Don’t really know what I’m going for here, so let’s just start with a story…
I’m the eighth and last kid in my family. There was also the largest gap between me and my sister, the second last, at five years. The rest were closer bunched together. I was kind of the “last hurrah” if you will.
In my mind, all of this meant that, as I got older, me and my dad would do things together. Baseball trips, road trips in general, heck, I might even join him on his hunting trips down to our family property in a town called St. Genevieve.
He often took those trips by himself, whether just to get away, or that he just found it easier to hunt alone, I never knew.
On one of those solo trips, he was apparently either on his way in or on his way out, and he dropped his gun, which went off. I was thirteen at the time.
We don’t know why the safety wasn’t on, but that’s not really the point. The point is someobody was taken from us prematurely, at I time where I was expecting things from him, whether I knew it or not.
Now my dad was in his 50’s, he’d lived a full life, had eight kids, done a lot. Only thing he didn’t get was retirement and the chance to live the relaxed, laid back retirement life.
Also, by that time, everyone knew who my dad was, his persona had fully developed. Dad was a relatively quiet and humble guy who enjoyed the occasional cigar and liked to BBQ on the weekends.
By contrast, Oscar Taveras, who died in a car accident, hadn’t really begun to live. As fans, we were all looking forward to seeing Oscar in his prime, both as a player and as a person. Would he develop a humble personality? Would he have a little flair like Carlos Gomez, would he become a diehard fundraiser like Jason Motte? Would he? Would he? Would he? That’s what we should miss the most, the development and growth of Oscar as a person, and getting to see it before our eyes.
He also never really got the chance to live, at least not live the life a baseball salary would allow him to.
As a Christian, I truly believe Oscar is in heaven now, a better place, where, as someone said, he’s playing baseball and Jack Buck is calling the game.
So long Oscar, keep hitting homers in heaven.