Darryl Kile finished his all-too-short 12-year Major League Baseball career as a St. Louis Cardinal, after pitching with distinction for the Houston Astros and Colorado Rockies. His sudden passing in June 2002 of a heart attack at the age of 33 led to immediate grief across baseball and later with two different annual Darryl Kile Awards, presented by the Baseball Writers Association of America chapter in Houston and voted upon by the players in St. Louis. The latter recognize Kile’s qualities of being “a good teammate, a great friend, a fine father and a humble man.”
A decade later, former coaches and teammates are among those sharing their Kile remembrances in “The Life and Death of Darryl Kile.” The special, narrated by Bob Costas, airs at 8 p.m. CT Thursday on MLB Network.
The show features considerable footage of the events surrounding the June 22, 2002 Cardinals-Cubs game at Wrigley Field that was canceled after Kile’s body was discovered in his Chicago hotel room that morning. According to the Post-Dispatch, his widow, Flynn Kile, declined to be interviewed about his death, but Mike Matheny and Tony La Russa are among the many that speak.
La Russa: “He’s literally too good to be true. And you had to keep saying, ‘Was he really as great as we thought he was?’ And the answer was yes. … I’ll repeat it until the time you take the (microphone) away. He was so perfect it was not to be believed, but believe it.”
Matheny: “To me, he was the kind of person that made people around him better. Yes, everybody wants to win, but you just see very few people that go out of their way to invest in other people and Darryl Kile was one of those.”
MLB Network aired an excerpt of the “The Life and Death of Darryl Kile” on June 22, the ten-year anniversary of his passing. It can be viewed below.