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Dubbed by Sports Illustrated as the “busiest and brainiest relief pitcher in baseball,” Mike Marshall usually was effective against the Cardinals, but they also had some spectacular successes, twice beating him with walkoff home runs.

A right-hander with remarkable stamina, Marshall was the first relief pitcher to win a Cy Young Award. It happened in 1974, when he pitched for the Dodgers in 106 games, a major-league record for most appearances in a season by a pitcher.

A student of body movement who earned a doctorate in exercise physiology, Marshall developed an approach that enabled him to pitch often and well throughout most of the 1970s. An innovator, educator and baseball rebel, he died May 31, 2021, at 78.

Changing course

At age 11, Marshall was a passenger in a car that was struck by a train near his home in Adrian, Mich. Marshall’s uncle was killed in the accident and Marshall suffered a back injury, according to Sports Illustrated.

Despite an aching back, Marshall became a standout high school athlete in multiple sports, including as a baseball shortstop. He was 17 when he signed with the Phillies in September 1960.

While playing shortstop in the Phillies’ farm system, Marshall enrolled at Michigan State and attended classes during the baseball off-seasons.

Marshall hit for average in the minors, but his back bothered him, making it difficult for him to field grounders, and he told the Phillies he wanted to pitch, the Detroit News reported.

Marshall had a 3.39 ERA in 44 games for Phillies farm clubs in 1965. The Tigers purchased his contract in April 1966 and brought him to the big leagues in 1967. He pitched for the Seattle Pilots, an American League expansion team, in 1969 and the Astros in 1970. 

At Michigan State, Marshall earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1965 and a master’s degree in 1967. His mentor was William Heusner, a professor in kinesiology, the study of body movement. Heusner made Marshall an assistant, giving him a chance to teach.

Describing himself as an educator first and ballplayer second, Marshall told The Sporting News that as a teacher, “I feel I am performing a function that makes me feel vital as a human being.”

Marshall’s academic work helped him develop an approach to pitching. He taught himself to throw a screwball without straining his arm, but the Tigers, Pilots and Astros prohibited him from throwing the pitch.

“Those three were linked by a common denominator of insecurity,” Marshall told The Sporting News. “They couldn’t accept someone trying anything different, or admit that another man’s way might be right.”

Good match

Marshall’s baseball career took an upturn in June 1970 when the Astros traded him to the Expos. Gene Mauch was Expos manager and he encouraged Marshall to throw the screwball.

“It was Mauch who allowed Marshall to develop the concepts, the artistry, the free expression Marshall exhibits on the mound,” The Sporting News noted.

Marshall said, “Our relationship was poetry. I felt we talked as peers.”

Mauch showed faith and patience. Marshall was 3-7 with the 1970 Expos. The first time he faced the Cardinals was as a starter on Aug. 8 and he gave up five runs in 2.1 innings. Boxscore

The turning point came the next year when Marshall focused on relieving and earned 23 saves for the 1971 Expos.

“I’d say 1971 was my most satisfying season,” Marshall told The Sporting News. “That was the year I realized I was a major-league player.”

Marshall had a spectacular August for the 1971 Expos, with five saves and an 0.83 ERA, but suffered a setback against the Cardinals in September.

On Sept. 24, 1971, Joe Hague hit a walkoff grand slam against Marshall in the 10th inning, giving the Cardinals a 10-6 victory. It was the first walkoff home run allowed by Marshall in the majors. Boxscore

Head of the class

In the next two seasons with the Expos, Marshall had 14 wins, 18 saves and a 1.78 ERA in 1972, and 14 wins, a league-leading 31 saves and a 2.66 ERA in 1973. He led the league in games pitched _ 65 in 1972 and 92 in 1973.

During those two seasons, Marshall either won or saved 77 of the Expos’ 149 victories.

The Sporting News noted, “Marshall has revolutionized the thinking about relief pitchers, about their conditioning, about their concepts while on the mound.

