In a terrible, unexpected turn of events, a tragic news story broke in the middle of Game 5 of the World Series: St. Louis Cardinals’ outfielder Oscar Taveras was killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. The story was confirmed by MLB.com.
The impact of this story is not to be overstated, as certainly, the Cardinals – recently eliminated from the postseason – will be shaken by the after-effects, as well as the family and relatives of the young man and his girlfriend. While their loss will be deepest – and the condolences should be extended to all parties – another group of people less obvious will also suffer from this horrific event: the fans.
The city of St. Louis has certainly been aware of Oscar Taveras’ existence for quite a while, as the outfielder was largely considered one of the top prospects in all of baseball, let alone the organization. In a world where players fizzle out constantly, Taveras, who had struggled through injuries in recent minor league seasons, finally got the call to the Major Leagues this season. In a storyline taken right from the movies, the prospect hit a home run in his first game.
Suddenly, St. Louis was not the only place where this star shone.
Those of us who deeply follow the ‘next great player’ had Taveras listed for a long time. He was a dangerous hitter whose swing placed belief in the eyes of onlookers that he would, indeed, meet his expectations.
The loss of Oscar Taveras is a terrible blow to those who will never see him play baseball again. The phrase ‘what could have been’ will certainly be uttered a few times in the coming days, but will eventually fade away like many of the prospects before and after Taveras.
The shame is that he seemed like one of the few who we would be blessed with watching for years to come.
To the family, teammates, and fans, we send our heartfelt condolences. While we lose the future of his baseball-playing career, we recognize that you lost much more.
Tonight, we all saw a star burn out too quickly.