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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The Aftermath since the death of Taveras

The Cardinals had to face another very present reality though, a vacant RF. That meant they needed to add from the outside. So, amidst the Cardinals' urgent search to bolster their outfield, both for immediate needs and future plans, a series of events unfolded:

  1. The Cardinals acquired Jason Heyward from the Atlanta Braves, where he delivered a strong 2015 season before departing for a long-term deal with the rival Chicago Cubs.
  2. Prospects Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty were promoted to full-time outfield roles by the end of 2015. However, they were later traded after the 2017 season, leaving some desired potential untapped.
  3. After the 2016 season, the Cardinals signed veteran Dexter Fowler to a five-year contract. Despite his talents, injuries hampered his performance over three seasons, leading to his trade after the 2020 season.
  4. Tommy Pham was given a significant role in the outfield midway through the 2017 season, but his tenure in St. Louis was brief, ending in a trade deadline deal in 2018.
  5. Marcell Ozuna was acquired from the Miami Marlins before the 2018 season, providing a power boost to the Cardinals' lineup. However, his tenure lasted only two seasons.
  6. The Cardinals have since nurtured several outfield prospects, such as Tyler O’Neill, Harrison Bader, Dylan Carlson, and Lars Nootbaar, aiming to address both immediate and long-term roster needs.

It's uncertain how many of these changes would have unfolded if Oscar Taveras were still alive. Following his tragic passing, the Cardinals initially sought external solutions, evident in their acquisitions of Heyward, Fowler, Ozuna, and additional outfield depth. More recently they have been looking inward to find that long-term outfield solution. Maybe Walker is the next big bat they need, only time will tell.

I often think about Taveras and that sweet swing. What could have been for him and his family? Also for the Cardinals over this last decade as well. A lot would have been different probably. It would have been an absolute treat to have watched, that's for sure though. One thing is for sure though. Don't drink and drive. Call a Lyft, a friend, or anyone.

What Oscar Taveras memory do you have?

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