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In a span of three days, Bob Gibson experienced the emotional swing of being honored for his Cardinals achievements and then ending his career on a downturn. bob_gibson20

Forty years ago, the Cardinals designated Sept. 1, 1975, as Bob Gibson Day. Gibson, 39, was feted in an hour-long ceremony before the Cubs played the Cardinals in front of 48,435 spectators on a Labor Day afternoon at St. Louis.

Two days later, Sept. 3, Gibson yielded a grand slam and took the loss in his final Cardinals appearance.

Nervous ace

Before reporting to spring training, Gibson had said 1975 would be his last year as a player. He began the season in the starting rotation but was shifted to the bullpen during the summer.

The Gibson Day event was an opportunity to salute the Cardinals’ all-time best pitcher. Gibson was the ace on 1960s Cardinals clubs that won three National League pennants and two World Series titles. He is the franchise’s career leader in wins (251), shutouts (56), strikeouts (3,117), complete games (255), innings pitched (3,884.1) and games started (482).

In a ceremony at home plate, the Cardinals declared that Gibson’s uniform No. 45 would join the No. 6 of Stan Musial and the No. 17 of Dizzy Dean as the only numbers retired by the franchise. Club owner Gussie Busch presented Gibson with a $32,250 luxury motor home.

Gibson told onlookers, including former teammates Musial and Bill White, “I’m more nervous than I was before a World Series game.”

Then it was Gibson’s turn to address the crowd.

In the book “Gibson’s Last Stand,” author Doug Feldmann wrote, “At first, Gibson was too moved to speak when he approached the microphone down on the field. Several times he stepped toward it again, but had to pause with every attempt, as each standing ovation was louder than the one a moment earlier.”

When he was ready, Gibson, true to self, told the crowd, “One thing that I’ve always been proud of is the fact that I’ve never intentionally cheated anyone out of what they paid their money to come and see. Most of all, I’m proud of the fact that whatever I did, I did it my way.”

Reflecting on his future as a retired player, Gibson said, “It’s going to be a new life, a strange life for me. I just hope I can be half as successful as I have been in baseball.”

To cap the festivities, Busch got behind the wheel of the motor home and drove Gibson, his mother and his two daughters around the perimeter of the field as the stadium organist played “Auld Lang Syne.” Said Busch to Gibson: “I bet you never had a chauffeur like this before.”

Inspired, the Cardinals went out and beat the Cubs, 6-3, behind Lou Brock (three hits, three steals, two runs) and the pitching of Bob Forsch and Al Hrabosky. The victory moved the second-place Cardinals to within three games of the Pirates in the NL East Division. Boxscore

Tough to take

On Sept. 3, in the finale of the series, the Cubs led, 6-1, before the Cardinals rallied for five runs in the sixth, tying the score at 6-6.

Sensing an opportunity to give his fading star another shot at glory, Cardinals manager Red Schoendienst called on Gibson to relieve starter Ron Reed and hold the Cubs in the seventh.

The move backfired.

The Cubs loaded the bases on a Champ Summers infield single and walks to Jose Cardenal and Andre Thornton. With two outs, Gibson uncorked a wild pitch and Gene Hiser, running for Summers, raced home from third, giving the Cubs a 7-6 lead. Gibson issued an intentional walk to Jerry Morales, reloading the bases.

Pete LaCock, a pinch-hitter, batted next. LaCock, who had lost the starting first base job to Thornton, was best-known as the son of game-show host Peter Marshall of “Hollywood Squares.”

With the count 3-and-2, LaCock stunned Gibson by drilling a fastball over the right-field wall for a home run _ the lone grand slam of his big-league career.

Dejected, Gibson retired the next batter, Don Kessinger, on a groundout and then walked off the mound for the final time. Boxscore

“I had reached my absolute limit in humiliation,” Gibson said in his book “Stranger to the Game.” “I said to myself, ‘That’s it. I’m out of here.’ ”

Gibson remained idle while the Cardinals fell out of contention.

