Death is always hard to come to terms with, regardless of the situation. Whether it is a grandparent who moves on due to old age, or a child who is brought down by cancer before they truly begin to live his or her life, it is always a horrid situation. One of the more tragic instances of death is that of a person in the prime of his or her life that is going on to do great things. Such is the case of 25-year-old Oscar Taveras, a highly touted prospect of the St. Louis Cardinals who died last week.

Taveras, who drew comparisons to Baltimore Orioles star and fellow Dominican Vladimir Guerrero, seemed to be destined to make a large impact in the big leagues before losing control of his car on a rainy night.

While the details of the crash are still unknown (there is no indication yet if drugs or alcohol were involved), some have said that the roads were very wet that night, which may have been a factor in the crash. Whatever the case may be, it is a tragedy that such a gifted young man was brought down in the prime of his life.

Aside from having an impact on the field, Taveras is being remembered for his contributions off the field as people mourn him.

He was an inspiration for young Dominican boys that dreamt of playing in the MLB some day, and was a friend to call upon if any of his teammates needed help.

“I met Oscar my first year in pro ball,” Cardinals’ pitching prospect Rob Kaminsky said to Joe Schwarz of SB Nation. “Every day we saw each other, talked, and I continued to learn more and more about the game from OT. You would have never been able to tell he was a top prospect in baseball. No ego, no arrogance, strictly just a good person. He made sure me and the other rookies were comfortable, and that’s something I’ll take with me for my entire career.”

Kaminsky isn’t the only Cardinals’ prospect that had high praise for Taveras.

“Oscar was an amazing person,” said Alex Reyes, another pitching prospect for St. Louis, to Schwarz. “He was a kid who had nothing but love and passion for the game. He was like a brother to me. He was the guy in the clubhouse that made me feel like a Cardinal from the first day I set foot in Jupiter, FL. Back home in the Dominican Republic, Oscar and [Dominican Carlos Martinez] are role models. Both of them coming up together throughout the system and experiencing 45,000+ people at Busch Stadium is something out of a book. It’s literally everyone’s dream.”

It is truly sad that such a gifted young athlete was killed before he was able to live a full life.  Rest in peace, Oscar Taveras, and may your example continue to inspire young boys to aim for their dreams, no matter the circumstances.

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