Best Local Boy Gone Bad - 2007
One too many at Mike Shannon's, a speeding Ford Explorer, a cell phone and a tow truck stopped on the highway. These factors tragically converged one balmy night in April, killing Cardinals reliever Josh Hancock. At age 29 the Mississippi native had only been in St. Louis for one season, but what a season it was! Hancock's easy manner made him a quick favorite in the bullpen, where he led his fellow relievers with 77 innings on the club's march to victory in the 2006 World Series. The man Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt eulogized as "a consummate teammate with a terrific spirit that served him well on the mound and in the clubhouse" was outgoing, funny and plainspoken. He made himself accessible to fans and media alike, and unlike many of today's Redbirds, he made St. Louis his off-season home. And then he was gone.