ST. LOUIS, Mo. (BaseballStL) -- In 2002 Darryl Kile passed away in a Chicago hotel room. Five years later in 2007 Josh Hancock was killed in a car crash along I-64. Seven years later, unbelievably, Oscar Taveras dies as well.
St. Louis, for all the ill will people have because of the success the organization has had, continues to be struck by tragedy more so than any other team and it’s not even close. The Angels had to deal with Nick Adenhart’s death in 2009. That’s about all I can think of.
What could have been for this young man? At the age of 22, there may not be another player in Major League baseball who had more pure hitting ability than Taveras. He could flat out rake – as evidenced by winning three batting titles in the minors. He played in Futures Games. He was at or near the top of every prospect rankings list known to man.
He was even compared to the great Albert Pujols by GM John Mozeliak at one point.
Now we’ll never know how good he can be. We’ll never know if he could’ve reached the potential everything thought he had. Mike Matheny said recently he thought Taveras could be a “star”. That’s an understatement.
He was supposed to anchor the Cardinals lineup for the next decade.
I wish I had more to say on this matter, but quite frankly, I’m still stunned myself. How can one city deal with this again?