On Sept. 15, two weeks after his special day, Gibson said goodbye to his teammates and headed home with 10 games remaining in the season, knowing he’d never pitch again.

Previously: Bob Gibson and his final Opening Day with Cardinals

Previously: How Ron Reed replaced Bob Gibson in Cards rotation

Previously: How Bob Gibson achieved career win No. 250

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Five baseball facts that may surprise you about Curt Flood, an outstanding center fielder and hitter who was elected to the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame because of the impact he had on and off the field.

curt_flood7No. 1: Cardinals foe

Flood made his major-league debut against the Cardinals.

On Sept. 9, 1956, at St. Louis, Flood, 18, was a pinch-runner for Smoky Burgess, the stocky Reds catcher who hit a double in the eighth inning off Cardinals starter Murry Dickson.

Flood was stranded when Bob Thurman popped out to third, ending the inning. Boxscore

As a September call-up, Flood played in five games for the 1956 Reds and three games for the 1957 Reds. The Cardinals were the opponent in three of those eight games.

Flood and outfielder Joe Taylor were traded by the Reds to the Cardinals for pitchers Willard Schmidt, Ted Wieand and Marty Kutyna on Dec. 5, 1957.

It was the first trade made by Cardinals general manager Bing Devine and it was one of his best. Devine credited Cardinals manager Fred Hutchinson with encouraging him to make the deal.

In his book “October 1964,” author David Halberstam wrote, “Devine was uneasy because it was his first deal and because he had not only never seen (Flood) but he had no sense of him either. But Hutch seemed confident of Flood’s ability and Devine had a good deal of faith in Hutchinson’s ability to judge talent.”

No. 2: Cardinals infielder

Flood, who won seven consecutive Gold Glove awards as a Cardinals center fielder from 1963-69, played two games at third base and one at second base for St. Louis.

In all three instances, Flood shifted from the outfield to the infield late in games. The breakdown:

_ On July 6, 1958, Flood started in center field against the Giants at San Francisco. In the ninth, Ken Boyer moved from third base to shortstop and Flood replaced Boyer at third. Flood didn’t field any chances in the inning. Boxscore

_ On May 10, 1959, at St. Louis against the Cubs, Flood moved from center field to second base in the 10th, replacing Don Blasingame, who had been lifted for a pinch-runner the previous inning. Flood played two innings at second base and didn’t field any chances. Boxscore

_ On June 21, 1960, Flood started in center field versus the Pirates at Pittsburgh. In the eighth, Boyer was ejected and Flood replaced him at third base. Flood had one ball hit to him at third _ by Burgess, then with the Pirates _ and fielded it cleanly. Boxscore

No. 3: Tough and durable

At 5 feet 9 and 165 pounds, Flood was an iron man. He played in 150 or more games in a season seven times.

Flood ranks sixth all-time in games played as a Cardinal, according to baseball-reference.com. The five in front of him all have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

The top six in games played for the Cardinals: Stan Musial (3,026), Lou Brock (2,289), Ozzie Smith (1,990), Enos Slaughter (1,820), Red Schoendienst (1,795) and Flood (1,738).

No. 4: Hit man

Flood ranks among the top five all-time in most singles by a Cardinal. Musial heads the list, with 2,253 singles, and is followed by Brock (2,029), Ozzie Smith (1,529), Schoendienst (1,498) and Flood (1,454).

No. 5: Hitting the best

Flood often was at his best when facing the best.

Here are his career batting marks against some Hall of Fame pitchers:

_ .394 (13-for-33) vs. Don Sutton.

_ .326 (29-for-89) with a home run vs. Warren Spahn.

_ .319 (44-for-138) with two home runs vs. Don Drysdale.

_ .296 (32-for-108) with two home runs vs. Sandy Koufax.

_ .286 (34-for-119) with four home runs vs. Juan Marichal.

_ .286 (14-for-49) with two home runs vs. Ferguson Jenkins.

