Cardinals Outfielder Oscar Taveras Dies at the Age of 22

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIOctober 27, 2014

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Updates from Wednesday, Nov. 12

Officials in the Dominican released information today on Oscar Taveras' condition at the time of his death via The Associated Press (h/t USA Today):

Dominican officials say St. Louis Cardinals rookie outfielder Oscar Taveras was drunk at the time of his fatal car crash last month.

Tessie Sanchez, a spokeswoman for the attorney general's office in the Dominican Republic, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that toxicology reports showed Taveras had a blood-alcohol level five times the legal limit when he lost control of his car Oct. 26 on a highway in Puerto Plata.

She says the 22-year-old Taveras was 'legally intoxicated when he crashed.'

Cardinals GM John Mozeliak released a statement in reaction to today's report via St. Louis' Twitter account:

St. Louis Cardinals @Cardinals

Statement from #STLCards GM John Mozeliak on Oscar Taveras: http://t.co/wq7og1HHSj

Original Text

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras died in a car accident Oct. 26 in the Dominican Republic.

Taveras' agent confirmed the news, according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez:

Jesse Sanchez @JesseSanchezMLB

Oscar Taveras' agent Brian Mejia confirmed the tragic news to http://t.co/0KJkX831bj. It happened late this afternoon, he says.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported the details of the tragic development:

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

Can now confirm: Oscar Taveras, 22, has died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. Just awful.

Sanchez later reported details of the accident:

Taveras was behind the wheel of a red 2014 Chevrolet Camaro in the city of Puerto Plata, about 215 miles north of the Dominican Republic capital of Santo Domingo, when his car hit a tree on the Sosua-Cabarete freeway at 7:40 p.m. ET, according to the report issued by Brigade General Francisco Romero Lopez of the Northern Regional National Police. Taveras died of multiple injuries while receiving care at the Sosua Cabarete Medical Center, the report said.

TMZ Sports shared more information about the circumstances surrounding the accident:

Officials tell us the weather may have played a role -- because it had been raining around the time of the accident and the roads were slippery. 

We're told ... Taveras is not the first person to have lost control and slammed into that particular tree -- another person died in the same exact spot last year under similar weather conditions.

Taveras was just 22 years old. He appeared in 80 games during the regular season and was part of the Cardinals' roster that advanced to the National League Championship Series.

Commissioner Bud Selig released a statement via the MLB Public Relations Twitter account: 

MLB Communications @MLB_PR

Statement from Commissioner Selig on the passing of Cardinals OF Oscar Taveras: http://t.co/DnkrMUywed

Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter sent his condolences, and pitcher Marco Gonzales also spoke out:

Matt Carpenter @MattCarp13

Absolute Tragedy.. My prayers go out to Oscar Taveras family.

Marco Gonzales @MarcoGonzales_

Absolutely heart broken right now...

The Cardinals released a statement on Taveras' passing via Jesse Spector of Sporting News:

Jesse Spector @jessespector

Cardinals' statement on Oscar Taveras http://t.co/pDMuSU2KaZ

Manager Mike Matheny later issued a statement on Monday regarding Taveras' passing on the Cardinals' website:

I was asked last night to give some words regarding the tragic death of Oscar Taveras, but I just simply couldn't.

First of all, it felt like a bad dream that could not be real, and when reality kicked in, my words didn't even seem to make sense. To say this is a horrible loss of a life ended too soon would be an understatement. To talk about the potential of his abilities seemed to be untimely. All I wanted to do was get the guys together and be with our baseball family. I know the hurt that comes along with buying into the brotherhood of a baseball team. That hurt is just as powerful as the joys that come with this life. Not to say it is even close to the depth of pain his true family is going through, but the pain itself is just as real. The ache is deep because the relationships were deep, and forged through time and trials.

To the many fans who have already reached out with condolences, and to the many more who are in mourning, thank you for taking these players in, like they are one of your own. This level of care is what sets our fans apart.

In my opinion, the word "love" is the most misused, and misunderstood word in the English language. It is not popular for men to use this word, and even less popular for athletes. But, there is not a more accurate word for how a group of men share a deep and genuine concern for each other. We loved Oscar, and he loved us. That is what a team does, that is what a family does. You will be missed, Oscar.

MLB's official Twitter account paid tribute to Taveras as well:


We mourn the passing of Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras. http://t.co/fCuSK3nB9n http://t.co/0USk5vzaXF

Taveras' pinch-hit home run in the seventh inning of Game 2 helped lift St. Louis to its only victory of the NLCS against the eventual NL pennant-winning San Francisco Giants.

Before arriving at the MLB level and belting a home run in his second at-bat, Taveras posted a .318 batting average for the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds this year. That provides an indication as to how much talent Taveras possessed, as he was just coming into his own for the Cardinals before his untimely passing.