Life is precious for all. No life is more important than another. But sometimes it is a life filled with such potential it that reminds everyone how precious life really can be. Tonight Oscar Taveras died in an accident in his home country of Dominican Republic. While there will be numerous stories in the next few days about the potential of Oscar, about the talented young man, about a life cut too short; I want to say thank you to Oscar for the memories he did provide in the short amount of time that the public knew him.
Oscar Taveras was a familiar name to any St. Louis Cardinals fan for the last six years. Could you imagine being just 16 years old and having your name known by the fan base of one of the most prominent sport franchises in the world? Oscar Taveras had the spotlight on him from the moment he stepped foot on North American soil. He was deemed as the next great prospect. Cardinal fans put their hopes in a young man that wasn’t even old enough to celebrate with a drink. Yet he carried the hope of a fan base for years. His bat was considered golden and his talent rare.
Finally on May 31, 2014 Oscar made his long awaited debut with the Cardinals. Getting the start Oscar Taveras made the most of his debut. The Cardinals, who gave a glimpse of their scoring starve offense for the entire season, were scoreless with the Giants until the bottom of the fifth inning. That is when Mr. Taveras stepped to the plate. With rain drops falling among the crowd and onto his helmet Taveras sent the ball soaring into right field for a home run. His first hit. His first home run. The moment was a highlight for the 2014 Cardinals. Taveras came quickly out for a curtain call, surely the first of many for the young hitter in St. Louis.
The rest of the season would be up and down for Taveras, just as the Cardinal team themselves. Taveras would again provide another moment for Cardinal fans when in game two of the NL Championship Series he would hit a game tying home run against the Giants. For Taveras the 2014 season was one of potential. He showed promise. He showed exuberance. Taveras swung as hard as he could every time he stepped to the plate. His emotions on the bench when teammates got a hit was something to watch. Taveras played the game like a 10-year old. Aiming for a home run in every at bat.
But on October 26, 2014 the life of Oscar Taveras came to an end. Taveras, a young man whose life was filled with potential. Whose entire life was based around hope. An entire fan base putting their faith in a young man playing a game. How fitting it is that Oscar Taveras’ first hit, a home run, came when the sky was falling with rain. A moment that stopped the Cardinal nation as they held their collective breath, marking the beginning of a career. Now just five months later Taveras life is wrapped in the same water falling to the ground. This time it is not the rain of Mother Nature but from the tears of a Cardinal nation, the sorrow felt by all baseball fans, the mourning of a life lost too soon. So while some may think of the potential lost, I will remember Oscar for the moment in May when he finally reached that potential. Stepping to the plate and delivering hope, living out his dream of six years. We should not mourn a life cut short but remember a dream come true. RIP Oscar, you will always be a member of the Cardinal nation.