On May 3, 1968, at San Francisco, Flood hit two home runs in a game against Marichal. Flood hit a solo home run in the first and a two-run shot in the fifth. Boxscore

Postscript

Flood was an integral member of a Cardinals franchise that won two World Series championships and three National League pennants in the 1960s.

In 12 seasons with the Cardinals, Flood was a three-time all-star who hit .293 with 1,853 hits in 1,738 games, including two consecutive seasons (1963-64) with 200 or more hits.

When the Cardinals traded him to the Phillies after the 1969 season, Flood refused to report and instead challenged baseball’s reserve clause, paving the way for free agency.

Previously: Koufax: I still don’t know how to pitch to Curt Flood

Previously: The day Curt Flood drilled 8 straight hits vs. Dodgers

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Having already worked one grand slam miracle as an Angel, David Eckstein performed another for the Cardinals.

david_eckstein2Ten years ago, on Aug. 7, 2005, Eckstein hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning off Chris Reitsma, lifting the Cardinals to a 5-3 victory over the Braves.

“Every once in a while, you get a miracle like this,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The feat seemed miraculous because Eckstein, 5-foot-6 and slightly built, appeared better suited for singles than slugging and because walk-off grand slams rarely occurred for the Cardinals.

Eckstein’s was the eighth walk-off grand slam in Cardinals history and their first in 18 years.

However, the feat wasn’t a first for Eckstein. Three years earlier, on April 28, 2002, Eckstein hit a walk-off grand slam for the Angels against Pedro Borbon of the Blue Jays. It was one of three grand slams Eckstein hit for the Angels that season.

Eckstein’s grand slam for the Cardinals against the Braves was the fourth and last of his big-league career.

Subs deliver

The Braves had scored a run in the top of the ninth off Jason Isringhausen, extending their lead from 2-1 to 3-1.

Reitsma, a right-hander who had yielded one run over his last 11 appearances and had converted nine consecutive saves opportunities, was the choice of Braves manager Bobby Cox to pitch the bottom of the ninth.

Each of the first three Cardinals batters _ substitutes Abraham Nunez, So Taguchi and Hector Luna _ singled with two strikes, loading the bases with none out.

Nunez, subbing for injured Scott Rolen, hit a ground-ball single to center and Taguchi, subbing for injured Larry Walker, followed with a low liner up the middle.

Luna, pinch-hitting for catcher Mike Mahoney, who was subbing for injured Yadier Molina, slapped a grounder that deflected off Reitsma’s glove toward second baseman Marcus Giles. As Taguchi dashed in front of him, Giles tried to scoop the ball and swipe Taguchi with a tag, but he couldn’t get a handle on the ball and all the runners were safe on what was ruled an infield hit.

“If I let that go, maybe we turn two,” Reitsma said to the Associated Press. “You just react in that situation and it hit the top of my glove.”

Said Cox to Rick Hummel of the Post-Dispatch: “We butchered a double-play ball. You tell your pitchers not to touch a ball like that because it’s a routine double play.”

With the bases loaded, none out and pitcher Ray King due to bat, La Russa called for Scott Seabol to pinch hit. Seabol, who hadn’t produced a hit for the Cardinals since June 21, popped out to third baseman Wilson Betemit.

Mighty mite

That brought up Eckstein, who had hit four home runs on the season and 21 since entering the major leagues in 2001.

After taking the first pitch from Reitsma for a ball, Eckstein swung at the next and drove the ball over the left-field fence and into the seats. Video

“I was trying to go down and away with a sinker for a double play,” Reitsma said to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I just left it down the middle. It was a bad pitch.”

Said Eckstein of his home run swing: “That’s probably all I’ve got right there.” Boxscore

After being mobbed by his teammates at the plate, Eckstein doffed his helmet to the crowd of 47,714 who had turned out on what the Cardinals had promoted as Transplant Awareness Day. Eckstein’s father was scheduled to become the fourth family member to receive a kidney transplant.

