Should the Cardinals honor Oscar Taveras with a patch?

Written By:  •  Sunday, January 18, 2015

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The St. Louis Cardinals announced this weekend that they will wear a patch bearing the initials OT to memorialize Oscar Taveras, who died in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic late last year along with his girlfriend, Edilia Arvelo. The patch will not feature Taveras’s uniform number, 18, because Taveras’s friend Carlos Martinez will wear the number for the Cardinals in 2015 as an homage to Taveras.

The Cardinals also announced plans to renovate a baseball field in Taveras’s hometown.

The announcement has generated controversy because Taveras was reportedly driving drunk, with a blood alcohol level five times the legal limit, and the accident took not only his own life, but the life of his 18-year-old girlfriend. The immediate reaction on social media seems split between those who applaud the Cardinals for honoring the life of a member of their team and those who feel the team should not recognize Taveras because of his role in the accident.

Hancock_patch_on_RolenIt won’t be the first time the Cardinals commemorated a player killed in a drunk-driving accident. In 2007, they wore a 32 patch in honor of Josh Hancock, who died in a crash while driving drunk. Unlike Taveras, no one else died in Hancock’s accident.

In 2002, the San Diego Padres wore a 26 patch in honor of Mike Darr, who was killed while driving drunk prior to the season. As with Taveras’s accident, Darr’s misjudgment also took the life of a friend, Duane Johnson.

What say you, readers? Is it appropriate for the Cardinals to memorialize a promising player whose life was cut short, or is it irresponsible to recognize an individual whose tragic mistake cost two families their loved ones?



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Paul Caputo

Paul Caputo is a grown man who collects plastic ice cream helmet sundaes from minor league baseball stadiums because he likes logos that much. He is the author of the first book published by SportsLogos.net, The Story Behind the Nickname: The Origins of 100 Classic, Contemporary, and Wacky Minor League Baseball Team Names. He can be found on Twitter at @Count2Baseball and he maintains the Countdown to Spring Training on Facebook. Paul is a Philadelphia sports fan, but he's not so bad.