“He has applied his understanding of kinesiology to the screwball, which he can make move in more than one direction, and to a conditioning program that makes it possible for him to pitch with a frequency and consistency that is beyond the capabilities of all other pitchers.”

Speaking out

After the 1973 season, Marshall was named Expos player of the year by the Montreal chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. The honor came with a $5,000 check from O’Keefe Brewery, a sponsor of Expos games, but Marshall refused to accept the money.

“I don’t feel I should compete against my own teammates for money like this,” Marshall said to The Sporting News.

Marshall requested in writing that the brewery donate the money to sickle cell anemia research. When he learned the brewery instead gave the $5,000 to an amateur baseball program, Marshall objected and pressured the brewery to honor his request, The Sporting News reported.

Marshall created another controversy when, in an interview with a Michigan reporter, he criticized the Expos’ defensive play.

“Who the hell wants to go back and pitch for that defense any more?” Marshall said. “Second base was terrible. There’s no way we can play another year with Ron Hunt … Third base was terrible. We have absolutely no defense with Bob Bailey. Zero. You can put a high school kid out there and get the same production out of our defense.”

Marshall apologized, but the controversies lingered. Described by Sports Illustrated as a “brooding intellectual of the bullpen” with a “mantle of Kierkegaardian gloom,” Marshall was traded by the Expos to the Dodgers for outfielder Willie Davis in December 1973.

Special season

Dodgers manager Walter Alston let Marshall pitch as much as he wanted. Marshall pitched in 13 consecutive Dodgers games and was 6-0 with two saves and 1.67 ERA in that stretch.

“What he has done is against everything that I ever felt was physically possible,” Dodgers pitcher Jim Brewer told The Sporting News.

Another Dodgers pitcher, Andy Messersmith, said to Sports Illustrated, “He’s a unique and complex individual. There is no one like him in this game. He’s small and rotund, but I haven’t seen anything athletic he can’t do if he puts his mind to it. I’ve never known Mike to go into anything, even Frisbee throwing, without some thought about the muscles involved.”

Marshall was 15-12 with a 2.42 ERA for the 1974 Dodgers and led the league in games pitched (106) and saves (21). He pitched 208.1 innings in relief. The Dodgers won the pennant, and in the World Series against the Athletics, Marshall pitched in all five games, allowing one run in nine innings. Video

Sports Illustrated said of the 1974 National League Cy Young Award winner: “It is his knowledge of his own body, its strengths and limitations, that allows him to pitch in as many as 100 games a season.”

Magic numbers

At his peak, Marshall was dominant against the Cardinals, with ERAs of 1.10 in 1972, 1.69 in 1973 and 1.06 in 1974. In 1976, Marshall made three appearances versus the Cardinals and got wins in all three, posting a 1.08 ERA.

After being traded by the Dodgers in June 1976, Marshall pitched for the Braves, Rangers, Twins and Mets. With the Twins, he was reunited with Mauch and was the American League leader in saves (32) and games pitched (90) in 1979.

In 96 career innings versus the Cardinals, Marshall gave up only two home runs to them. The first was the walkoff grand slam by Joe Hague in 1971. The other came in Marshall’s final season, 1981, with the Mets.

On Sept. 12, 1981, Julio Gonzalez hit a two-run walkoff homer run versus Marshall in the 13th inning, giving the Cardinals a 4-2 triumph. It was Gonzalez’s first homer in the big leagues in three years. Boxscore

Marshall finished with a career record of 97-112 and 188 saves. Against the Cardinals, he was 6-7 with 33 saves.

Marshall is one of five pitchers to pitch in 90 or more games in a big-league season. The list:

_ Mike Marshall: 106 (1974 Dodgers), 92 (1973 Expos) and 90 (1979 Twins).

_ Kent Tekulve: 94 (1979 Pirates), 91 (1978 Pirates), 90 (1987 Phillies).

_ Salomon Torres: 94 (2006 Pirates).

