Major League Baseball honored Oscar Taveras, the St. Louis Cardinals outfielder who was killed in a car crash Sunday in the Dominican Republic, with a moment of silence before Game 6 of the World Series. Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura went with “RIP OT #18” in big letters on the front of his cap. But the most touching tribute of all happened in St. Louis, where the 22-year-old rookie was expected to roam the Busch Stadium outfield for years.
At that ballpark, the lights in right were left on, shining in a touching sight throughout the night.
On Tuesday, thousands attended the funeral for Taveras in the D.R., where he and his girlfriend were killed in a crash that remains under investigation. Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak, Manager Mike Matheny, second baseman Matt Carpenter and pitcher Carlos Martinez comprised the team’s contingent at the funeral.
“He was my brother, he was my friend,” Martinez said. “We were always together any time we went out.”
Francisco Taveras, Oscar’s father, wept as he spoke at the cemetery.
“I’m extremely devastated about what has happened,” he said. “I urge young people to wear their seatbelts and to learn from what happened to my son.”