Cardinals’ outfielder Oscar Tavares killed in car crash

San Francisco Giants vs St. Louis Cardinals

Tavares remembered as ‘wonderful young man’ with a lot of talent

By Michael Sopow, Sports Reporter

Twenty-two-year-old Oscar Taveras, a promising outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, lost his life on October 26 when he was involved in a deadly car accident that also took the life of 18-year-old girlfriend Edilia Arvelo.

Reports say Taveras was driving to Sosua, his hometown situated in the Puerto Plata province of the Dominican Republic, when his car suddenly went off the highway, leading to the fatal accident.

“I simply can’t believe it,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said in a statement. “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.”

Taveras was in his early teens when he was picked up as a free agent by the St. Louis Cardinals. He was ranked as one of the top prospects for the upcoming 2014 Major League Baseball (MLB) season after his performance in the Dominican Summer League, the A-level Midwest league, and with the Double-A Springfield Cardinals. He was perceived by many as an up-and-coming player that had many years to develop and in turn hone his skill set.

“Oscar was an amazing talent with a bright future who was taken from us well before his time,” Cardinals chairman, Bill DeWitt Jr. said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends tonight.”

There was definitely room for doubt and criticism when Taveras had a less than satisfactory rookie season in the MLB, only having three home runs with over 230 times at bat. However, Taveras looked to be pushing his career in a positive direction. On October 12, Taveras demonstrated he could perform when it counted; tying game two of the National League Championship Series against the San Francisco Giants with a crucial home run in the bottom of the seventh inning, giving the Cardinals the edge they needed to eventually win the game.

“Oscar had a very promising future, on and off the field, and this news is heartbreaking on many levels,” Tony Clark, the leader of the players’ association, said in a statement. “It’s never easy to lose a member of our fraternity, and to lose one so young is devastating news.”

Taveras’ teammates and many other players in the MLB were emotional and shaken by his sudden and unexpected death. “My condolences to the Cardinals and the family of Oscar Tavares and his girlfriend,” Jonathan Lucroy, catcher and first basemen of the Milwaukee Brewers said in a tweet. “So terrible and heartbreaking. He had incredible talent.”