Local teams react and relate to the death of Cardinals' pitcher Josh Hancock
By: CJ Cassidy
By: CJ Cassidy
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Cardinals fans across the Heartland were stunned by the news of St. Louis Cardinals' pitcher Josh Hancock's death. Among those mourning Hancock's loss - the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks baseball team.
The Redhawks coach says he has an idea of what the Cards must be going through - having suffered a similar loss several years ago. The Southeast Missouri State Redhawks bowed their heads before Sunday's game at Capaha Park, observing a moment of silence to honor the life of Josh Hancock. "This is kind of special because it's a baseball player - so we'll take it to heart," Redhawks Freshman player Nick Harris says.
Harris watched the Cards play the Chicago Cubs Friday night. "When a baseball player you watch - dies, it hits hard. I can't imagine what the Cardinals team's feeling like," Harris says shaking his head.
Redhawks Coach Mark Hogan has an idea. He lost a young SEMO baseball player named Jodi Gayeski six years ago, also in a car crash. "It was a terrible tragedy. A terrible moment for our program and players," Hogan says. His heart goes out to Josh Hancock's family and his extended family - the Cards.
He points out the close bonds athletes form after hours of hard work, and some goofing off, never quite goes away. "In some ways to get back on the field is anesthetic, but it's not easy and you know Jody Gayeski is someone who lives in my heart everyday," Hogan says. "It's going to be interesting to watch the next game. Cards fans are die hard, and everyone was really pumped about the series just going crazy, I don't know if the mentality is going to be the same with that much adrenalin," Harris says.
No matter what the outcome, both Harris and Hogan say they'll be out showing their support for the Redbirds next chance they get.
Many cards fans here in the Heartland also tell us they hope to pay their respects by attending funeral services for Hancock.