As you’re probably aware by now, our UCB November project is the roundtable. It’s always good for sparking discussion, and provoking some thoughts among the group. November 5th was my day to pose the question, and here’s how that all shook out:
Although, on the surface, you may think it kind of cheap, and like somewhat of a cop out to simply ask, “If it were up to you, how would you memorialize Oscar, as the Cardinals organization?”.
But, give it some serious thought, and suddenly it isn’t so “cheap” of a question.
He wasn’t the veteran presence and leader that Kile was, he was “more than” Hancock in terms of expectations, and fan recognition, but at the end of the day, he lost his life too soon. How would you honor his memory?
- I think I would start with the black “OT18” patch over the heart, (as was done w/ Adenhart), but on the left sleeve at the very least, if for some reason MLB wouldn’t allow the patch over the heart.
- I would definitely mow “18” into the outfield for the opening series.
- This is a little different than the previous two, because he wasn’t a pitcher, but I suppose a black circle with “OT18” should permanently go up on the wall at the end of the dugout. Undecided about whether something should go up on the OF wall or not.
Good thought, good question, worth waiting for…
I have a hard time with this because he wasn’t with the team too long. His impact was felt, but it’s hard to make a lasting tribute, in my opinion.
I like your first two options. A patch on the jersey and a tribute day/weekend at the park is a good one.
I don’t think you do anything “permanent” to remember him by. A spot on the wall, a plaque, a statue…it’s all a bit too much to me.
Here’s where I would be willing to go a step further:
Build a park in the Dominican Republic and name it “Taveras Memorial Field”. He was such a popular figure there, utilize that to memorialize him. Agree to pay for upkeep for the park. Let his memory possibly cultivate the next great Dominican prospect.
I think a patch on the jersey is all but a given. I’m all for that patch being put on the bullpen wall as well, even if temporary. My only other thought would be to start opening day against the Cubs with no right fielder. I think it is pretty safe to say that Oscar would have been out there if not for this tragedy, so just for one batter, just one. Leave RF empty, let Oscar claim his spot out there on opening day.
Extremely tough question. The patch is pretty much a given, I think. (AJ said exactly the same thing while I was trying to get this written!) Mowing 18 in the right field grass would be pretty appropriate as well.
I think, like with Hancock, you want to keep any permanent marker (if you have one) a little less obvious. Because eventually someone is going to wear 18, maybe sooner rather than later, and it’s going to be a bit awkward (in the short term, maybe a teaching moment 20+ years from now) if you have that 18 out there while it’s being worn.
I liked Matt Sebek’s idea (I believe it was him) that they leave the lights on after home games in right field all season long.
I agree on the patch.
Work with the topps or donruss people, whoever is the big baseball card company these days, and produce a limited edition Oscar Card to be handed out on an “Oscar Day” early in the season.
Also on that “Oscar Day”, invite his family, and tell them that the Cards are starting a charity in Oscar’s name. The Cards know Oscar better than I do, so I’ll leave the charity specifics to them, but the important thing is it would create a legacy, something associated with his name, without having to erect a statue or anything like that.
I like the patch because it’s the right thing to do. Teammates can remember him every day when they put the jersey on.
The bullpen sign is also a given. These two ways he won’t be forgotten but it isn’t over the top.
I extremely approve of Bill’s ballpark in the DR idea. That is perfect. A baseball fanatic country where the Cards are heavily invested in would be a great gesture to his family and friends and also keep him alive in a way. Young kids could hope to be like Oscar and always keep smiling.
I thought we would be crafting a different status 10-15 years down the road. One outside next to Bob, Lou and Enos. That isn’t possible with the tragic loss of Taveras but I like the ideas suggested here this morning.
This is going to be a tough transition and the hardest thing is when we finally do “begin” to get over his death, the band aide will be ripped off in March when spring training starts and in April at the home opener. It’s going to be a lot of sad days that hopefully lead to triumphant memories.
One more thing. If they really wanted to carve a piece of their park out for Oscar, they could name a section in right field(bleachers or terrace) Taveras Corner or Alley. Or they could make a small statue of that beautiful legendary swing. I don’t know. Maybe I am reaching.
I loved Oscar, but he wasn’t with us long enough to honor him in more memorable ways. I think the patch is a good idea. Also perhaps the Cardinals could set up a fund or scholarship in his name to help kids in the Dominican. Some kind of remembrance ceremony on opening day would be good too.
An OT18 patch, as others have commented is a no-brainer to start off the 2015 season.
Mowing 18 into the outfield grass or placing up a OT18 sign sounds fine to me but I really think that Bill’s suggestion was perfect. Building a Taveras Memorial Field in the Dominican Republic in the perfect tribute to Oscar.
I agree with many others. The patch is likely and then memorialize him in the Dominican with something that has a lasting effect on the young players in that region.
I don’t think anything permanent is needed. Also, a remembrance on opening day at home.
My suggestion is to fund a youth baseball academy through Cardinal Care in the Dominican Republic and call it the Oscar Taveras Cardinals Baseball Academy.
I think the Cardinals have already done a nice job of memorializing Oscar despite not being in season. Leaving the light on in right field was a great touch, along with the flat page they set up on cardinals.com
dedicated to him. There’s also a graphic on the right side of the page commemorating him.
I’m a little surprised there hasn’t been some sort of a memorial service, but my guess is that it’s just not feasible during the off season. I’m sure there will be something done prior to the first home game, and of course a patch on the jersey or hat and in the bullpen. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have his jersey hanging in the dugout like they did with Darryl Kile.
This would never happen, but it would be incredibly touching if the Cardinals played the first batter, or inning, in the first home game without a right fielder.
Either way, the Cardinals unfortunately have experience in this department, so I’m sure we’ll see a great memorial next season
IN CLOSING: (that’s my way of indicating the end of this piece, not another blogger with a strange name)
The only thing that truly remains to be seen on this topic is what the DeWitts ultimately decide to do to honor Oscar. One thing can be assured, though, whatever they do, it will be just right.