shot around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Investigators say they have a suspect, but have yet to release his name as they continue interviewing witnesses. But the damage has been done: a 23-year-old Black man was killed essentially over an argument about candy.
This is the kind of senseless violence that turns stomachs and makes people shake their heads. And although Bolden’s baseball career had ended, he had more to offer.
“He was a soft-spoken young man who was really well-liked within that locker room,” California Angels Class-A manager Denny Hocking, who ran the club’s extended spring program when Bolden participated in 2013, told the Orange Country Register. “People enjoyed being around him. He had an impact on people that he was around.”
Bolden played his first three seasons in the Arizona Rookie League, and Hocking recalled how excited Bolden was to be assigned to a short-season affiliate in 2013.
“I think it was a dream for him,” Hocking said.
Bolden’s baseball career fell far short of expectations. An outfielder, he played in parts of four seasons, never advancing past rookie ball and never hitting above .200. In 2013, he played just seven games with the Orem Owlz before retiring over back issues.
Hocking said: “He was extremely talented, with a great athletic body. He could make a difference in a baseball game when he put his mind to it.”