Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Pitchers’ Category

When the Cardinals reacquired Ken Hill, they thought they’d found an ace. Instead, he was a dud.

ken_hillTwenty years ago, on April 5, 1995, in one of the first big trades made by general manager Walt Jocketty, the Cardinals got Hill from the Expos for pitchers Bryan Eversgerd and Kirk Bullinger and outfielder DaRond Stovall.

The deal was considered a steal. Hill had 16 wins for the 1994 Expos, sharing the National League lead with Greg Maddux of the Braves.

Hill, 29, a right-hander, joined a rotation of left-handers Danny Jackson, Allen Watson, Donovan Osborne and Tom Urbani. Like Hill, Jackson ranked among the top four in the NL in wins in 1994. He had 14 for the Phillies.

An intimidator

“In acquiring Kenny Hill, we’ve got probably one of the top two or three pitchers in the game today,” Jocketty said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I think we’re on our way to putting together the championship club we thought we could.”

Said manager Joe Torre: “Kenny Hill is the type of pitcher we really haven’t had. He’s the type of pitcher who can go out and dominate a game. He’s an intimidator, a guy who can go out and pitch a no-hitter.”

The Expos were slashing payroll and general manager Kevin Malone was under orders to unload top-salaried players such as Hill, reliever John Wetteland and outfielder Marquis Grissom.

The Blue Jays and Rockies also had made strong bids for Hill. “The Jays thought they had offered a better deal for Ken Hill than the one the Expos accepted with the Cardinals,” The Sporting News reported, adding that the cash-strapped Expos were in no mood to help their Canadian counterparts.

Jocketty was thrilled he didn’t have to trade to the Expos one of the Cardinals’ top three pitching prospects: Alan Benes, Brian Barber or John Frascatore.

Said Torre: “This shows how serious we are. It’s very exciting to me that the Cardinals have gone out and established themselves as helping the club _ right now. That should put to rest any question about the desire of the Cardinals to win.”

First time around

Hill was a prospect in the Tigers’ minor-league system when the Cardinals acquired him and first baseman Mike Laga from Detroit for catcher Mike Heath on Aug. 10, 1986.

Hill made his big-league debut with St. Louis in 1988. In four seasons with the Cardinals, Hill was 23-32. According to catcher Tom Pagnozzi, Hill and pitching coach Joe Coleman “didn’t get along.”

After the 1991 season, Cardinals general manager Dal Maxvill sought to acquire Expos first baseman Andres Galarraga. The Expos wanted pitcher Rheal Cormier, a Canadian, in return. Maxvill refused and instead offered Hill. The Expos accepted.

The deal was a bust for St. Louis. Plagued by injuries, Galarraga was limited to 95 games and hit .243 with 10 home runs and 39 RBI for the 1992 Cardinals. A free agent, he departed for the Rockies after the season. Hill had 16 wins for the 1992 Expos. In three years with Montreal, Hill was 41-21.

When Jocketty brought back Hill to St. Louis, it was as if a wrong had been righted.

Welcome back

“The Cardinals made belated amends for one of their worst trades in recent years,” Rick Hummel wrote in the Post-Dispatch.

Hummel’s colleague, Bernie Miklasz, opined, “Walt Jocketty needed one long distance phone call to erase one of Dal Maxvill’s worst mistakes.”

In The Sporting News, Bob Nightengale offered, “The Cardinals, always regretting they traded Hill … made up by stealing Hill back.”

Hill returned to find Mark Riggins had replaced Coleman and that Bob Gibson had been added to the coaching staff. Riggins had coached Hill in the minors.

“I never didn’t like Hill,” Torre said after the pitcher was reacquired. “I’ve always had a good opinion of him. I just thought he was a little casual at times. But he’s grown up since then.”

Said Hill: “I love the deal … I couldn’t stand it when they (the Cardinals) traded me out. But I think that change of scenery helped.”

Pitching potential

The 1994 Cardinals had tied with the Rockies for the worst ERA in the league at 5.15. With Hill and Jackson joining the rotation, hopes were high for the 1995 St. Louis staff.