Walk-off winners

The seven previous walk-off grand slams hit by Cardinals:

_ Pepper Martin hit a grand slam off George Jeffcoat of the Dodgers, breaking a 7-7 tie in the ninth inning and giving the Cardinals an 11-7 victory on July 14, 1936, at St. Louis. Boxscore

_ Joe Cunningham hit a grand slam off Ruben Gomez of the Giants, breaking a 3-3 tie in the ninth and giving the Cardinals a 7-3 victory on July 30, 1957, at St. Louis. Boxscore

_ Carl Taylor hit a grand slam off Ron Herbel of the Padres, erasing a 10-7 San Diego lead in the ninth and giving the Cardinals an 11-10 victory on Aug. 11, 1970, at St. Louis. Boxscore

_ Joe Hague hit a grand slam off Mike Marshall of the Expos, breaking a 6-6 tie in the 10th and giving the Cardinals a 10-6 victory on Sept. 24, 1971, at St. Louis. Boxscore

_ Roger Freed hit a grand slam off Joe Sambito of the Astros, erasing a 6-3 Houston lead in the 11th and giving the Cardinals a 7-6 victory on May 1, 1979, at St. Louis. Boxscore

_ Darrell Porter hit a grand slam off Bob Lacey of the Giants, breaking a 4-4 tie in the 11th and giving the Cardinals an 8-4 victory on July 18, 1984, at St. Louis. Boxscore

_ Tommy Herr hit a grand slam off Jesse Orosco of the Mets, breaking an 8-8 tie in the 10th and giving the Cardinals a 12-8 victory on April 18, 1987, at St. Louis. Boxscore

Since Eckstein’s walk-off grand slam, two other Cardinals have achieved the feat:

_ Gary Bennett hit a grand slam off Bob Howry of the Cubs, breaking a 6-6 tie in the ninth and giving the Cardinals a 10-6 victory on Aug. 27, 2006, at St. Louis. Boxscore

_ Aaron Miles hit a grand slam off Bryan Corey of the Padres, breaking a 5-5 tie in the ninth and giving the Cardinals a 9-5 victory on July 20, 2008, at St. Louis. Boxscore

Previously: Why David Eckstein was perfect fit for Cardinals

Previously: Carl Taylor, Roger Freed experienced the ultimate

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In an unusual play that involved a Penguin, a Bull and Vince Coleman establishing a major-league rookie record, the Cardinals stole four bases on one pitch in a game against their archrivals, the Cubs.

vince_coleman2Thirty years ago, on Aug. 1, 1985, at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Cardinals speedsters Coleman and Willie McGee turned a double-steal attempt into a successful quadruple steal.

In the first inning, Coleman was on second base and McGee on first with none out and Tommy Herr at-bat, facing Scott Sanderson.

Coleman had entered the game with 72 steals, tying him with Juan Samuel of the 1984 Phillies for the big-league single-season record for a rookie.

Dead duck

On a pitch to Herr, Coleman and McGee took off for third and second. Catcher Jody Davis threw to third baseman Ron “Penguin” Cey in a futile attempt to nab Coleman.

Coleman slid across the bag, “way deep in foul territory, almost in back of the coach’s box,” Cubs manager Jim Frey said to the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill.

Slow to react, Cey didn’t rush to tag Coleman. “He would have been a dead duck had there not been a brain-dead Penguin on the scene,” wrote Mike Lucas, covering the game for the Madison (Wis.) Capital Times.

Seeking an escape route, Coleman got up and scampered down the third-base line, with Cey in pursuit.

“When Ron went after him … he ran out of the base line,” Frey complained of Coleman.

Knowing he had no chance to catch Coleman, Cey tossed the ball to Davis. Coleman applied the brakes and headed back toward Cey. Davis ran toward Coleman, then lobbed the ball to Cey.

