Reaction to the death of Josh Hancock, the St. Louis Cardinals reliever who was killed in a car crash early Sunday:
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``All of baseball today mourns the tragic and untimely death of St. Louis pitcher Josh Hancock. He was a fine young pitcher who played an important role on last year's World Series championship team.'' - baseball commissioner Bud Selig.
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``There's a big hole that's going to be there. This is brutal to go through.'' - Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.
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``It's kind of mind-boggling. Just a few days ago I had talked to him on the phone, touching base again because we were pretty good friends at the time.'' - Seattle Mariners pitcher Jeff Weaver, who won the World Series clincher for St. Louis in October.
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``The young man had done so well last fall and had a promising career. It's just terrible.'' - Colorado Rockies manager Clint Hurdle.
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``Josh was just a super kid. I couldn't have been happier for him getting to the big leagues because he was such a humble, hard worker.'' - New York Mets closer Billy Wagner, who knew Hancock from the 2004 Phillies.
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``He was a nice guy, a gamer. He wanted the ball.'' - Cleveland Indians outfielder Jason Michaels, who was Hancock's teammate in Philadelphia.
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``I remember meeting him in spring training and got the impression that he just loved the game. You could tell he had good stuff and was going to be in the bigs. I remember watching him on TV in the postseason last year and saying how he was a key part of the Cardinals' bullpen.'' - Indians outfielder Trot Nixon, a member of the Boston Red Sox when Hancock made his major league debut in 2002.
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``Obviously, it touches everybody when something like that happens in baseball. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the Cardinal organization.'' - Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia.
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``It was good to see him go over there last year, because the Reds released him before position players even got to camp. He got picked up by St. Louis, had a really good year for them and ended up getting a World Series ring. I was glad to see him enjoy some of that success.'' - San Francisco Giants infielder Rich Aurilia.
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``It's kind of a little turn in your gut. It's one of those reality checks that you never know when your time is.'' - Cincinnati Reds pitcher Matt Belisle, a former teammate.
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``Josh was a part of arguably the best pitching staff and arguably the best team ever to play at Auburn.'' - Tigers coach Tom Slater, an assistant at the school when Hancock played there.
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``This is the sort of sad reminder of how fragile life is. A lot of times, we think of ourselves as invincible. This shows us we're not.'' - Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Tony Clark, who was in Red Sox camp with Hancock in 2002.
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