_ Pedro Feliciano: 92 (2010 Mets).

_ Wayne Granger: 90 (1969 Reds).

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When his arm was sound, Ernie White had the talent to be an ace on the Cardinals’ pitching staff.

Eighty years ago, in June 1941, White pitched consecutive two-hit shutouts for the Cardinals against the Dodgers and Giants.

The back-to-back gems were the centerpieces in a stretch of 27.2 scoreless innings pitched by White, a left-hander who threw hard with an easy motion.

White earned 17 wins for the 1941 Cardinals, but arm ailments kept him from ever having another double-digit win season.

Turning pro

In 1937, White, 20, was pitching for a textile mill team in his native South Carolina when he was discovered and signed by Cardinals scout Frank Rickey, brother of club executive Branch Rickey, according to the Society for American Baseball Research.

White made his Cardinals debut in 1940 and was a prominent part of the pitching staff in 1941.

Besides White, the 1941 Cardinals pitching staff for manager Billy Southworth included Lon Warneke, Mort Cooper, Max Lanier, Harry Gumbert and Howie Krist. All posted double-digit win totals for the 1941 Cardinals.

On June 7, 1941, the Cardinals started Sam Nahem against the Giants at the Polo Grounds. A New York native, Nahem had a law degree from St. John’s University and enjoyed classical music and literature.

A right-hander, Nahem gave up three runs and was relieved by White with none out in the second. Referring to Nahem as the “boy lawyer,” J. Roy Stockton of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote dismissively, “The Brooklyn barrister didn’t have his usual stuff. Southworth told Sam to spend the rest of the afternoon reading, or something.”

White pitched eight scoreless innings of relief and got the win as the Cardinals prevailed, 11-3. Boxscore

Right stuff

White’s next appearance came on June 15 in a start versus the Dodgers in the second game of a doubleheader at St. Louis.

With two outs and none on in the third inning, pitcher Hugh Casey doubled for the Dodgers’ first hit of the game. White hit Pee Wee Reese with a pitch and walked Billy Herman, loading the bases.

“Ernie was plainly rattled,” W. Vernon Tietjen of the St. Louis Star-Times observed.

Up next was Pete Reiser, who hit a hard grounder to the right side toward Don Padgett, a hulking catcher and outfielder who was making a rare start at first base.

“Padgett threw his 215 pounds at the ball, stuck out his glove and, sure enough, when he picked himself up the ball was stuck in it,” Tietjen wrote in the Star-Times.

Padgett tossed to White, covering first, for “a sensational putout.”

In the bottom half of the third, White doubled, sparking a three-run Cardinals uprising.

White allowed one other hit, a double by Reese in the sixth, and finished with a two-hit shutout in the Cardinals’ 3-0 victory. Boxscore

Special talent

The shutout of the Dodgers ran White’s scoreless innings streak to 17.

His next appearance came June 21 in a start versus the Giants at St. Louis. White pitched another two-hit shutout. The Giants’ hits were singles by Billy Jurges in the second and Mel Ott in the fourth.

In the sixth, White stroked a RBI-single against Bill Lohrman, “a drive that took Lohrman’s cap right off his head and made him wonder, no doubt, if perhaps he wasn’t wearing his protective helmet during the wrong part of the game,” the Post-Dispatch noted. Boxscore

Four days later, on June 25, White started against manager Casey Stengel’s Braves at St. Louis.

In the second, with two outs and Braves runners on second and third, Sibby Sisti grounded a ball just out of the reach of second baseman Creepy Crespi. The hit scored both runners, ending White’s scoreless streak at 27.2 innings.

White held the Braves scoreless in the last seven innings and got the win as the Cardinals triumphed, 6-2. White also drove in one of the Cardinals’ runs with a sacrifice fly.

