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Cardinals pay tribute to Kile
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06/25/2002 9:32 pm ET 
Cardinals pay tribute to Kile
By Matthew Leach /

Fernando Vina (left) and Albert Pujols show their emotions after Tuesday's pregame ceremony honoring Kile. (Tom Gannam/AP)
ST. LOUIS -- In a short, simple and moving ceremony, the Cardinals organization paid tribute to Darryl Kile at Busch Stadium on Tuesday night.

Tuesday marked the team's first home game since Kile's stunning and untimely death on Saturday. The Cards played Sunday night against the Cubs, then had a day off Monday. On Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., the team will hold a full public memorial for Kile at Busch Stadium.

Cardinals broadcaster Mike Shannon opened the ceremony by bringing the entire Cardinals team out to join him at home plate, then introducing the team's Chairman of the Board and General Partner, William O. DeWitt Jr.

DeWitt made a brief speech about Kile, saying he "represented the best of the Cardinal tradition" and calling him "a fine player with strong character, a great teammate and leader, involved in the community and a wonderful family man."

DeWitt also announced that the team, in conjunction with its official charity, Cardinals Care, "will establish and operate a youth baseball program" at PAL Field, which opened last September and which Kile helped fund. Kile was an active participant in Cardinals Care.

The ceremony closed with a video tribute to Kile, featuring photos and clips from his entire career. It included his no-hitter in Houston as well as moments from his time with the Colorado Rockies and the Cardinals and many more candid images. Many of the pictures were of Kile with his family or enjoying time with teammates. Boyz II Men's song "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" played as the video ran.

"It's really really good," manager Tony La Russa said of the video, "which makes it really really hard."

St. Louis pitchers Woody Williams and Mike Timlin could be seen consoling reliever Dave Veres, a friend of Kile's for many years, at the end of the ceremony.

"The video was pretty heart-wrenching," Timlin said.

Throughout the game, the video screen in right field at Busch Stadium showed clips of Kile as well as accounts of his accomplishments, including many of his career statistics and his Cardinals statistics as well as the fact that he never went on the disabled list and never missed a start.

"Hopefully by the fifth inning you can catch up to what you're supposed to be doing," said lefty reliever Steve Kline.

In tribute to Kile, St. Louis will wear a circular patch reading "DK 57" on the right sleeves of their uniforms for the rest of the season. In addition, a circular sign with the same image has been placed on the left-field wall. It will also remain there for the rest of the season.

The club also will be assembling a "memory book" at the request of Kile's wife, Flynn, for the couple's three children. Submissions from fans are invited at:
DK 57 Memory Book
250 Stadium Plaza
St. Louis, MO, 63102.

The family has requested that memorial contributions be made to Cardinals Care at:
Darryl Kile Memorial Fund
Cardinals Care
250 Stadium Plaza
St. Louis, MO, 63102.

Matthew Leach covers the Cardinals for This article was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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