“Suddenly, the 1995 Cardinals have the ingredients for a fine starting rotation _ just as Jocketty had promised,” wrote Miklasz.

Hill won his first four decisions for the 1995 Cardinals, then lost his next four in a row. He said he wasn’t happy with Pagnozzi as his catcher. He asked to be traded to a contender.

Hill had a 6-7 record and 5.06 ERA when he was traded again by the Cardinals on July 27, 1995, to the Indians for infielder David Bell, pitcher Rick Heiserman and catcher Pepe McNeal.

“I was not happy with his performance or with his attitude,” Jocketty said of Hill in explaining the trade to the Post-Dispatch.

In two stints with St. Louis over five seasons, Hill was 29-39 with a 4.23 ERA. He pitched in the big leagues until 2001. In 14 years with the Cardinals, Expos, Indians, Rangers, Angels, White Sox and Rays, Hill was 117-109 with a 4.06 ERA.

Previously: Cardinals rookie pitchers tested Joe Torre in 1994

Previously: How David Bell rang up a special Cardinals home run

Read Full Post »

Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton appeared together in a regular-season game as Cardinals just three times. Two of those games represented milestones for Carlton: his big-league debut and his first major-league save.

jim_landisGibson and Carlton, both elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, played in a combined 718 regular-season games for St. Louis. In the three in which they pitched together, Gibson started and Carlton relieved. The Cardinals won just one of those.

Fit to be tied

The first time Gibson and Carlton appeared together in a Cardinals regular-season game was April 12, 1965, the season opener for the defending World Series champions against the Cubs at Chicago.

Gibson started and was lifted after yielding five runs in 3.1 innings.

In the 11th, with the score tied at 10-10, the Cubs had Ron Santo on second with one out. George Altman, a lefthanded-hitting slugger and former Cardinal, was up next.

Red Schoendienst, in his regular-season debut as Cardinals manager, lifted Barney Schultz, a right-hander, and brought in Carlton, a left-hander, to face Altman.

Carlton, 20, making his big-league debut, walked Altman.

Schoendienst then brought in Bob Purkey, who got out of the jam without allowing a run.

At that point, the game was called because of darkness, ending in a tie. All the statistics counted. Boxscore

Mopping up

Four months later, on Aug. 25, 1965, Gibson started against the Cubs at St. Louis. He gave up six runs in seven innings.

With the Cubs ahead, 6-1, Carlton relieved and pitched two scoreless innings. The Cubs won, 6-3.

Joey Amalfitano, a career .244 hitter, had a single off Gibson and a single off Carlton, becoming the first batter to get hits off both Cardinals in the same regular-season game. Boxscore

Carlton a closer

Entering the 1967 season, Schoendienst told The Sporting News, “We now have men like Dick Hughes, Steve Carlton and Nellie Briles, who can start or relieve. In fact, I’d say only Bob Gibson and Ray Washburn would have to be regarded strictly as starters.”

On April 16, 1967, Gibson started against the Astros at St. Louis against former teammate Mike Cuellar. Lou Brock hit a pair of solo home runs off Cuellar and the Cardinals built leads of 5-0 and 7-3. Gibson, though, wasn’t sharp.

“Gibson admitted he did not have anything today and that he was struggling throughout,” wrote Tom McNamara of the Edwardsville (Ill.) Intelligencer.

The Astros, paced by John Bateman’s two-run home run, scored four in the sixth off Gibson, tying the score at 7-7. The Cardinals regained the lead, 8-7, in the bottom half of the inning on an Orlando Cepeda home run off Carroll Sembera.

After Jim Landis led off the seventh with a double against Gibson, Schoendienst removed his ace and replaced him with Carlton, making his first appearance of the season.

Carlton retired Joe Morgan on a fly out and struck out Jimmy Wynn and Eddie Mathews, stranding Landis. Like Carlton, Morgan and Mathews were destined for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Cardinals scored three off Turk Farrell in the bottom of the seventh, extending their lead to 11-7.

