Elvis Presley was fired by the Grand Ole Opry after one performance. The first time he attempted to perform standup comedy, Jerry Seinfield froze in fear and was booed off the stage.

Abraham Lincoln lost several elections early on in his political career. Winston Churchill flunked the sixth grade. Author Stephen King had his first work, “Carrie,” rejected 30 times by publishers. As a young man, the future director Steven Spielberg was denied admission to the prestigious USC film school on three separate occasions.

Michael Jordan was cut from his high school varsity basketball team as a sophomore. Quarterback Kurt Warner earned a paycheck by stocking shelves at a grocery store until the St. Louis Rams gave him an audition.

Before transcendent talent emerges, there can be failure, delays, missteps, injuries, and a crisis of confidence.

Sometimes, greatness is worth waiting for, and it’s advisable to remain patient. The Cardinals are probably reminding themselves of that as rookie hitting phenom Oscar Taveras tries to overcome anxiety to test his surgically repaired ankle in an exhibition game this spring.

“I think the hard thing when you’re labeled as a can’t-miss prospect, the expectations are so much higher for you,” Cards GM John Mozeliak said. “Not only are they extremely high for Oscar, but he’s so young. And you look at the success he had at the minor leagues, he really never hit a speed bump. And last year the only negative thing about his season was he got hurt. ‘Cause when he played, he performed very well. So being a perennial prospect is a blessing and a curse.

“At some point you want to lose the name ‘Prospect’ because you’re up competing at the major-league level. The other way you lose the ‘Prospect’ tag is you just go away. And I don’t think he’s that type of player.”

Taveras, who turns 22 in June, had his first season at Class AAA Memphis cut short by the ankle injury after only 186 plate appearances. The sprain was considered relatively minor at first, but the pain and discomfort lingered. Taveras was eventually shut down, and underwent surgery on his right ankle late last summer.

After a fall and winter of rehabbing the ankle, a rollout was planned for spring training, and Taveras was given the green light to participate in all baseball activities. Cleared to play in the games, he has yet to make an appearance. Instead the sensational hitter that Mozeliak compared to an ascendant Albert Pujols works on the back fields, taking it a step at a time, struggling to clear his doubts.

Physically, there is technically nothing wrong with Taveras. But he’s reluctant to let loose and go full speed. If there’s pain, it’s in his head. He’s apparently fearful of derailing his career by re-injuring the joint, and has favored the right leg while running the bases.