The win boosted White’s record for the season to 5-1 and kept the Cardinals in first place, a half-game ahead of the Dodgers. Boxscore

In the Star-Times, W. Vernon Tietjen wrote, “Everybody knows baseball pennants are rarely, if ever, won without a Paul Derringer or Bucky Walters, a Dizzy Dean, a Carl Hubbell or a Red Ruffing. Everybody knows, too, that the Cardinals are still leading this race without a substantial facsimile thereof. A good many persons strongly suspect, however, that the Cardinals have one in the making in Ernest Daniel White.”

White “has all the attributes of pitching greatness,” Tietjen declared. “His fastball, delivered with no more apparent effort than a warmup pitch, leaves batters wondering where it went.”

Career curtailed

The Cardinals (97-56) finished in second place, 2.5 games behind the champion Dodgers (100-54). White was 17-7 and was third in the National League in ERA at 2.40. He had 12 complete games and three shutouts.

An arm ailment sidelined White for part of the 1942 season, but he pitched a shutout in Game 3 of the World Series, leading the Cardinals to a 2-0 victory over the Yankees at New York. The Yankees’ lineup featured four future Hall of Famers: Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Gordon and Phil Rizzuto. Boxscore

According to the Society for American Baseball Research, White was the first pitcher to shut out the Yankees in a World Series game since the Cardinals’ Jesse Haines did it in 1926.

White had a shoulder injury in 1943. He entered the Army in January 1944, fought in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II and was discharged in January 1946.

He returned to baseball, but his arm wasn’t right. The Cardinals released White in May 1946 and he signed with the Braves, rejoining his former Cardinals manager, Billy Southworth. His final season in the majors was 1948 and he departed with a career mark of 30-21 with a 2.78 ERA.

White went on to manage teams in the farm systems of the Braves, Reds, Athletics, Yankees and Mets for 15 seasons.

In 1963, 22 years after his scoreless innings streak ended against Casey Stengel’s Braves, White became a coach on the staff of Stengel’s Mets. 

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Al Santorini was a pitcher who confounded the Cardinals with his up-and-down performances for them.

Fifty years ago, on June 11, 1971, the Cardinals acquired Santorini from the Padres for outfielder Leron Lee and pitcher Fred Norman.

A right-hander, Santorini’s three seasons with the Cardinals were highlighted by the three shutouts he pitched in 1972, but frustrations too often overshadowed the successes. Overall with the Cardinals, Santorini was 8-13.

Prized prospect

A son of a truck driver for Ballantine beer, Santorini was born in Irvington, N.J., and excelled at high school athletics in Union Township, N.J.

Santorini was a standout prep quarterback and bowler, but his best sport was baseball. As a pitcher, his high school record was 35-1. A high school teammate, Elliott Maddox, also went on to play in the majors.

Santorini, 18, was considered a prime prospect entering the June 1966 amateur baseball draft. The Cardinals, with the seventh selection in the first round, drafted Leron Lee. The Phillies had the ninth pick in the first round and their scout, Paul Owens, hoped they’d take Santorini.

“I scouted Santorini quite a bit,” Owens told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He had a great fastball and looked so good that I recommended we select him as No. 1.”

Instead, the Phillies used their first-round pick to draft Mike Biko, a pitcher who never reached the majors.

With the 11th pick in the first round, the Braves chose Santorini and assigned him to the minors. The next year, he underwent an operation on his right elbow.

After posting a 2.68 ERA for Class AA Shreveport in 1968, Santorini was called up by the Braves and made his major-league debut in a start against the Giants on Sept. 10 at Atlanta. The Braves’ starting catcher, Walt Hriniak, also was playing his first game in the majors. The regular catcher, Joe Torre, shifted to first base.

Santorini held the Braves scoreless for two innings, but gave up four runs in the third. The big blow was Willie McCovey’s decisive three-run home run. McCovey never got another hit versus Santorini, finishing 1-for-17 against him in his career. Boxscore

A month later, the Braves failed to protect Santorini in the National League expansion draft and he was picked by the Padres.

