In his own words: Xavier Scruggs on his friend, Oscar
They were teammates for years in the Cardinals’ minor league system, grew to be close friends along the way and shared the joy of both making their Major League debuts in 2014. Here is Xavier Scruggs, in his own words, on what it was like to call Oscar Taveras a teammate and then to say goodbye too soon.
As written by Scruggs:
Matthew 5:4 — Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
I am hurt. I can’t help but think that this a bad dream. Oscar Taveras was family. He brightened up every single person’s day with such an amazing smile. Both his smile and laughter couldn’t help but put you in a great mood. I am selfish to think about how I have lost a great teammate, an awesome friend, and an amazing person. I say I am selfish because to think that just I am affected by this tragedy is self-centered. So many people are affected by this loss; however we need to rejoice in the fact that Oscar was even in our lives. I can’t believe I was even blessed to play with someone with such great talent. His ability on the baseball field was unreal. There are so many times when I couldn’t help but think that this game was too easy for him. His fluidity as a hitter was unmatchable. His love for the game was remarkable. As a teammate, I would marvel at the fact that he would be so sincerely disappointed when he was not perfect. For we all know that it is impossible to be perfect in this game;, however he found a way to make it seem tangible. It is weird how baseball will bring you close to someone that you might not normally associate with in everyday life. He was a true friend from the Dominican Republic. I am honored to be playing in a country right now that he brought so much joy to. Language was no barrier when it came to Taveras and I. I know it to be the same with everyone who played with him. We shared far too many laughs that should happen on a baseball field, but those who knew Oscar know that was just him. A loose, full-of-energy guy. I cringe at the idea that he is gone;, however I will continue to think back upon the amazing times we had together. This past season when I was in Triple-A Memphis and he was making his Major League debut, I watched him homer for his first hit and I remember thinking ‘He never disappoints’. It didn’t surprise me because a moment too big for most was just an opportunity for Oscar to show the world his talent. The baseball community has lost someone truly special. My prayers go out to his family, as well as his girlfriend’s family and anyone who has been affected by his lost. Thank you Oscar for touching the lives of so many. You will never be forgotten. You will forever be in our hearts. OT18