The stars of our night sky do not gently fade out when their time is up. They go out with a spectacular light that illuminates the galaxy. Out of their destruction, countless amounts of energy are released distributing necessary life-building elements to reaches of space far from their point of origin. Sunday, one bright young Cardinal tragically reached his end, but in kind, he didn’t fade quietly away. He displayed a blinding light of hope across fans across the globe.
Here’s but a small collection of the outpouring of emotion we experienced from Sunday onward:
“If life was baseball, this would be a foul. An error. A balk. A play under review that should be reversed because this should not happen.” – The Redbird Menace
“That’s why without risking his life for us, or even personally knowing us, a baseball player can be called our hero. But that’s what Oscar was to thousands of us in Cardinal red. The man was a hero. And heroes aren’t supposed to die.” – Fredbird Follys
“I like many others would check the lineup everday to see if he was in it. You get a little extra excited seeing him play the game” – @jimmy32villier
“I was at Game 2 of the NLCS, and you could just tell something about someone when they come up so big in a huge moment.” – @ZachIsSoWhite
“Heart hurts losing Oscar. I will always remember that smile. Prayers for both families through this tough time.” – @ShelbyMiller19
“God needed a power hitting outfielder to complete his dream team.” – @haleeb_19
Here we are, almost a week after we lost Oscar Taveras and I’m still not myself. I had to travel for work, put on my happy face, and make like everything was alright with people who couldn’t understand the loss we’re suffering. It didn’t make it go away. His departure has left a hole in my heart that no baseball game will fill. A couple of days off Twitter won’t help, and daydreaming about next season will do little to make me whole. It’s been said that time heals all. But as a friend of mine is quick to point out, it really doesn’t.
Seeing the love and compassion that not only Cardinals fans had for one another, but that his teammates, Cards management, other teams, and even his competitors in the game have for those affected by this tragedy is heartwarming. We’ve witnessed support coming from all corners of baseball to show sympathy because of a very special person lost far too early.
It’s going to be a tough Spring for fans, but nothing will compare to the pain and loss experienced one Sunday in October when two families lost their most precious gift. We can serve only to honor his brief legacy, and to show as many as possible that beaming glow of a smile Oscar had was indeed enough to light this universe both in life and beyond.
Number 18, you never could have known the joy you brought so many people. I hope you’re giving pitchers a ton of grief up there. While you’re taking heavenly at bats, know there is a world you touched down here in ways you might never have dreamed of. You are sorely missed.