05 January 2015

the cardinals' josh hancock memorial patch

just a few hours after pitching three innings in an afternoon game on april 27, 2007, cardinals pitcher josh hancock was killed in an automobile accident.  the accident occurred just after midnight on april 28, and it was later determined that hancock's blood-alcohol content was about twice the legal limit.

after postponing their game that had been scheduled for the 28th, the cardinals added a memorial patch - hancock's number 32 in white within a black circle to the right sleeves of their home whites (as demonstrated by chris duncan's 2008 upper deck first edition card)
and the left sleeves of their away grays (as seen on this 2009 upper deck albert pujols starquest card)
i've got that pujols and this one - a 2009 topps card
in the memorials binder.

hancock had joined the cardinals for the 2006 season and was a part of their world championship club, although he did not pitch in the world series.  he pitched more innings in relief that year than any other member of the staff, and he had earned the chance to reprise that role in 2007.  sadly, his death came after his 8th appearance of the season at the age of 29.

it would be remiss of me not to mention the death this offseason of cardinal prospect oscar taveras under similar circumstance, as well as the fact that the team took much heat following hancock's death for not sending a strong enough message regarding drinking and driving following manager tony larussa's dui arrest earlier that spring.  as a result of hancock's death, many teams removed alcohol from their clubhouses, even though hancock had been drinking at a bar owned by former cardinal mike shannon, not at the stadium named for one of the biggest breweries in the country.

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