In the eighth, Carlton struck out the first two batters, Bob Aspromonte and Aaron Pointer, giving him four consecutive strikeouts, before getting Bateman to ground out.

The Astros scored a run in the ninth off Carlton. The key hit in the inning was a Landis double.

Landis, a career .247 hitter, joined Amalfitano as the only batters to get hits off Gibson and Carlton in the same regular-season game.

Carlton earned the save for Gibson in an 11-8 Cardinals victory. Carlton’s line: 3 innings, 1 run, 1 hit, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts. Boxscore

Carlton would earn 329 big-league wins but only two saves. His second came 20 years after his first.

On April 9, 1987, in his first regular-season appearance for the Indians, Carlton, 42, got the save with four shutout innings in relief of Phil Niekro, 48, in a 14-3 Cleveland victory over the Blue Jays at Toronto. Boxscore

Previously: Lou Brock sizzled to start season much like Matt Kemp

Previously: How Chase Riddle got Steve Carlton for Cardinals

Read Full Post »

Instead of working with established big-leaguers such as Donovan Osborne or Mark Petkovsek, Bob Gibson spent the spring training of 1995 teaching basic grips to pitchers who normally would have had no chance to be in a Cardinals camp.

joe_torre6Twenty years ago, spring training was an odd, depressing experience _ rather than a time of renewal and hope _ for the Cardinals and the other big-league teams because of the labor dispute between players and owners.

The players’ strike that began in August 1994 carried into spring training 1995. None of the players on the Cardinals’ big-league roster reported to camp at St. Petersburg, Fla. Instead, the Cardinals, like other clubs, brought in replacement players.

Hall of Fame helper

Manager Joe Torre and his staff were required to train the replacement players, with the intent of having them ready to open the regular season on April 3.

Gibson, the Hall of Fame pitcher who had carried the Cardinals to two World Series championships, had been hired by Torre to be a Cardinals coach for the first (and only) time in his career.

Replacement player Paul Anderson, 26, a right-hander who was a combined 4-6 with a 6.65 ERA for two Cardinals farm clubs in 1994, asked Gibson for assistance in learning the proper grip to throw a slider.

“I was doing it wrong, so I did it the way he taught me,” Anderson told Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I like it a lot better. I’m learning from the best.”

Scribe and rejects

The 55-player Cardinals replacement team at training camp had no one who had appeared in a major-league game.

In the Cardinals’ exhibition opener against the Indians on March 4 at St. Petersburg, Mike Hinkle started and pitched three scoreless innings for St. Louis. Hinkle, 29, had last played professional baseball in Italy in 1993.

Outfielder Doug Radziewicz, 25, an aspiring journalist who was filing reports from camp for his hometown newspaper in Somerville, N.J., drove in the winning run with a pinch-hit single in the eighth, lifting the Cardinals to a 4-2 victory.

“You can’t judge baseball from one day, but it was well-played,” Torre said after the game. “The thing you’re concerned with is that playing for the first time they’re a little in awe.”

Walt Jocketty, hired in October 1994 to replace Dal Maxvill as general manager, was asked what it was like to watch replacement players instead of big-leaguers in his first Cardinals spring training game. “As long as I’ve got Joe (Torre) here, we can hold hands and go through this together,” Jocketty said.

Wrote Hummel: “There were no pickets, as the striking players earlier had advertised, which was good because the minor leaguers were nervous enough as it was. The clubhouse was very quiet before the game.”

Fans, though, missed seeing the big-league players. Hummel reported the Cardinals were averaging 1,470 tickets sold per exhibition game instead of the usual 5,000. In March, 54 percent of respondents to a Post-Dispatch poll said they probably or absolutely wouldn’t pay to see a game played by replacements.

Chasing a dream

Still, the Cardinals broke camp with a roster of 32 replacement players, intending to open the season with them.

Anderson, Hinkle and Radziewicz were on the Opening Day roster. In a late move, the Cardinals also had acquired Glenn Sutko, a catcher who had a hit in 10 at-bats for the 1991 Reds.

