St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras was killed in a car accident in Puerto Plata in his native Dominican Republic on Sunday. Taveras, very much a Major League Baseball rising star, was 22 years old. Taveras's girlfriend also died in the crash, police in Puerto Plata told USA Today Sports. The accident, which involved Taveras's 2014 Chevrolet Camaro, is reportedly still being investigated.
"I simply can't believe it," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said in a press release, as reported by the Associated Press. "I first met Oscar when he was 16 years old and will forever remember him as a wonderful young man who was a gifted athlete with an infectious love for life who lived every day to the fullest."
Cardinals players expressed their condolences on Twitter as well.
"Wow! My heart truly hurts to hear the passing of Oscar! I've played with him every year and we truly lost a great person! #RIPOscarTaveras," wrote second baseman Kolten Wong.
Added Cardinals first baseman Xavier Scruggs: "Oscar was family. God blessed me with the opportunity to play with a truly special teammate and friend. Speechless. #ripOscar #GodsPlan. It hurts knowing that I'm here in the Dominican Republic, but couldn't do anything about it..."
MLB commissioner Bud Selig offered his own statement of condolences on behalf of the league Sunday.
"All of us throughout Major League Baseball are in mourning this evening, shocked by the heartbreaking news of the accident involving Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras and his girlfriend in the Dominican Republic," Selig said, as reported by the AP. "Oscar, a young member of the baseball family, was full of promise and at the dawn of a wonderful career in our game, evident in his game-tying home run against the Giants exactly two weeks ago."
The homer that Selig was referring to came in Game 2 of this year's National League Championship Series against the San Francisco Giants. On the season, Taveras hit .239 with three home runs and 22 RBIs in 80 games for the Cardinals and was believed to be a big part of the ball club's future plans.
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(Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images)