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In the Wake of Lidle's Death

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In the Wake of Lidle's Death

Postby JTWood » Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:49 am

Lidle's death yesterday stirred my memories of another shocking death in the realm of baseball; one that I remember a little more emotionally. I was watching the opening commentary of the Cubs/Cards game the day that Darryl Kile was found dead in his apartment. I remember when the Cubs sent out Girardi to announce that the game had been cancelled. I remember my heart sinking as first he said that there had been a "tragedy in the Cardinals' family." My heart sank further when he started to break down as he thanked the crowd.

I distinctly remember calling to my wife to come in to the living room to watch the television with me. I told her what Girardi had said, but how he had made no specific comments. Then I gasped, "Oh my God! What if the Cardinals' bus had been in an accident." It wasn't an illogical conclusion. I saw no Cards player on the field and a Cubs player made the announcement.

Of course, the tragedy wasn't of a magnitude as large as I feared, but as the day went on, something hit me: Whole baseball teams fly around together every year dozens of times. It's not a chance, but a statistical probability, that one day, a plane with an entire MLB team on it will crash. It's a risk that is taken two, four, maybe even six times in a week by MLB teams.

Has anyone ever given that any thought? I mean, you turn on the game to find out not that the game has been cancelled, but that an entire baseball team has been killed in a plane crash? What do you think baseball would do, both immediately and long-term? How do you think the sport and the country would deal with a casualty en masse of some of the most popular people the world has to offer?

I'm just putting this up for general discussion. I've thought it over, and I'm fairly confident this isn't an offensive topic. Please don't make any light-hearted, insensitive quips that prove me wrong.
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Postby RynMan » Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:21 am

It's not unusual for events such as Lidle's passing to inspire thoughts like this. Driving to work today, I was thinking about how people who die in car crashes don't expect it. They are driving.....just like I was.....when all of a sudden it all comes to an end....without warning.

I have thought about that JT, and it a very real possibility. Let's just hope it doesn't happen. But like everything in life, you can't life worrying about it. You can't live life worried that you might die while driving to work or flying to a game. You just be aware of it, live every minute of your life, and use things like Lidle's death to help remind of what's important in your life.
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Postby BritSox » Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:53 am

It happened a couple of times in soccer. The famous Munich Air Disaster of 1958 when 23 people including eight Manchester United players were killed when their plane crashed taking off from the runway at Munich Airport being the most notable. A similar tragedy occurred in 1949 with Italian champions Torino, killing the entire squad and management, and the Zambian National team in 1993, again killing all aboard.

Obviously it's a lot less likely in the modern era, but you'd have to think, as you say, with the number of flights taken by MLB teams something of this kind happening in the next 50 years is a not impossible proposition.

As for how baseball would handle it- I'd imagine the team in question would call up their entire AAA team to finish the season, then there'd be a draft along the lines of an expansion draft in the following offseason.
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Postby mak1277 » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:03 am

The entire Marshall University football team died in a plane crash (I think it was a plane) back in the 70's (again, fuzzy memory). This tragedy is the subject of an upcoming movie.
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Postby StlSluggers » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:07 am

BritSox wrote:As for how baseball would handle it- I'd imagine the team in question would call up their entire AAA team to finish the season, then there'd be a draft along the lines of an expansion draft in the following offseason.

See, that's what I was thinking. The franchise would be decimated, but with all of the money and time tied up in stadiums and players at both the MLB and minor league levels, I can't imagine the franchise would collapse. I assume there are insurance policies in place to take care of the deceased's contracts, so that financial burden wouldn't exist. A draft the following season would only make sense.

I'd be real interested to know if MLB has a plan for this sort of event.
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Postby BritSox » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:13 am

StlSluggers wrote:
BritSox wrote:As for how baseball would handle it- I'd imagine the team in question would call up their entire AAA team to finish the season, then there'd be a draft along the lines of an expansion draft in the following offseason.

See, that's what I was thinking. The franchise would be decimated, but with all of the money and time tied up in stadiums and players at both the MLB and minor league levels, I can't imagine the franchise would collapse. I assume there are insurance policies in place to take care of the deceased's contracts, so that financial burden wouldn't exist. A draft the following season would only make sense.

I'd be real interested to know if MLB has a plan for this sort of event.


I was under the impression that any contract is null and void upon one of the parties becoming deceased, so it wouldn't be an issue.
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Postby thedude » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:46 am

mak1277 wrote:The entire Marshall University football team died in a plane crash (I think it was a plane) back in the 70's (again, fuzzy memory). This tragedy is the subject of an upcoming movie.


1970, their charter jet crashed killing team and coaching staff.
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Postby thedude » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:48 am

I remember reading somewhere that several minor teams have been killed in bus crashes. If i remember correctly one team (from colorado?) was wiped out when their bus drove off the side of a mountain road.
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Postby StlSluggers » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:57 am

BritSox wrote:I was under the impression that any contract is null and void upon one of the parties becoming deceased, so it wouldn't be an issue.

I know that, legally speaking, an offer is null and void if the offeror passes away, but I believe the terms of a contract aren't necessarily effected by death unless the contract is worded as such.
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Postby cordscords » Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:50 am

I remember George bringing this up on Seinfeld when he was talking to Keith Hernandez.

It would be something else if that did happen, and I would imagine the season would be cancelled.
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