No one at home

When Coleman looked back, he saw Davis near him and no Cubs player protecting the plate. Sanderson had gone over to cover third. First baseman Leon “Bull” Durham, the former Cardinal, should have covered the plate but instead stood frozen along the first-base line, watching the rundown.

Coleman whirled around, slipped past Davis and sped toward the plate. Cey, clutching the ball, gave chase.

Wrote Lucas: “Cey’s only option was to chase down Coleman from behind. With his ample behind, he couldn’t chase down (actor) Gary Coleman, let alone Vince Coleman.”

Coleman crossed the dish and McGee dashed uncontested from second base to third. The official scorer credited each with two stolen bases on the play.

Wrote Rick Hummel for The Sporting News: “One pitch, four stolen bases _ sounds something like (Hall of Famer) Cool Papa Bell flicking off a light switch and jumping in bed before it was dark.”

Said Coleman to the Associated Press: “I’ve never seen a play like that before. I couldn’t get back to third, so my reaction was to go to the next base.”

Record setter

In so doing, Coleman had 74 steals for the season, breaking the rookie record.

“Just another day’s work, but I am honored about the record,” Coleman said. “I’m looking for more records. No goals. I just let my ability dictate my future.” Boxscore

Coleman achieved 110 stolen bases in 1985 and was named winner of the NL Rookie of the Year Award. He also topped more than 100 steals in 1986 (107) and 1987 (109) and led the NL in stolen bases for six consecutive years (1985-90) with the Cardinals.

McGee contributed a career-high 56 steals in 1985 and was selected winner of the NL Most Valuable Player Award, batting a league-high .353 with 216 hits in 152 games.

The 1985 Cardinals, managed by Whitey Herzog, had 314 steals. No other team in the major leagues that season had more than 182.

Previously: The night Vince Coleman first hit a homer over the wall

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A playful young blonde in a flaming red dress gave an unexpected mix of sex appeal and comedy to the first regular-season night game played by the Cardinals.

kitty_burkeEighty years ago, on July 31, 1935, on a sultry evening in Cincinnati, Kitty Burke, 25, a nightclub entertainer, emerged from an overflow crowd at Crosley Field during a game between the Cardinals and Reds, grabbed a bat and stood at the plate, expecting a delivery from St. Louis pitcher Paul Dean.

Amazingly, with the approval of the plate umpire and with the commissioner of baseball watching from the stands, Dean tossed a soft pitch, Burke swung at it and connected with a groundball to the pitcher.

Satisfied, she departed back into the crowd and the game resumed.

Night baseball

Two months earlier, regular-season night baseball had debuted in the major leagues with a game between the Phillies and Reds at Crosley Field.

The Cardinals, who wouldn’t have lights at their home field, Sportsman’s Park, until 1940, were the defending World Series champions in 1935 with a lineup of colorful Gashouse Gang characters such as Dizzy Dean, Pepper Martin, Joe Medwick, Frankie Frisch and Leo Durocher. That made the Cardinals-Reds night game at Cincinnati a big draw, even on a Wednesday.

Crosley Field in 1935 seated 26,060 spectators. Thousands more than that turned out for the Cardinals-Reds game and were admitted. Many were in a partying mood.

Out of control

“A big part of the overflow came into the park shortly before game time on special trains from Dayton, Ohio _ and to say that a good many of these excursionists were feeling their oats is putting it mildly,” The Sporting News reported. “They had been hitting it up on the train and were out for a high time. When they found no seats for themselves at the park, they just leaped the field-box fences and made for the foul lines.”

Fans initially stood along both foul lines and in territory behind the plate. When some fans who were seated in box seats had their view of the playing field obstructed by those standing in foul territory, they left their seats and joined those on the grass. Eventually, the crowd swelled so much that spectators “completely encircled Crosley Field,” the Associated Press reported.

Wrote The Sporting News: “Fans were standing right against the base lines and so close behind the catcher that it was impossible for any player to catch a foul ball.”

