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Matheny recalls Kile's impact, encouragement

Thursday marks 15 years since death of former Cardinals pitcher
MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Thursday marked 15 years since the death of former Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile. Cards manager Mike Matheny's first three years in St. Louis overlapped with Kile's only three seasons in the organization.

Kile passed away from a heart attack at the age of 33.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Thursday marked 15 years since the death of former Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile. Cards manager Mike Matheny's first three years in St. Louis overlapped with Kile's only three seasons in the organization.

Kile passed away from a heart attack at the age of 33.

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"He's somebody that I always mention whenever anybody asks what a teammate looks like," Matheny said.

Matheny remember's Kile as a willing and selfless mentor who would pick a different player each day to spend time with and encourage.

"That really stood out more than anything else, how he went out of his way," Matheny said. "[I've] never seen anybody do it before. ... He'd pick somebody every day when it wasn't his day to start to go encourage and try to make them better."

Often, that person was Matheny.

"I think he started to see how it impacted people. ... He and I were in contact so much that it ended up being me," Matheny said. "There were times when I just knew. He'd come over and sit right next to me during the game, and I'd say, 'I'm the guy today, huh?' And he'd say, 'Yup.'

"That's rare, in any walks of life, especially one that revolves like ours on your own personal performance. I'd say that it was that that differentiated him from other people."

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia who covered the Cardinals on Thursday.

St. Louis Cardinals