The sad story of Josh Hancock’s crash Saturday night conjured the inevitable comparisons to Darryl Kile
’s death at the Westin Hotel in Chicago in June, 2002. It also reminded me of an item which appeared in Jon Weisman’s Dodger Thoughts
last week, a link to an L.A. Times story about the family of Tim Crews
, who died along with a Cleveland Indians teammate during a spring training boating accident 14 years ago.
The piece, written by Bill Plaschke, is quite good and quite sad. The gist of it is that for all of the teammates and all of the baseball officials who gathered around the family at the time of Crews’ death, none have kept in touch or helped keep the Crews children connected to a game that their father loved and played for six Major League seasons.
(Crews was a Dodger from 1987 through ’92. He signed with the Indians as a free agent in January of ’93, dying before he ever actually played in Cleveland, thus the story’s relevance to the L.A. Times
As for Josh Hancock’s team, the Cardinals, it seems unlikely they will be able to regain their focus anytime soon. On the other hand, the same seemed true of the ’02 team which had to deal with the loss of Kile, a veteran who was, by all accounts, a beloved teammate and part of the emotional center of the squad, not to mention a major contributor on the field.
At the time of Kile's death, the Cardinals stood at 40-31, two games ahead of Cincinnati. Over the rest of the year, they went 57-34, finishing first in the NL Central and winning their Division Series against Arizona, before they were beaten in the NLCS by Dusty Baker’s Giants.