Fun and games

In three seasons with the Padres, Santorini was 9-24. He was 0-1 against the Cardinals but with a 2.86 ERA in 28.1 innings.

On May 26, 1971, Santorini started both games of a doubleheader for the Padres against the Astros at San Diego.

In Game 1, Padres manager Preston Gomez thought he would outmaneuver the Astros, who started a lineup of mostly left-handed batters. As Santorini warmed up in the Padres’ bullpen before the game, left-hander Dave Roberts secretly got loose in the San Diego Chargers’ football clubhouse.

“When they saw Santorini warming up, they had all those left-hand hitters ready to hit against him,” Gomez said to the Associated Press.

After Santorini retired leadoff batter Roger Metzger, Roberts relieved. He pitched the remainder of the game, but the Astros won, 2-1. Boxscore

In Game 2, Santorini started, went six innings and gave up four runs. His counterpart, Larry Dierker, pitched a one-hitter and the Astros prevailed, 8-0. Boxscore

Two weeks later, Santorini was dealt to the Cardinals.

Hard to win

Used as both starter and reliever, Santorini was 0-2 with two saves and a 3.81 ERA for the 1971 Cardinals. He had a 2.10 ERA in 14 relief appearances and a 5.62 ERA in five starts. In his first start for the Cardinals, Santorini lost, 1-0, to Don Gullett and the Reds. Boxscore

With the Cardinals, Santorini was reunited with Joe Torre, his former Braves teammate. Helped by weight loss, Torre won the National League Most Valuable Player Award with the Cardinals in 1971. He urged Santorini to lose weight, too.

Santorini went from 202 pounds to 190 after the 1971 season. He and Torre shared an apartment in north St. Louis County at the start of the 1972 season.

“Every time Joe caught me having a high-calorie soft drink or eating anything, he’d call me things like fatso or slob,” Santorini told the Post-Dispatch. “Joe is like a guy who gave up smoking finally and then can’t stand to see anyone else smoking.”

Santorini began the 1972 season as a reliever and spot starter. On April 17, 1972, with his parents in attendance at Philadelphia, Santorini got his first Cardinals win in a relief stint versus the Phillies. Boxscore

The win snapped a streak of 12 consecutive losses for Santorini, dating back to April 1970. “It was beginning to get to me,” Santorini told The Sporting News. “It has to make you wonder some.”

Throwing zeroes

On July 4, 1972, Cardinals starting pitcher Scipio Spinks injured a knee in a plate collision with Reds catcher Johnny Bench and was sidelined for the rest of the season. Santorini (4-6) replaced Spinks in the rotation.

Santorini pitched the first of his three Cardinals shutouts on Aug. 6, 1972, in a 6-0 victory against the Phillies. He told the Philadelphia Daily News his arm stiffened in the sixth inning, “but you don’t want to come out when you’re pitching a shutout.” Boxscore

On Sept. 16, Santorini shut out the Pirates in a 4-0 win. A key moment occurred in the seventh when, with two outs and runners on second and third, Santorini struck out Richie Zisk, a former New Jersey prep rival, on three pitches. “Those were the three hardest pitches I threw all day,” Santorini told the Post-Dispatch. Boxscore

Two weeks later, on Wednesday afternoon Sept. 27 in the Cardinals’ final home game of the season, 3,380 spectators, the smallest crowd to attend a Cardinals game since Busch Memorial Stadium opened in May 1966, watched Santorini spin a shutout in a 4-0 triumph over the Mets.

Santorini threw 149 pitches and struck out a career-high 12 batters, extending his scoreless innings streak to 20.

“My buddies back in New Jersey were probably watching the game on TV, just off the golf course and drunk,” Santorini said to the Post-Dispatch. “They don’t work.” Boxscore

Santorini finished 8-11 with a 4.11 ERA for the 1972 Cardinals.

The next year, he had a 5.50 ERA in six relief appearances when the Cardinals traded him to the Royals for pitcher Tom Murphy on May 8, 1973.

