St. Louis Cardinals’ top outfield prospect and his girlfriend were killed in auto accident in Dominican Republic.
For many years, the Dominican Republic has been one of the great locations that produce top-quality major-league baseball players. Oscar Taveras was another one in a long line of them.
Sadly, Taveras’ life was cut short when he and his girlfriend were killed in a one-car accident in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. Taveras was 22 years old. His girlfriend, identified as Edilia Arvelo by ESPNDesportes.com, was 18.
USA Today reported that Lieutenant Junior Lopez Reyes of the Puerto Plata police confirmed Taveras and his girlfriend died. Taveras was heading from Jamao to his hometown of Sosua, near Puerto Plata along the Dominican Republic’s Atlantic Coast. Lopez Reyes, according to USA Today, did not yet know details about the accident. “We’re still investigating the scene,” he said. “We’ve had some heavy rainfall here lately. It might have contributed to the accident.”
Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement released by the organization:
“We are all stunned and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of the youngest members of the Cardinals family. Oscar was an amazing talent with a bright future who was taken from us well before his time. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends tonight.”
Cardinals General Manager and Senior Vice President 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.”
Prior to Game 5 of the World Series in San Francisco between the Giants and Kansas City Royals, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig offered his condolences to Taveras’ family:
“All of us throughout Major League Baseball are in mourning this evening, shocked by the heartbreaking news of the accident involving Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras and his girlfriend in the Dominican Republic,” Selig said in a statement. “Oscar, a young member of the Baseball family, was full of promise and at the dawn of a wonderful career in our game, evident in his game-tying home run against the Giants exactly two weeks ago. With heavy hearts, tonight we play Game 5 of the 2014 World Series in the memory of these two young people. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of both individuals, as well as Oscar’s teammates and the entire Cardinals organization.”
Taveras was signed by the Cardinals as an amateur free agent on Nov. 15, 2008, out of the Dominican Republic when he was 16, according to MLB.com. He started moving up the minor-league chain of teams within the Cardinals’ minor-league system, named Texas League Player of the Year in 2012 and selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game in both 2012 and 2013. He entered this season as MLB.com’s No. 2 prospect and was hitting .325 at Memphis when he was called up to the big-league team, making his major-league debut on May 31. Taveras hit a home run in his second at-bat off Giants pitcher Yusmeiro Petit in the Cardinals’ 2-0 win.
Taveras was on the Cardinals’ postseason roster and had a pinch-hit home run in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the Giants. Here is the link to video of Oscar Taveras’ game-tying homer in the NLCS, courtesy of MLB.com.
We at The Good Men Project offer our deepest condolenses to the Taveras family.
(Photo Credit: Associated Press/Jeff Roberson)