For every Albert Pujols and Derek Jeter, there are a lot more guys like Hancock.
After a short stay with the Phillies as an emergency starter and farmhand for a couple of seasons, Hancock, it seemed, had found his role with Tony La Russa’s St. Louis Cardinals. Last season, after some success as a starter for the Reds in 2004, Hancock was the Cards’ long-man out of the bullpen. He got into 62 games, helped the Cardinals win the World Series last season and at 29, appeared to be on his way to a solid career.
That’s what makes the news of his death so unfathomable. He was there – he had proven himself…
“It hasn't really set in yet,” said Geoff Geary, Hancock’s spring training roommate in Clearwater a few years ago. “I didn't believe it. I had to go on the Internet to see it before it really made sense. And it still doesn't make sense, to be honest with you.”
It never will.