Josh Hancock 1978-2007

Major League baseball is like a fraternity, and when it loses one of those members in any shape or form, the entire league is rattled and a shockwave is felt by those who are involved with it. When the fallen individual is on a current major league team, the shockwave is even more realistic, showing everyone-players and fans alike, that these guys are not the superhumans they appear to be, they’re just humans like everyone else and they must deal with their own mortality as well.

Early sunday morning, Major League Baseball lost a member of it’s fraternity, as St. Louis reliever Josh Hancock was killed in a car accident. How odd, that not only should I have sunday night baseball on ESPN with the Cardinals and Cubs from St. Louis, but I should be writing something happier or recapping today’s action. Instead, tonight’s game was cancelled in the wake of Hancock’s death, and I am writing this tribute as a post to one of the fallen members of the baseball fraternity, a fraternity that in some small way, we here are involved in. Even weirder is the fact that Josh Hancock went 3 innings in yesterday’s Cubs-Cardinals game. Hancock is the second Cardinals pitcher to die during the season in the past 5 years, with Darryl Kile being the other.

I had some small ties to Josh Hancock myself I realized today as I combed through my memories and tried to think of anything, albeit even small that I remembered about the fallen reliever. I remember in 2004 when I was living in Cincinnati and going to the ballpark almost every night to see the Reds play I saw Hancock pitch many times that summer, as well as 2005 when Hancock was also a member of the Cincinnati Reds. He was acquired in a trade from the Philadelphia Phillies, in another small twist of irony with Cory Lidle, who died last fall as Hancock was on his way to helping the St. Louis Cardinals to winning their unlikely World Series Championship. I also remember on MVP baseball when I was playing in my season with the Reds, Hancock was the workhorse I used out of the bullpen. The guy was; like his real life counterpart, an innings eater. When I was out of the game with my team I’d put him in and he just hung zero’s.

I would like to personally offer Diamond Hoggers condolences on this evening to the family of Josh Hancock, and just finish this post off with what Peter Gammons said. Hancock was the working man’s pitcher, not flashy but dependable. He was a very solid big league player and he was a good teammate who will be very missed by those around the league who knew him. Rest in Peace Josh, and thanks for the memories.

Read more: Deadspin post on Josh Hancock