Among other replacement Cardinals on the Opening Day roster:

_ Ty Griffin, second baseman. A No. 1 pick of the Cubs in the 1988 amateur draft, Griffin also had played for the U.S. Olympic baseball team. He flopped in the Cubs system and spent the 1994 season with a pair of independent league teams.

_ Larry Shikles, starting pitcher. In eight seasons in the minor league systems of the Red Sox and Athletics, the right-hander compiled a 70-68 record.

_ Howard Prager, first baseman. He hit .239 for the Cardinals’ Class AAA Louisville club in 1994.

_ John “Skeets” Thomas, outfielder. He slugged 17 home runs for Louisville in 1994.

_ Tony Diggs, outfielder. A sixth-round draft choice of the Brewers in 1989, Diggs hit .215 for the Cardinals’ Class AA Arkansas team in 1994.

_ Anthony Lewis, outfielder. An eighth-round draft pick of the Cardinals in 1989, Lewis hit a combined .230 for two St. Louis farm clubs in 1994.

“We went with the players on the morning side of the mountain rather than the twilight side of the hill,” Torre said, explaining why the Cardinals (with the exception of Sutko) chose players without big-league experience.

On April 2, 1995, the day before the season was to open, the 234-day strike ended. The season opener was moved to April 26; spring training was re-opened for players on big-league rosters. The replacement players either were assigned to the minors or released.

Said Torre: “It feels weird starting all over again.”

Previously: Ted Simmons helped put pal Joe Torre on path to Hall of Fame

Previously: George Kissell, Cardinals inspired Joe Torre to be manager

Previously: Jerry Reuss on Joe Torre: He managed Cardinals on field

Read Full Post »

Disheartened by what he described as an erosion of his spirit and altering of his personality, Rick Ankiel ignored the skeptics and boldly made a decision that was best for him and his baseball career.

rick_ankiel7Ten years ago, on March 9, 2005, Ankiel shocked the Cardinals by informing them he was transforming from a pitcher to an outfielder.

At age 25, Ankiel had entered 2005 spring training at Jupiter, Fla., as a strong candidate to earn a Cardinals roster spot as a left-handed reliever. He seemed poised to be the feel-good story of the Cardinals camp.

After posting an 11-7 record with 194 strikeouts in 175 innings in 2000, Ankiel experienced a meltdown in the postseason against the Braves and Mets (nine wild pitches and 11 walks in four innings). He pitched briefly for the 2001 Cardinals, then suffered a series of elbow injuries before returning to the big leagues with St. Louis as a reliever in September 2004.

Ankiel pitched in the Puerto Rico winter league after the 2004 Cardinals season, but cut short his stay there after experiencing a twinge in his left elbow. When he got to Cardinals camp in February 2005, his throwing sessions were erratic.

Change of plans

On March 8, 2005, the day before he was scheduled to make his spring training debut against the Marlins in a morning B squad game, Ankiel approached Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and informed him he was planning to end his pitching career and become an outfielder. La Russa urged Ankiel to think about it before making an announcement.

The next day, the B squad game was called off because of rain. Afterward, Ankiel was spotted taking indoor batting practice off pitches from Cardinals scout Jim Leyland. In a hastily called press conference, Ankiel then announced his plans.

“The frustration of not being effective, not being able to go out there and replicate my mechanics, and the way it affected me off the field, wasn’t worth it,” Ankiel said to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “The reward wasn’t there. I feel relieved now. It’s time to move on.

“This whole time, the frustration has built up. It seemed like it was eroding my spirit and affecting my personality off the field as well. It just became apparent it was time for me to move on and become an outfielder.”

Ankiel’s agent, Scott Boras, said, “This isn’t an emotional decision. He’s given this a good deal of time.’

Strauss wrote that Ankiel’s decision “stunned many within the Cardinals’ clubhouse.”

The Cardinals were supportive of Ankiel. The media mocked him.

