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One-time Rev Dave Veres prominent in Kile documentary

Darryl Kile

It’s been 10 years since St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Darryl Kile died suddenly from a heart attack in his Chicago hotel room, prior to a game at Wrigley Field on June 22, 2002.  On Thursday night, MLB Network debuted a documentary to mark the anniversary, titled The Life and Death of Darryl Kile.

Former Revolution reliever and 10-year Major League veteran Dave Veres is among the most prominent interviews in the hour long program.  Veres, in the documentary and at other times has been referred to as Darryl Kile’s best friend.  It’s not hard to see why;  both debuted with Houston in the big leagues after playing together in the Astros minor league system, and they were teammates at three different stops in the majors; Houston, Colorado and St. Louis.

Veres was with the Cardinals in 2002 when the tragedy happened.  While it was nice to see a familiar face, a nice guy and someone who had one of the better stories of the Revolution’s early days, it was unfortunate it was in such a sobering setting.  Veres, who didn’t play in 2005 or 2006 due to chronic hip problems, was pitching with the Revolution in 2008 attempting to comeback – with an artificial hip.  His perseverance made national news as one of the bigger names in the Atlantic League, attempting to climb a big mountain.

Ultimately, Veres would decide after half a season that comeback would have to end, but then-Manager Chris Hoiles, who at the time was less than two years the senior of his 41-year-old right-hander, allowed Veres to go out in style.  In Veres’ final three appearances as a professional he saved three consecutive games, all at Sovereign Bank Stadium as the Revolution swept a series.  His decision to hang it up was not performance based, as in 35.2 innings with the Revs Veres ERA was just 2.27, with six saves total.  He accumulated 95 career saves a big leaguer.

Throughout the documentary on Kile, the point was driven home that Kile was not only a top-notch ballplayer, but a top-notch teammate, father and human being.  It’s not hard to see why he and Veres were kindred spirits…one story about Veres stood out when I thought about him for the first time in a while as I watched.

In 2008, I remember Veres writing a personalized note to an older fan who was in the hospital, recovering from a painful hip replacement.  Who better than to offer good wishes and empathy than Veres, who was pitching professionally after such an ordeal.  After I took the card to give to the sales rep who had brought it to me in the first place, Veres said “if there is anything else I can do, please let me know.”  Just going out there and pitching was more than enough for us and that one particular fan.

I don’t want to share too many details of the documentary, you should definitely watch for yourself.  While it can be difficult to watch, it’s definitely worth an hour, especially to see the bond between Dave Veres and Darryl Kile.  There is an encore showing on Friday (July 13) from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., so write yourself a note or set your DVR.  MLB Network on Comcast in York is channel 280, 859 in HD.  I’m not sure about Directv, sorry.  Right now that’s the only encore showing I could find, but I’m sure there will be more.

-Paul Braverman

Dave Veres, in spring training with the Revolution prior to the 2008 season

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