Oscar Taveras is Dead: The Clock of Life Ticks On

His Last Home Run Oscar Taveras NLCS Game No. 2 October 12, 2014

His Last Home Run
Oscar Taveras
NLCS Game No. 2
October 12, 2014

Today the baseball world awakens to the sad news that Cardinal outfield prospect, 22-year old Oscar Taveras is dead, perishing in a car wreck yesterday with his 18-year old girl friend, Edilia Arvelo. The young couple was en route from Jamao to Oscar’s hometown of Sosua, near Puerto Plata on the Atlantic Coast of the Dominican Republic. Taveras was driving, but no further details have been made public at this time. One local official speculated that the recent heavy rains in that area may have contributed in some way.

My Cardinal fan son Neal brought me the news last night as I watched Game Five of the World Series, and a few minutes prior to the brief mention it received over the telecast. Neal then delivered the circumstantial observation that usually comes when people, especially young people, die a sudden violent death. “If the Cardinals only had beaten the Giants in the NLCS,” Neal said, “Oscar Taveras would still be alive and playing in the World Series against the Royals!”


Then, this morning, we heard these sounds of the “other shoe dropping” in the digital print words of Cardinal President Bill DeWitt, Jr.: “Oscar was an amazing talent with a bright future who was taken from us well before his time. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends tonight.”

The trouble is – we never know the time that death will come. Young Oscar Taveras died when his time had come. Maybe a Cardinal victory could have spared him for now, but maybe not. And youth is no guarantee of longevity either. We all get up each day with only the present moment to breathe in the name of either love or ambition. If it’s “love”, even the goals we seek with our natural talents are a giving back to life of what we were born to give. If it’s ambition, we shall misuse our talents and others to achieve the aims we seek for ourselves. It’s better to belong to the love group than the latter, and, although none of can really, completely know the heart of another, my sense of young Mr. Oscar Taveras was strongly on the side of him as a young man who gave of his talents in the name of his love for the St. Louis Cardinals and the game of baseball.

Rest in Peace, Oscar Taveras – and Edilia Arvelo too ! – Oscar’s gifts to baseball will not be forgotten or misunderstood by the fans who loved him in return! And may Edilia’s grief-stricken family survive to know too that all the love she shared with them, as is also true with Oscar and his family, still lives on!

We leave you now with the original version of the poem, “The Clock of Life”, by Robert H. Smith that I first discovered only this morning. For years I have been referencing a shorter version by a supposedly anonymous author – who now turns out be someone who simply modified the original. Although they both are good, I now prefer Smith’s original expression (presented here) to the modified version:

Today, and everyday, the clock of life ticks on for us all!

The Persistence of Memory Salvador Dali 1931

The Persistence of Memory
Salvador Dali

The Clock of Life

By Robert H. Smith


The Clock of life is wound but once,

And no man has the power

To tell just when the hands will stop

At late or early hour.


To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed,

To lose one’s health is more,

To lose one’s soul is such a loss

That no man can restore.


The present only is our own,

So live, love, toil with a will,

Place no faith in “Tomorrow”

For the Clock may then be still.



3 Responses to “Oscar Taveras is Dead: The Clock of Life Ticks On”

  1. Sam Q. Says:

    Bill, nicely stated! We are not privy to the silence of the “tic toc!, tic toc!”

  2. Doug S Says:

    As a life long StL fan this is difficult to accept as it opens the wounds of losing Daryl Kile (2002) and Josh Hancock (2007) again, That is 3 active players in a 13 year period. I can only think of 8 other players in that time frame who have lost their lives. Mike Darr (2002), Dernell Stenson (2003), Steve Bechler (2003), Cory Lidle (2006), Joe Kennedy (2007), Geremi Gonzalez (2008), Nick Adenhart (2009)and Greg Halman (2011 – likely the most tragic of all to be stabbed to death by his own brother). Both DK57 and OT18 are tragic losses and devasting to the Cardinals in terms of lost talent.

    Oscar had homered is his first home game as a Cardinal vs the Giants (Petit) and in his last home game again vs the Giants (Machi) during Game 2 of the NLCS. For those of you that didn’t know of Oscar he was a clear cut top 5 prospects in baseball and potentially great things were ahead for him.

    RIP Oscar I hope your #18 is going to get a locker right next to Tony Gwynn #19 in heaven.

  3. Dick "Lefty" O'Neal Says:

    As a cardinal scout I am shocked to see this happening but I also know how life is. There are no guarantees. I just know how exciting it was to watch his talent. He will surely be missed but if there is baseball in heaven I know he will be in the starting line-up. May God wrap His arms around Oscar’s family during this time of lose!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: