Saturday, June 22, 2013

June 22, 2002:The Death of Darryl Kile

On June 22, 2002, all of Cardinal Nation was shocked to hear the news that Darryl Kile had passed away at a Chicago hotel on a day that the Cardinals were set to take on the Cubs. The news came just four days after the passing of the legendary Jack Buck, which amounted to the toughest week I can ever remember in St. Louis Sports. There are certain events in life that a person can remember right where they were when it happened, the day that Kile passed is one of those days for me. It was Saturday, I had some friends call me and tell me to come up to Springdale pool in Fenton, it was gonna be one of those days where ya got the grill goin, the ballgame on, and the pool to jump in too stay cool. I was walking along the edge of the pool when it came on the radio and what I remember most about it is that I was standing next to total strangers just as shocked as they were to hear that the 33 year old Kile had passed. The decision to cancel the game came down from the commissioner's office and at 2:37 p.m. Cubs catcher Joe Girardi made a tearful announcement that many if us will never forget. Girardi said, "I thank you for your patience. We regret to inform you because of a tragedy in the Cardinal family, that the commissioner has cancelled the game today. Please be respectful. You will find out eventually what has happened, and I ask that you say a prayer for the Cardinals family." I know that I have never respected the Cubs organization and their fanbase as much as I did on that day. They acted with true class as the Cardinals faced tragedy. The saddest thing for me was not the team losing a player, it was a wife losing a husband, and three children losing a father. In the days that followed players wore his #57 on their hats and uniforms and the team placed the 57 DK sign in the bullpen. The Rockies and the Astros honored the fallen pitcher as well as he had spent the earlier part of his career with those two clubs. The amazing thing that happened after Kile passed away was the Cardinals came together and won exactly 57 games on the way to winning the Central by 13 games. The team knocked Arizona out in the first round but wouldn't be able to keep it going as San Francisco knocked them out of the NLCS in 5 games. Even though they fell short of the ultimate goal the team showed resilience and  perseverance as they showed us all that you don't ever give up no matter what knocks you down. I know we will never forget Kile or Jack and may they both Rest in Peace, they are forever Cardinals, and forever in the hearts of Cardinal Nation.

This is a great video that was done last year dedicated to Jack and Darryl:

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