“Ongoing head case”

Bernie Miklasz, Post-Dispatch columnist: “The Cardinals wasted too much time, and emotion, in the lost cause that is Rick Ankiel. And now, as the organization recoils from Ankiel’s stunning surrender in his mission of regaining a foothold on the mound, the Cardinals are going to baby him one more time … It is time to stop treating Ankiel’s ongoing head case as if he’s a charity case … It’s time to let Ankiel move on with his life. The Cardinals did their part. Now they need to get out of the day care business.”

Rob Neyer, baseball analyst for ESPN.com: “He’s immensely talented, but almost certainly not talented enough to hit major-league pitching with any sort of consistency.”

Road to redemption

As a Cardinals pitcher, Ankiel hit .207 (18-for-87) with two home runs and nine RBI. He hadn’t played the outfield since his senior year at Port St. Lucie High School in Florida.

The day after Ankiel announced his decision to quit pitching, he began receiving instruction from coach Dave McKay on outfield play and from coach Hal McRae on hitting. It was the start of an incredible journey on the road to redemption.

Out of options with the Cardinals, Ankiel could have been chosen on waivers by any of the other 29 big-league clubs before he was sent to the minors by the Cardinals in the spring of 2005. No one claimed him.

Ankiel spent 2005 in the minors, sat out 2006 because of a knee injury and hit 32 home runs in 102 games for Class AAA Memphis in 2007. On Aug. 9, 2007, he returned to the Cardinals as an outfielder and hit a home run against the Padres. Boxscore

Ankiel hit .285 with 11 home runs and 39 RBI in 47 games for the 2007 Cardinals. The next year, he slugged 25 home runs for St. Louis.

From 2007-2013, Ankiel was an outfielder for the Cardinals, Royals, Braves, Nationals, Astros and Mets.

In 2010, a decade after his wild streak against the Braves in the National League Division Series, he hit a home run for them in the NL Division Series against the Giants. Boxscore Ankiel and Babe Ruth are the only big-league players to both start a postseason game as a pitcher and hit a home run in the postseason as a position player.

Previously: How Rick Ankiel made happy return to St. Louis as pitcher

Previously: Rick Ankiel and his last hurrah as a pitcher

Previously: Pitching or hitting, Rick Ankiel was marvel and mystery

Read Full Post »

As a rookie, Carlos Villanueva almost kept the 2006 Cardinals from qualifying for the postseason and winning their first World Series title in 24 years.

carlos_villanuevaNine years later, Villanueva is competing in spring training for a spot on the pitching staff of the 2015 Cardinals.

On Oct. 1, 2006, the Cardinals entered the final day of the regular season needing a win over the Brewers at St. Louis or an Astros loss to the Braves in Atlanta to clinch outright the National League Central Division title. If the Cardinals lost and the Astros won, the Cardinals would need to win a regular-season makeup game against the Giants to clinch the division title and avoid a one-game playoff with the Astros to advance to the National League Division Series against the Padres.

Rookie starters

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa gambled and started rookie Anthony Reyes against the Brewers on only three days of rest, choosing to hold back Chris Carpenter in the hope St. Louis would clinch the division crown versus Milwaukee and have their ace available for Game 1 of the NL Division Series.

Brewers manager Ned Yost chose Villanueva as his starter. In his fourth big-league start, Villanueva had faced the Cardinals for the first time on Sept. 20 at Milwaukee and pitched seven scoreless innings in a 1-0 Brewers victory. Boxscore

Reyes flopped. The Brewers scored four in the first on a two-run home run by Prince Fielder, a solo home run by Geoff Jenkins and a RBI-single by David Bell (who is the bench coach for the 2015 Cardinals). Reyes was lifted before he could complete the opening inning.

Keep me in, coach

Given a 4-0 lead, Villanueva first faced Cardinals leadoff batter Aaron Miles. who “smacked a sharp one-hopper off Villanueva’s pitching hand,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

“It felt bad,” Villanueva said.

Yost went to the mound and asked his right-hander, “How are you doing?”

“Of course, I said, ‘I’m doing great,’ ” Villanueva said.

