Taking A Moment

Cardinals v San Francisco Giants
I wasn’t alive when Roberto Clemente passed away. I was a young child when Thurman Munson died. I barely remember the tragic ending to Donnie Moore’s life. I remember 1993, when Steve Olin and Terry Crews lost their lives in a boating accident. I remember the day I learned that Nick Adenhardt was killed at the hands of a drunk driver. I was watching television when the news broke that Darryl Kile had been found dead.

I’ll never forget October 26th, 2014.

I have been a lifelong fan of baseball. When I began writing about my favorite sport back in 2011, my involvement became even deeper. While I had always been a fan of my hometown Texas Rangers, I began paying even more attention to all of the teams, including their prospects and farm systems.

Thanks to social media, especially Twitter, I was able to stay up to the minute on all of the news pertaining to all of Major League Baseball. It, to me, is a writer’s best friend. One of my favorite up-and-coming players was St. Louis Cardinals’ prospect outfielder Oscar Taveras. The guy was a beast, the next Vladimir Guerrero, according to some scouts and writers. I fell in love with guy and had actually hoped, like many fans of their respective teams, that a trade could be made for him. I still recall a couple of years ago, when there were rumors of the Rangers possibly making a trade for Taveras that would have involved Jurickson Profar.  Of course, that never happened, but it was a nice dream.

Taveras played in 80 games this past season for the Cardinals and even hit a home run in the final game that St. Louis would play against the NLCS champion San Francisco Giants.

At 7 pm this past Sunday, I logged into Twitter to see the reactions from the NFL games. What I saw were a bunch of people confused about breaking news that had just come down regarding Taveras. I quickly scrolled down and saw a tweet in which someone had reported that Taveras’ agent had confirmed that Oscar had died in a car accident.

It had to be a hoax, right? Nobody else had reported it. I became glued to my timeline. Then Jon Heyman confirmed it and Jeff Passan confirmed it a couple of minutes later.

“This can’t be real,” I thought to myself. I was just as in shock as everyone else. I was in tears. I had just lost a friend over the weekend and now this news was hitting. A personal friend had passed away on Friday and now I was trying to understand the death of one of baseball’s rising young stars. Not only had Taveras been killed in the car accident, but his girlfriend lost her life as well.

Life happens. And sometimes it happens in a big way. This was one of those tragedies that no one could have ever seen coming. It’s a reminder that everyone should make sure to always remind their loved ones and friends that they love them, no matter what.

May you rest in peace, Oscar Taveras; you will be missed. The same goes with my friend, Markie Landers. They are souls gone way too quick in life. Gone, but never forgotten.

James Holland

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