(Copyright 2002. The Tattoo. All rights reserved.)

Making a permanent impression since 1994

-- Sports column --

July 1, 2002

Players not invincible; baseball mourns Kile

By T.J. O'Connor

We sit in front of our televisions and watch these miraculous athletes perform every night with perfection, and think of them as invincible. They cannot be touched, but they can.

St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Darryl Kile was found dead in the team hotel on Saturday, June 22. Kile was only 33 years old and he had a wife and two kids.

The pitcher died from a blocked coronary artery. His father died when he was 40 years old shortly after he had a heart attack.

Kile is just one of the many great athletes that have died when they were at the pinnacle of their careers.

Steve Prefontaine, possibly the best collegiate runner ever, died in a car crash the day before one of the biggest races he would ever had run.

It shocks us when an athlete dies because we see them as champions, as untouchable heroes. When they die it scares us because we see how precious our lives are and how they can be taken away in an instant.

Kile’s death effected everyone who knew him, including the three baseball franchises that he played for: the Houston Astros, the Colorado Rockies, and the St. Louis Cardinals.

I turned on ESPN June 22 to watch Baseball Tonight and to find out the scores of the recent games.

Instead of checking out the scores, I was unpleasantly surprised to find out that there was a death in the baseball world.

We watch these great athletes play one day and the next we watch them being buried.

It comes with sports.

Kile is just one athlete who died young.

Darryl Kile is dead at the age of 33.

Read more of T.J. O'Connor's On the ball


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