In truth, the hand throbbed.

Said Yost: “I came close to taking him out. He couldn’t even swing a bat. I kept an eye on him and if I noticed a drop-off in effectiveness I would have taken him out. But I didn’t see it.”

Villanueva baffled the Cardinals. With each inning, their hopes of beating the Brewers dimmed.

Bailout by Braves

Then, in the fifth, Ronnie Belliard stepped to the plate for St. Louis and a roar erupted from the Busch Stadium crowd as the final from Atlanta was posted: Braves 3, Astros 1. The Braves had prevailed behind six shutout innings from starter John Smoltz and a home run by Jeff Francoeur. Boxscore

The loss by the Astros meant the Cardinals had clinched the division title, regardless of the outcome of their game with the Brewers.

As fans cheered in appreciation, Villanueva stepped off the mound and Belliard stepped away from the plate. Derryl Cousins, the home plate umpire, motioned for the game to resume, but Villanueva lingered, letting “the celebration last a few more seconds,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

“I wanted to give them their moment,” Villanueva said. “I knew what was going on.”

Drama in ninth

Villanueva shut out the Cardinals through eight innings, extending his scoreless streak against them to 15 innings over two starts.

In the bottom of the ninth, with the Brewers ahead, 5-0, Villanueva got Miles to fly out to right. Then, the Cardinals thundered to life. Chris Duncan launched a 414-foot home run. Albert Pujols followed with a 424-foot shot.

Francisco Cordero relieved and struck out Preston Wilson, but Scott Spiezio followed with a home run, cutting the deficit to two. Cordero then ended the drama _ and the regular season _ by striking out Juan Encarnacion, preserving a 5-3 victory for Villanueva and the Brewers. Boxscore

Unfazed, the Cardinals regrouped and beat the Padres in the NL Division Series, the Mets in the NL Championship Series and the Tigers in the World Series.

Villanueva went on to pitch for nine big-league seasons with the Brewers, Blue Jays and Cubs. He never pitched a complete game and only once matched the 8.1 innings he pitched against the Cardinals.

Previously: 2006 was critical to Tony La Russa earning Hall of Fame status

Read Full Post »

With the 2015 Cardinals, John Lackey is hoping to become the 16th big-leaguer to play for three different franchises in World Series championship seasons.

john_lackeyLackey pitched for the 2002 Angels and 2013 Red Sox clubs that won World Series titles.

Only three players _ pitchers Lew Burdette and Steve Carlton and outfielder Lonnie Smith _ can count the Cardinals as one of three franchises they played for in World Series championship years.

Lackey, entering his first full season with St. Louis after being acquired from the Red Sox on July 31, 2014, would join them if the Cardinals win the 2015 World Series title.

After posting a 3-3 record and 4.30 ERA in 10 starts for the 2014 Cardinals, Lackey, 36, is expected to be one of the five starters for the 2015 Cardinals.

As a rookie with the 2002 Angels, Lackey was 9-4 with a 3.66 ERA in 18 starts. He was the starting and winning pitcher in Game 7 of the 2002 World Series versus the Giants. Boxscore

Eleven years later, Lackey was 10-13 with a 3.52 ERA in 29 starts for the 2013 Red Sox. He was the starting and winning pitcher in the decisive Game 6 of the 2013 World Series versus the Cardinals. Boxscore (The Cardinals beat him in Game 2.)

A look at the trio that played for three different franchises, including the Cardinals, in World Series championship years:

Lew Burdette

_ 1950 Yankees: As a rookie, Burdette, 23, pitched in two games for the 1950 Yankees but didn’t play in the World Series. The Yankees swept the Phillies.

_ 1957 Braves: Burdette was 17-9 with a 3.72 ERA for the 1957 Braves. In the World Series against the Yankees, he was 3-0 with an 0.67 ERA, yielding two earned runs in 27 innings. Burdette pitched shutouts in Games 5 and 7.

