In 2012, Oscar Taveras was introduced to the world as Minor League Guy by Dan McLaughlin and Rick Horton, who apparently hadn't heard about him despite a dominant 2011 season for the Cardinals' single-A affiliate (.460 wOBA in almost 350 plate appearances). The Cardinals considered promoting Taveras later that year in the middle of the playoffs when Carlos Beltran's availability was in doubt, as mentioned by Derrick Goold. Oscar's 2013 season was plagued by injuries but his arrival in 2014 proved well worth the wait as his first home run mandated a stoppage in play, literally.
Here's the video, because you could never watch it enough:
Here's how Bernie Miklasz recalled the scene in the next day's paper:
With that one crack Taveras not only opened a 1-0 lead for the Cards; he also opened the sky. The rain suddently intensified, pouring down on Busch, storming up rapidly and loudly as if to reaffirm what we'd just witnessed. BOOM!
The contest came to an abrupt half before the next STL hitter, Jhonny Peralta, could take an at-bat. But to the 44,426 delirious fans, the wet stuff could have easily been champagne.
"The fans are so crazy when I hit the home run," Taveras said.
And when Taveras trotted to his post in right field after the rain delay and for the top of the sixth inning, Cardinals fans chanted his name. "Oscar... Oscar." Taveras was taken aback by the reception. But the fans were letting him know that he had a home.
Truth is, you were never just Minor League Guy around these parts, Oscar. Rest in peace.
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