The Cardinals debut of Oscar Taveras, 10 years later

A look back at the excitement of the debut of Oscar Taveras, the tragic ending to his young life, and the dominoes that have fallen since May 31st, 2014.
San Francisco Giants v St. Louis Cardinals
San Francisco Giants v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
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May 31st, 2014: The MLB Debut of Oscar Taveras


Starting the 2014 season Taveras was ranked the 2nd best prospect in all of baseball behind Byron Buxton. Taveras got the invite to spring and was excited to showcase his skillset in front of the St. Louis squad finally, but unfortunately, he was dealing with an ankle injury that limited him to only 6 at-bats all of spring. He started the season in AAA Memphis being an R.B.I. machine before getting called up to the Majors on May 31st, 2014.

The excitement was palpable, thick in the air, much like the humidity hanging over downtown St. Louis on that Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals hosted the Giants in the midst of a three-game series. Check out some of the names in the starting line-ups that day! Oscar got the start in Right and batted sixth on the day. Right behind Yadier Molina and in front of Johnny Peralta.

Facing Yusmeiro Petit for the first assignment in his career, Taveras sent a line drive to left field but found the glove of the left fielder Colvin. Fast forward to his second at-bat and with a light shower starting to fall over Busch stadium, Oscar Taveras had something to say. "Thwack!" An absolute beauty of a swing that everyone in the ballpark just knew it was gone from the sound and sights of that sweet left-handed swing. Taveras parked it 418 feet over the rightfield wall for his first Major League hit and Homerun all in one. At the time Cardinals broadcaster Dan McLaughlin affectionately anointed Oscar, "The Rainmaker". I loved that.

When asked fellow Redbird Rant writer Jameson McCurdy to reflect on watching that special moment he had this to say.

"I remember sitting behind the right field foul pole when he hit his first home run. It started raining right before his AB and my dad wanted to go undercover but I told him no, I wanted to watch Oscar hit ".

There was a lot of Magic that day at the ballpark as celebrations were due all around for the young Phenom. The Cardinals went on the win 2-0 and Oscar Taveras was ready to make some noise in the majors.