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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October 12th, 2014: The NLCS Home Run

Later that Summer the Cardinals dealt away a struggling Allen Craig for some pitching help, and to make room for Oscar to finally have the opportunity to be an everyday player. For the season, Taveras struggled with some rookie growing pains. He finished the campaign batting .239, slugging .312, and knocking in 22 runs while hitting 3 HR. There were some things to work on, but flashes of brilliance were certainly there.

All that didn't matter anymore though as it was post-season baseball, and after beating the Dodgers in the NLDS, throw all logic out the window because in the early 2010's the Giants and Cardinals had some mean devil-magic working and they had a date in the NLCS.

Taveras had been splitting time with another hot-shot rookie in Randel Grichuk and he got the start in Game 1, and Game 2 in RF. It was the 7th inning and getting late though and Randel is a righthanded batter. Manager Mike Matheny made the decision to go with the young Oscar Taveras and see if the lefty could provide a spark off the bench.

Tavares working the at-bat to his favor worked the count to 2-1 before the right-handed pitcher Jean Machi delivered an 83 mph breaking ball to Oscar that wouldn't land for another 395+ feet over the right field wall. The Cardinals had tied the game on the rookie's swing and immediately etched his name into Cardinals lore.

The Cardinals fought hard in the series, but ultimately fell to the Giants in the NLCS in Game 5. Madison Bumgardner was in Classic form and the Giants had one more run in them during their impressive stretch. His last at-bat was a groundout to the pitcher unassisted.

Taveras was set to go into the off-season healthy and ready to be at his best for the start of the spring in 2015 against no competition but himself.