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Cards RP killed in car accident


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Horrible loss for St. Louis. Having a player pass away during the season is just about the worst thing that can happen to team. I'm glad they postponed the game tonight and hopefully they'll honor his memory at the next home game. I saw he went to Vestavia Hills in Alabama, which meant he was probably quite smart. Seriously, that is one extremely elite school.



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dated: April 29, 2007, 3:46 PM ET

Cardinals reliever Hancock killed in car crash

Associated Press


ST. LOUIS -- Josh Hancock, a key member of the bullpen that helped the St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series last season, was killed in a car crash early Sunday.


Josh Hancock's Career


Josh Hancock, who died in an auto accident on Sunday, began his big league career in 2002 and played for four teams. He pitched in both the division and league champonship series' a year ago for St. Louis.


The Cardinals postponed their home game Sunday night against the Chicago Cubs. It was the second time in less than five years that a St. Louis pitcher died during the season. Darryl Kile was found dead in his hotel room in 2002.


Police said the 29-year-old Hancock was alone in his 2007 Ford Explorer when he struck the rear of a tow truck at 12:35 a.m. The truck was in the left lane assisting another vehicle that was involved in a prior accident, officer Pete Mutter said.


Hancock was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the tow truck, whose name was not released by police, was in the truck at the time of the crash but was not injured. The medical examiner's office said Sunday morning that an autopsy had been scheduled.


"All of baseball today mourns the tragic and untimely death of St. Louis pitcher Josh Hancock," baseball commissioner Bud Selig said. "He was a fine young pitcher who played an important role on last year's World Series championship team."


News of Hancock's death began to circulate around the majors on Sunday morning. Seattle Mariners pitcher Jeff Weaver, who won the World Series clincher for St. Louis in October, got a call from Cardinals reliever Randy Flores.


"I never really had a phone call like that before. It's kind of mind-boggling. Just a few days ago I had talked to him on the phone, touching base again because we were pretty good friends at the time," Weaver said. "We spent a lot of time together. It was just hard to believe."


Weaver said Hancock called him three or four days ago just to chat, and asked if Weaver had received his World Series ring yet.


Hancock was remembered at ballparks around the country. The Cleveland Indians observed a moment of silence before their game against the Baltimore Orioles, with Hancock's picture displayed on a giant scoreboard.


"It's terrible, another terrible event," said Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, who was the Colorado hitting coach when Kile was a part of the Rockies' staff in 1998 and 1999. "The young man had done so well last fall and had a promising career. It's just terrible."


A Cardinals-Cubs game also was postponed in June 2002 after Kile died in Chicago. The 33-year-old pitcher died of a coronary artery blockage.


Hancock, who pitched three innings of relief in Saturday's 8-1 loss to the Cubs, played for four major league clubs. He went 3-3 with a 4.09 ERA in 62 regular-season appearances for the Cardinals last season and pitched in three postseason games. He was 0-1 with a 3.55 ERA in eight games this season.


Three days before his death, the Cardinals got a scare that some teammates said reminded them of Kile's death -- Hancock overslept and showed up late for a day game in St. Louis. Hancock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he thought the starting time was later and didn't get up until the "20th call" from anxious teammates.


"We were all a little nervous," closer Jason Isringhausen said earlier this week. "We don't care if you're late. That happens. We want to know that you're OK."


Hancock made his offseason home in St. Louis. He was the only player to attend the premiere of a DVD documenting the Cardinals' unlikely run to their 10th World Series championship after winning only 83 regular-season games.


Hancock, who was single, joined the Cardinals in spring training last season after the Cincinnati Reds released him for violating a weight clause in his contract. He had been a starter the previous year with Cincinnati, but missed 133 games because of groin and elbow injuries. He also pitched for Boston and Philadelphia.


The Reds completed a three-game series in St. Louis on Thursday, and former teammates were shaken by the news.


"It's kind of a little turn in your gut," pitcher Matt Belisle said. "It's one of those reality checks that you never know when your time is."


Relief pitcher Todd Coffey said, "It's shocking. I can't even put it in words how I feel."


In 1997, Hancock helped Auburn advance to the College World Series.


"Josh was a part of arguably the best pitching staff and arguably the best team ever to play at Auburn. It is a shame whenever anyone dies, especially someone as young as Josh, in a tragic accident," said Auburn coach Tom Slater, an assistant at the school when Hancock played there.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press



RIP and condolences to his fans, Cardinal organization and fans

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Eerie story: he overslept for a day game a week or so ago and teammates tried calling him 22 times before getting through to him, and he showed up late to the game. Needless to say, the Kile similarities were a little too strong for some current Cards who were on that '03 team.


Sad thing to see happen.

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Not a lot to say but I appreciated him.. He was like a trooper, a guy that saved our bullpen many a times and it happened again in his last outing. He was just now starting to click, this sucks majorly.. I appreciate and noticed that side of his pitching even if he struggled.. he gutted it out and gave his all for the team.. of course that's a minor thing right now as it should be but I thank him :( Very stunning news to wake up to today.. I was suppose to go to the game tonight, my first trip to Busch, but something came up in my life too where I couldnt make it, then this turns out to happen.. Very difficult time right now..

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ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock was drunk at the time of his fatal accident, and marijuana was found in the sport utility vehicle he was driving.


Police Chief Joe Mokwa also said at a news conference Friday that the 29-year-old Hancock was speaking on a cell phone at about the time of the crash early Sunday on Interstate 64 in St. Louis.


"Mr. Hancock was legally intoxicated at the time of the accident," Mokwa said.


St. Louis medical examiner Michael Graham said Hancock's blood-alcohol level was 0.157, nearly twice Missouri's legal limit of 0.08.


Mokwa said 8.55 grams of marijuana and a glass pipe used to smoke marijuana were found in the rented Ford Explorer. Toxicology tests to determine if drugs were in his system had not been completed.


An accident reconstruction team determined Hancock was traveling 68 mph in a 55 mph zone when his SUV struck the back of a flatbed tow truck stopped in a driving lane. Mokwa said there was no evidence Hancock tried to stop. He did swerve, but too late to avoid the collision.


Graham said the pitcher died instantly of head injuries. The pitcher was not wearing a seat belt, but Graham said the belt would not have prevented his death.


Mokwa said cell phone records showed Hancock was speaking with a female acquaintance at about the time of the accident. Mokwa said the conversation ended abruptly, presumably when the accident occurred.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press



another stupid drunk driving accident (and not wearing your seatbelt either)... atleast no one else was killed

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