Colorado Rockies News: Darryl Kile Died 13 Years Ago Today


May 23, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; General view of an American Flag at Coors Field during a rain delay before the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Colorado Rockies. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

June 22 is apparently a tough day for the Colorado Rockies — and really, baseball in general — in light of recent events, and a very unexpected death 13 years ago. 

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Jacob Misener over at Redbird Rants, our FanSided Network friends covering the St. Louis Cardinals, has a nice post up from yesterday about Darryl Kile, his death 13 years ago today, and Jacob remembering as a child a player who died so far before his time.

Kile, of course, wasn’t just linked to the Cardinals, but also the Houston Astros, and the Colorado Rockies. And Misener’s piece takes an interesting angle — in those formative childhood years, which will be different for so many of us, certain things stick with you. With 11-year-old Jacob, it was Kile’s death. For others, it may be Doug Million, or Josh Hancock, or Joe Kennedy. For younger kids today, it might be Oscar Taveras.

Obviously, all those gentlemen died in different circumstances, and it’s difficult to compare them, but the impact they have on people — specifically children who are learning how to play the game and emulating them on the field — is immeasurable. Here one day, and gone the next. Striking out the side or hitting a home run one night, and they just simply don’t show up to the field the next day. Poof.

Here’s to Darryl Kile, who never tamed Coors Field, though it wasn’t for lack of trying. As we’ve heard with guys like Denny Neagle, pitchers don’t quit at Coors — and Kile certainly didn’t give up — these guys work their ass off to try to figure out the altitude. Some do, and some don’t, but it’s not for lack of trying or talent.

In fact, writer Greg Moore, who played in the Rockies’ system, has an interesting memory of Kile, the man and the player:

It’s difficult for me to speak of Kile the person, of course. By all accounts, he was a gentleman and a leader, and a great guy off the field — a tough loss for the Rockies, Astros, Cardinals, and all of baseball.

On the field, it’s worth noting that he did something interesting — he made All Star Games the year before he came to Colorado, and the year after he left. It wasn’t a talent or mental issue with a guy like that at Coors Field; he could throw the ball damn well, and that never changed. He didn’t suddenly forget how to pitch, or “bust” in Denver like he was washed up, or something.

Anyways, his on-field experience is neither here nor there at this point. Kile was a great player, and a great person, and his death was — and still is — a loss for baseball, thirteen years later.

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