St. Louis Cardinal Oscar Taveras dies in Car Crash

Oscar Taveras was only 22 years old when he passed away on Sunday, Oct. 26, in the Dominican Republic. Oscar played his last game Oct. 16 in St. Louis, Missouri, in the fifth game of the National League Championship Series. He made his debut on May 31 in St. Louis as well.

Cardinal’s General Manager, John Mozeliak, said, “I simply can’t believe it, I first met Oscar when he was 16 years old and will forever remember him as a wonderful young man who was a gifted athlete with an infectious love for life who lived every day to the fullest. The scene of the accident is still under investigation”, Lieutenant Junior Lopez Reyes said, “We’ve had some heavy rainfall here lately. It might have contributed to the accident.”

Taveras was ranked by Baseball America and other outlets as the number three prospect in the game before this season. His breakout season was in 2012, when he hit 23 homeruns while batting .321 in class AA. After injuries sidetracked him last year, he hit .318 with eight homers in 62 games at Class AAA this season. He played in 80 games for the Cardinals this season, batting .239 with three homeruns, playing mostly right field. He was expected to compete for the starting job in spring training. His was the first death of an active major leaguer since 2011.

Thousands of people showed up Tuesday 28 for the funeral and burial of Taveras, including GM John Mozeliak, Manager Mike Matheny, Second Baseman Matt Carpenter, and Pitcher Carlos Martinez. “He was my brother, he was my friend, we were always together anytime we went out,” Martinez said. The services were held near the Dominican Republic’s north coast. The Giants and the Royals observed a moment of silence in Taveras’ honor before game six of the World Series. The Cardinals paid a tribute in a special way, leaving the stadium in the dark except for one light that shown over right field. Oscar’s girlfriend died in the accident as well.