_ 1964 Cardinals: Burdette, 37, made eight relief appearances for St. Louis, posting a 1-0 record and 1.80 ERA, before being dealt to the Cubs for pitcher Glen Hobbie on June 2, 1964. Burdette’s lone win was important to the Cardinals, who finished a game ahead of both the Phillies and Reds before winning the World Series championship in seven games against the Yankees.

Steve Carlton

_ 1967 Cardinals: In his first full Cardinals season, Carlton, 22, was 14-9 with a 2.98 ERA. In his only appearance in the 1967 World Series versus the Red Sox, he was the losing pitcher in Game 5, even though he yielded just three hits and an unearned run in six innings. The Cardinals won the championship in seven games.

_ 1980 Phillies: Carlton won the 1980 Cy Young Award, with a 24-9 record and 2.34 ERA. In the 1980 World Series versus the Royals, Carlton was 2-0 with a 2.40 ERA. He won Game 2 and the decisive Game 6.

_ 1987 Twins: On July 31, 1987, Carlton, 42, was traded by the Indians to the Twins for minor-league pitcher and former Cardinals prospect Jeff Perry. Carlton was 1-5 with a 6.70 ERA for the Twins and didn’t pitch in the postseason. Still, he earned a World Series ring when the Twins beat the Cardinals in seven games.

Lonnie Smith

_ 1980 Phillies: In his first full big-league season, Smith hit .339 and had 33 stolen bases in 100 games for the 1980 Phillies. He batted .263 in the World Series. The Phillies won in six games versus the Royals.

_ 1982 Cardinals: Traded by the Phillies to the Cardinals as part of a three-way deal with the Indians on Nov. 20, 1981 (St. Louis sent pitchers Lary Sorensen and Silvio Martinez to Cleveland), Smith ignited the Cardinals’ offense in 1982, batting .307 with 182 hits in 156 games, scoring 120 runs and stealing 68 bases.

In the 1982 World Series versus the Brewers, Smith hit .321 (9-for-28) with four doubles and six runs scored. The Cardinals won the title in seven games.

_ 1985 Royals: To make room for rookie Vince Coleman in left field, the Cardinals traded Smith to the Royals for outfielder John Morris on May 17, 1985. Smith hit .257 with 40 stolen bases for the Royals.

In the 1985 World Series against the Cardinals, Smith batted .333 (9-for-27) and had four RBI. The Royals beat the Cardinals in seven games.

Smith played for a fourth franchise, the Braves, in the 1991 and 1992 World Series, but the Twins and Blue Jays won the championships in those years.

3 rings, 3 franchises

Here, in alphabetical order, are the 12 others joining Burdette, Carlton and Smith in playing for three different franchises in World Series championship years:

_ Nick Altrock, pitcher: 1903 Red Sox, 1906 White Sox, 1924 Senators.

_ George Burns, first baseman: 1920 Indians, 1928 Yankees, 1929 Athletics.

_ Joe Bush, pitcher: 1913 Athletics, 1918 Red Sox, 1923 Yankees.

_ Jay Johnstone, outfielder: 1973 Athletics, 1978 Yankees, 1981 Dodgers.

_ Mike Lowell, third baseman: 1998 Yankees, 2003 Marlins, 2007 Red Sox.

_ Dolf Luque, pitcher: 1914 Braves, 1919 Reds, 1933 Giants.

_ Stuffy McInnis, first baseman: 1910-11-13 Athletics, 1918 Red Sox, 1925 Pirates.

_ Jack Morris, pitcher: 1984 Tigers, 1991 Twins, 1992-93 Blue Jays.

_ Herb Pennock, pitcher: 1913 Athletics, 1915-16 Red Sox, 1923-27-28-32 Yankees.

_ Luis Polonia, outfielder: 1989 Athletics, 1995 Braves, 2000 Yankees.

_ Wally Schang, catcher: 1913-30 Athletics, 1918 Red Sox, 1923 Yankees.

_ Dave Stewart, pitcher: 1981 Dodgers, 1989 Athletics, 1993 Blue Jays.

Previously: How Lonnie Smith came clean with the Cardinals

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 48 other followers