When Arthur Rhodes pitched for St. Louis in Game 1 of the 2011 World Series, he became the fifth Cardinals player _ and the first in 29 years _ to appear in a Fall Classic at age 40 or older.
All five Cardinals age 40 or older to play in a World Series were pitchers:
_ Grover Cleveland Alexander, 41, in the 1928 World Series.
_ Jesse Haines, 41, in the 1934 World Series.
_ Dazzy Vance, 43, in the 1934 World Series.
_ Jim Kaat, 43, in the 1982 World Series.
_ Arthur Rhodes, 41, in the 2011 World Series.
Alexander, Haines and Vance were inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Kaat probably should be.
Here is a look at their World Series performances for the Cardinals after they turned 40:
GROVER CLEVELAND ALEXANDER
The right-hander was a hero of the 1926 World Series, sealing the Cardinals’ Game 7 victory against the Yankees with a strong relief effort. But it was a different story for Alexander and the Cardinals in the 1928 World Series.
At 41, Alexander still was effective. He made 31 starts, completing 18, for the 1928 Cardinals and was 16-9 with a 3.36 ERA for the National League champions.
So it was somewhat surprising when the Yankees pummeled him in the World Series. Alexander started Game 2 and lasted 2.1 innings, allowing six hits, four walks and eight runs, including a three-run, first-inning home run to Lou Gehrig. The Yankees won, 9-3. Boxscore
In Game 4, the Yankees led 4-1 with one out in the seventh when Alexander relieved starter Bill Sherdel. Alexander yielded three runs, including solo homers to Babe Ruth and Cedric Durst, and the Yankees went on to a 7-3 victory, sweeping the Series. Boxscore
Alexander ended the 1928 World Series with a record of 0-1 and a 19.80 ERA, allowing 11 runs in five innings.
The right-hander had started games for the Cardinals in the 1926, 1928 and 1930 World Series. At 41 in 1934, he primarily was a reliever. He had appeared in 37 games, 31 in relief, during the regular season, posting a 4-4 record and 3.50 ERA.
In his lone appearance in the 1934 World Series, Haines entered Game 4 against the Tigers with one out in the eighth. He yielded a RBI-single to third baseman Marv Owens, and then struck out outfielder Pete Fox and pitcher Elden Auker. Boxscore
When the Reds placed Vance on waivers after the right-hander went 0-2 with a 7.50 ERA for them in 1934, it appeared his career was done at 43. But the Cardinals claimed him on June 25 and he became a productive member of the staff. Vance was 1-1 with a 3.66 ERA in 19 games, 15 in relief, for St. Louis.
A 16-year big-league veteran, Vance made his only World Series appearance in Game 4 of the ’34 Series. He relieved starter Tex Carleton with two out in the third. Though he yielded a RBI-single to Hank Greenberg, he pitched 1.1 innings, striking out three, including Tigers player-manager Mickey Cochrane. Boxscore
In the 1965 World Series, Kaat made three starts for the Twins and was matched each time against the Dodgers’ Sandy Koufax. Kaat won one of those three.
Seventeen years later, at 43, Kaat was an effective situational left-handed reliever for the Cardinals. During the 1982 regular season, Kaat appeared in 62 games and was 5-3 with a 4.08 ERA.
In the 1982 World Series, Kaat pitched in four of the seven games and had a 3.86 ERA, helping St. Louis to its first Fall Classic championship in 15 years.
In his book “Still Pitching” (2003, Triumph), Kaat wrote of Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog:
Herzog was the most brilliant and the brightest manager I ever played for. The way he used me, and the way he ran a game, he was the best.
In his 20th big-league season, Rhodes made his first World Series appearance. Entering with two out in the eighth, Rhodes retired Josh Hamilton on a flyout to center and held the lead for closer Jason Motte, who closed out the Cardinals’ 3-2 victory over Texas in Game 1 of the 2011 World Series. Boxscore
Rhodes, 41 (he turns 42 on Oct. 24), had been released by the Rangers Aug. 8 and was signed by the Cardinals three days later.