ST. LOUIS -- On the one-year anniversary of Oscar Taveras' Major League debut, the Cardinals paused before Sunday's series finale to honor the Taveras family and celebrate a career cut tragically short last October.
Taveras' parents -- Francisco Taveras and Marcela Cabrera -- along with two of his brothers joined members of the organization on the field for a pregame ceremony that featured a video tribute to Taveras and the presentation of hard-bound photo books, which feature images captured during Taveras' time with the Cardinals.
Cardinals principal owner Bill DeWitt Jr., manager Mike Matheny, general manager John Mozeliak and director of international operations Moises Rodriguez each presented a book to a member of the family. Cabrera wiped away tears throughout the five-minute ceremony and leaned on the shoulder of family members while watching her son's baseball highlights play on the video board.
None of the family members had the opportunity to watch Taveras play at Busch Stadium last season.
During the ceremony, Taveras' former teammates lined the dugout and paused in the outfield while preparing for the game. Dodgers players, too, stopped their pregame running to pay tribute to a player they faced in the National League Division Series just weeks before his death. Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez, who wears No. 18 in memory of his longtime friend, halted his warmups in the bullpen during the pregame ceremony, as well.
Taveras appeared in 80 games for the Cardinals as a rookie last season, beginning with his May 31 debut against the Giants. He hit a home run that day, as he would five months later in his final game at Busch Stadium. Ten days after the Cardinals were eliminated from the postseason, Taveras and his girlfriend, Edilia Arvelo, were killed in a one-car accident in the Dominican Republic.
The Cardinals are wearing "OT" patches on their jerseys all season as a tribute to his memory. The Cardinals are also paying for the renovation of a baseball field in Taveras' hometown of Sosua, Dominican Republic.