October 27, 2014

"You never know what may happen. That young man was here two weeks ago..."

"... and now he has just died in an accident. It's so sad. I still can't believe it happened."

Goodbye to Oscar Taveras.
Taveras, one of the game's elite prospects, had belted a tying home run in the seventh inning of Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, the only game the Cardinals won before being vanquished by the Giants in five.
ADDED: I was alerted to this news by Clyde in the comments on last night's open thread. He wrote:
St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras, 22, and his 18-year-old girlfriend, Edilia Arvelo, died in a car wreck yesterday in the Dominican Republic. Taveras was a talented young player and one of baseball's top prospects.

It just goes to show the fragility of life, and the role that circumstance often plays in people's fates. Often a split second can be the difference between a narrow escape and becoming a statistic. Recently, my brother's girlfriend's car was totaled when she was out driving and an old metal pole blew over and landed on the hood of her car, just missing the windshield. She wasn't seriously hurt, fortunately, but it was a close thing. Had she driven past that spot a second earlier or later and her car wouldn't have been hit at all. A split second later and it might have landed on the windshield or squarely on the roof, which would have been much worse.

In Oscar Taveras' case, it's not difficult to imagine circumstances where he would have been far away from the Dominican yesterday: Had the Cardinals won the NLCS rather than the Giants, Taveras would have been in St. Louis last night for Game 5 of the World Series, assuming the Series went five games, of course; but even if it had been a four-game sweep, he likely would have still been in St. Louis on Sunday, cleaning out his locker, etc. While the Giants won the NLCS in five games, in an alternative universe, it could easily have gone another way. In that alternative universe, Taveras might have had a long and productive major league career and lived a long life. Sadly, in this universe, he and his girlfriend are dead at tragically young ages.


Unknown said...

We don't know yet whether speed or alcohol were factors. Some events are within our control.

Ron said...

Some still mourn Big Ed Delahanty getting drunk and falling out of a train going over Niagara Falls in 1903...a Hall of Famer lost at 35.

m stone said...

It is always interesting to speculate, like Clyde, "if only he had" done one thing or another or if circumstances had changed just a bit, what might have happened.

Look back and reflect on what good and life-sustaining things have happened in our lives. They likely outnumber the losses.

My father saved me from choking at age 10 and a fluke event kept me out of Vietnam where I would have been a helicopter crew chief, flying each mission.

Ann Althouse said...

"My father saved me from choking at age 10 and a fluke event kept me out of Vietnam where I would have been a helicopter crew chief, flying each mission."

I honestly pictured some incident involving a fish.

F said...

M stone: How's the liver recovering after the flukes?

surfed said...

Tis not time that aceeeds to death, rather happenstance in the shuffling off this mortal coil.

Birches said...

Crap. Now I'm a little depressed.

m stone said...

Definition of FLUKE
1: an accidentally successful stroke at billiards or pool
2: a stroke of luck

Not used as an adjective. Sorry.

Liver is fine.

Jason said...

poet Robert Frost #1 on top 500 poets Poet's PagePoemsCommentsStatsE-BooksBiographyQuotationsShare on FacebookShare on Twitter
Poems by Robert Frost : 31 / 138 « Desert PlacesDevotion »

I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
On a white heal-all, holding up a moth
Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth --
Assorted characters of death and blight
Mixed ready to begin the morning right,
Like the ingredients of a witches' broth --
A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth,
And dead wings carried like a paper kite.

What had that flower to do with being white,
The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?
What brought the kindred spider to that height,
Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
What but design of darkness to appall?--
If design govern in a thing so small.

--Robert Frost

Left Bank of the Charles said...

We're living in the alternative universe where we didn't all die of Ebola.

William said...

The big plus of old age is that you can say with absolute certainty that you won't die young.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks for the Frost poem
I had to look up self-heal
Quite lovely

Lem said...

Taveras hit a tree going at high speeds.

Video "moments" before the crash.

Lem said...

The steering wheel in that car appears to be on the English side, but the story says the car was a Camaro. Maybe it was an English/British Camaro.