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Oscar Taveras' death hits home for baseball fans

Oscar Taveras' death hits home for baseball fans

Jason O. Watson

When I read about the tragic deaths of Cardinals rookie outfielder Oscar Taveras and his girlfriend last night in a car accident, I did not expect to be writing a blog post about him the next day.  But as I absorbed all the reaction today, particularly Manager Mike Matheny's statement, I felt that such a moment in baseball as the loss of one of its brightest young stars should not go un-commented on The Crawfish Boxes or anywhere else within baseball's sphere.

We have all lost loved ones, and sometimes we wish that their passing could garner the kind of attention and support as what has been poured out for Taveras' family, friends, and team today.  Such is the way when a public figure is taken, particularly so tragically early.  But rather than regret that our publicly-unknown departed cannot receive this kind of supportive outpouring, I am instead gratified to see the public display of appreciation, regret, and sadness that has temporarily taken hold of the sporting world.  It reminds me of a lesson that I lately have been learning to keep in mind: every person, every life, is important to somebody.

Oscar Taveras represented a dream that all baseball fans have had at some point during our lives - that of the young phenom, the next Ruth, Pujols, Musial, Bagwell, or Biggio.  Even though we have never met Taveras, in our imaginations we can put ourselves in his shoes.  Taveras, like Carlos Correa, George Springer, and our other favorite young stars, was living our dream.  As fans, we ride high with the highs and low with the lows of our favorite players.  In our fondest and most-impossible dreams, we watch them grow as we imagine ourselves growing in their places .  And as such, though our grief can never match that of those who knew him personally, we still feel loss, as if a piece of our dream has been unfairly and violently interrupted by harsh reality.

That is why we who are disconnected still feel a piece of this tragic loss.

I was glad to realize why Taveras' passing bothered me as much as it did, and understanding it only strengthens my desire to feel the same sympathy for all others -- not just those who are in the public eye.  So it is with sincerity that we at The Crawfish Boxes express condolences to Taveras' family, friends, the Cardinals organization, and MLB, as well as to those close to his girlfriend, for whatever those condolences are worth.