Official attendance was listed as 30,000. The Sporting News estimated the crowd at 30,450. Among those in attendance were baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis and Reds president Powel Crosley, who stood together for most of the game “because they couldn’t see the field while seated in box seats,” The Sporting News reported.

In the fourth inning, “irate fans stormed the field, holding up the game for 10 minutes” because of mixups in the seating arrangements, according to International News Service.

Wrote the Associated Press: “Players were forced to shoulder their way through to the plate. The heat, too _ on Cincinnati’s hottest day of the year _ added to police troubles, a number of fans being ejected from the park for alleged disorderly conduct.”

Sizing up the boozy crowd, third-base umpire Cy Rigler ordered beer sales stopped in the fourth inning.

Kitty takes the stage

From her perch in a field-level seat, Kitty Burke was one of the patrons unable to see the playing field. Described by United Press as “a pretty young blonde wearing a flaming red dress,” Burke attracted attention when she left her seat and joined those standing near the field.

“I had a very good box seat and I figured I was entitled to see the game,” said Burke, “but it seems they oversold the park and about the sixth inning everybody started crowding in front of me … I just joined the crowd, which swarmed down on the field, and found places along the first-base line.”

The Cardinals had taken a 2-1 lead, with one of the runs being scored by Medwick. According to Burke, “The St. Louis players had been crowded out of their dugout by the mob and we were lined up behind them on the field.”

In the eighth inning, Burke found herself within shouting distance of Medwick and the two exchanged good-natured taunts.

Burke: “Medwick, you can’t hit anything.”

Medwick: “You can’t hit anything yourself.”

Burke: “I’d like to show you sometime.”

Medwick: “You can’t hit anything with an elephant.”

(Said Burke to United Press: “I think what he meant was you can’t hit an elephant.”)

Burke: “I’ll show you.”

Babe helps a babe

Burke looked toward the plate and saw a Reds player, Babe Herman.

Said Burke to United Press: “I yelled, ‘Hey, Babe, lend me your bat.’ ”

Herman said, “OK, Sis,” and handed the bat to the lady in red.

“Babe always is accommodating to his public,” The Sporting News slyly noted.

Said Burke: “So I took the bat up to the plate and made up my mind I was going to sock one if I had to stay there all night. (Dean) was on the mound when I came up, but was looking toward the outfield. You should have seen the dumb expression on his face when he turned around and saw me. He didn’t know what to do.”

The plate umpire, Bill Stewart, did nothing to stop Burke.

“The umpire was a good egg and yelled. ‘Play ball!’ ” Burke said.

Said The Sporting News: “How Stewart let her get away with it is beyond explanation. She would have had no chance pulling that on Bill Klem or some of the other umpires.”

Dean plays along

Dean, younger brother of Dizzy, was nicknamed Daffy. Burke yelled to him, “Hey, you hick, why don’t you go home and milk the cows?”

Said Burke: “That must have got him, because he started winding up to burn one in. I asked myself, ‘Should I get out of here?’ but just then Pepper Martin yells, ‘Take it easy, Daf.’ So, Daffy just grinned and lobbed one across.”

Dean made an underhanded toss.

Burke swung and hit a grounder to Dean.

Said Burke: “I smacked it … but Daffy was on first with the ball, waiting for me.”

Burke took a few steps up the line, then veered back toward the crowd.

“I saw that he had me beaten, so I stopped,” Burke said.

Before she departed, though, she gave a parting shot to Medwick.

“I said to Medwick, ‘I hit that one, didn’t I, big boy?” He was a good sport and said, ‘Yes.’ ”

When play resumed, the Reds scored two in the eighth to take the lead, the Cardinals rallied to tie the score, 3-3, in the ninth and the Reds rewarded their fans with a run in the 10th for a 4-3 victory. Boxscore

Previously: Why 1940 was year Cardinals saw the light

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Forty years ago, the Cardinals established a major-league record for most intentional walks issued by one team in a nine-inning game.

john_montefuscoCardinals pitchers Lynn McGlothen and Mike Garman combined to give six intentional walks to the Giants on July 19, 1975, at San Francisco. Three of those passes were given to the No. 8 batter, catcher Dave Rader.

