Oscar Taveras was still a teen when he signed on with St. Louis as an international free agent back in 2008. This past May, he hit a homerun in his major league debut and was considered as one of the top prospects in baseball. He also made his mark in Game 2 of the NL Championship Series when the Cardinals battled against the San Francisco Giants, hitting a solo drive in the seventh inning.
Sadly, Taveras was killed in a horrific car accident in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. At just 22-years old, he touched the lives of millions. Today, the Cardinals, as well as all professional baseball players are grieving his loss.
There will be a private burial service held tomorrow in Taveras’ home country and planning to be in attendance is Mike Matheny, Cardinal’s general manager John Mozeliak, and pitcher Carlos Martinez.
In a statement last night, Matheny said that he was asked to offer some words regarding the untimely death of Taveras but could not find the right things to say. Matheny added that saying this is a horrible loss of a life ended way too soon would be an understatement.
As news of Taveras’ death broke, hundreds of mementos were carefully placed at a makeshift memorial outside Busch Stadium today. Mozeliak remembers him as someone with an identity in the Cardinal’s organization. There was so much written about him and when thinking about everything people said about his unrivaled talent in baseball, it is sad to think he never had the chance to show it at the major league level.
As reported by police, Taveras was driving a 2014 Chevy Camaro on a highway running between the Sosua and Cabarete beaches in Puerto Plata, which lies roughly 215 miles to the north of the capital of Santo Domingo. In the car with Taveras was his 18-year-old girlfriend, Edilia Arvelo, who also perished.
Col. Diego Pesqueira, spokesman for the Highway Patrol issued a statement in which he said the road last night was wet from recent rain, which could be the cause of the crash but at this time an investigation is still underway. After an autopsy was conducted the coroner confirmed that Taveras died from multiple injuries to include the brain and torso while his girlfriend died from thoracic and cranial injuries.
Sadly, plans had just been finalized for Taveras to spend the majority of November at the St. Louis Cardinal’s team spring training facility in Florida. From there, he would have headed to the Dominican Winter League. As far as Cardinal’s players, each admitted they loved Taveras. While this is not a word commonly shared among rough and tough baseball players, everyone had a genuine love for this guy.