The strategy by Cardinals manager Red Schoendienst was driven, in large part, not by a fear of Rader but by the hitting funk being experienced by the Giants’ No. 9 batter, rookie pitcher John Montefusco.

Though the moves worked successfully for St. Louis in all but one instance, the Giants beat the Cardinals, 5-2.

Prime pitching pairing

Montefusco and McGlothen, both 25-year-old right-handers, were developing into staff aces.

Montefusco, nicknamed “The Count,” would win the 1975 National League Rookie of the Year Award, with a 15-9 record and 2.88 ERA. He also would finish second in the NL that season to the Mets’ Tom Seaver in strikeouts _ Seaver had 243 and Montefusco, 215 _ and first in the league in strikeouts per nine innings (7.9).

McGlothen, in his second St. Louis season after being acquired from the Red Sox, would tie Bob Forsch for the team lead in wins in 1975, with 15. He also would lead the 1975 Cardinals in complete games (9), innings pitched (239) and strikeouts (146).

Avoiding Rader

On a Saturday afternoon before 7,136 at Candlestick Park, the Giants struck first when Bobby Murcer hit a two-run home run off McGlothen in the opening inning.

In the second, the Giants threatened again, with Chris Speier on third and one out. Rader was at the plate, with Montefusco in the on-deck circle. The Cardinals, aware Montefusco had one hit in 36 at-bats, played the percentages and walked Rader intentionally. McGlothen then struck out Montefusco and got Von Joshua to ground out.

In the third, with the Giants ahead, 4-2, the Cardinals used the same strategy. With two outs and Giants runners on second and third, Rader was walked intentionally. Montefusco followed with a groundout, ending the inning.

Rader, a left-handed batter who hit .291 in 1975, was walked intentionally by McGlothen for a third consecutive time when he came to the plate in the fifth. With Speier on second and two outs, Rader was given the intentional pass and Montefusco struck out.

Mixing and matching

McGlothen intentionally walked two more batters in the sixth, though neither was Rader.

With Derrel Thomas on second and one out, McGlothen gave an intentional pass to Murcer. The next batter, Gary Matthews, flied out to center. Thomas and Murcer advanced to third and second on the play. That brought to the plate Willie Montanez, a left-handed batter who had driven in two runs with a third-inning single. McGlothen intentionally walked Montanez, loading the bases with two outs.

McGlothen then struck out Speier, escaping the jam.

In the seventh, Garman relieved McGlothen. With one out and no one on base, Garman walked Rader, though this time it was unintentional.

The sixth and final intentional walk occurred in the eighth. With two outs and Thomas on third, Garman intentionally walked Montanez and opted to pitch to Speier. Giants manager Wes Westrum called for a double steal attempt. Thomas stole home, extending the Giants’ lead to 5-2, and Montanez swiped second.

Count in command

Despite a combined 11 walks and 17 hits, the game was completed in a snappy 2:03.

Rader had an odd boxscore line: no at-bats, four walks.

Montefusco got the win. He walked two (none intentional) and struck out seven, including Reggie Smith four times, all on fastballs.

At the plate, Montefusco was 0-for-4, dropping his season batting average to .025 (1-for-40). Boxscore

In his next start, July 23 at San Francisco, Montefusco hit a home run off Milt Wilcox of the Cubs. Before the game, Montefusco said, the Cubs had been teasing him near the batting cage.

“That razzing bothered me and I told those guys to look out because I’m going to beat your butts today and I’m going to hit a homer as well,” Montefusco told United Press International.

In 13 seasons in the major leagues, Montefusco hit .097 (44-for-455) overall and .217 (5-for-23) vs. the Cardinals.

Previously: The night John Curtis pitched a one-hitter for Cardinals

Previously: How Ron Reed replaced Bob Gibson in Cardinals rotation

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