Santorini spent the rest of the 1973 season in the minors. In 1974, he was in the Phillies’ system, but was released in July.

Santorini called the Cardinals and they signed him to pitch for their Tulsa affiliate. “I was lucky to latch onto a club for the remainder of the season,” Santorini told The Sporting News. “I feel I still can do the job in the major leagues as a reliever.”

After posting a 5.57 ERA for manager Ken Boyer’s Tulsa team, Santorini was bypassed when the Cardinals called up players in September. At 26, his pitching career was finished.

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Only one of the 267 career home runs hit by George Hendrick in the big leagues stayed in the park, and it enabled the Cardinals to beat Fernando Valenzuela the first time they faced him.

Forty years ago, on June 11, 1981, Hendrick’s two-run inside-the-park home run against Valenzuela provided the margin of victory in the Cardinals’ 2-1 triumph over the Dodgers at St. Louis.

The next day, major-league players went on strike and play wouldn’t resume for two months.

Dodger in danger

A left-hander with an exceptional screwball, Valenzuela debuted in the majors with the Dodgers as a reliever in September 1980. He earned a spot in the Dodgers’ starting rotation in 1981 and gained national prominence when he won his first eight decisions.

Valenzuela, 20, was scheduled to make his first career appearance against the Cardinals on Thursday, June 11, in the finale of a three-game series at Busch Memorial Stadium.

His first visit to St. Louis was highly anticipated, but it took a dark turn on June 10 when Valenzuela received a death threat. He was taken that night from Busch Memorial Stadium by FBI agents and placed under round-the-clock protection, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Despite the threat, Valenzuela, 20, made his start versus the Cardinals the following night. A crowd of 39,250 turned out for the matchup of Valenzuela (9-3) against the Cardinals’ Silvio Martinez (1-4).

Extra security was provided for Valenzuela because St. Louis police chief Eugene Camp said the FBI had received information of a plot to kidnap the pitcher, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Camp said undercover St. Louis police officers were assigned to keep watch over Valenzuela.

Cardinals capitalize

Those in attendance wouldn’t have known from Valenzuela’s performance that he had been threatened. He pitched with poise and command against the Cardinals.

His only trouble on the field came in the first inning. With two outs and none on, Keith Hernandez coaxed a walk. George Hendrick followed and looped a liner to right field.

“It appeared to be an ordinary single,” the Post-Dispatch noted.

Right fielder Pedro Guerrero charged the ball, hoping for a catch, but it landed five feet in front of him, skipped past him and bounced to the wall. Hernandez and Hendrick circled the bases, giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.

“I thought I had a chance,” Guerrero said to the Los Angeles Times. “I just couldn’t get it. No excuses.”

Valenzuela told the Post-Dispatch, “It was a very strange home run.”

Fulfilling expectations

The Dodgers got a run in the sixth when Ken Landreaux scored from first on Dusty Baker’s two-out double, but Silvio Martinez allowed nothing more. Bruce Sutter relieved with one out in the eighth and shut down the Dodgers the rest of the way, preserving the win, the last for Martinez in the big leagues.

Valenzuela went seven innings, yielding three hits, walking three and striking out nine, before he was relieved. Hendrick’s fluke home run and singles by Gene Tenace and Tito Landrum accounted for the Cardinals’ hits. Boxscore

“Fernando is everything they said he was,” Tenace told the Post-Dispatch. “Besides having tremendous poise, he has four pitches and he’s not afraid to throw any of them in any situation. He has two great screwballs, a hard one and a slow one. He has an excellent curve, plus a good fastball.”

Landrum said, “By having two speeds on his screwball, he really keeps you off balance. One is a kind of fadeaway. The other breaks hard.”

Keith Hernandez added, “He’s got the best screwball I’ve ever seen. The Lord blesses a select few and he was definitely blessed.”

After the game, six men, all of them either police officers or FBI agents, escorted Valenzuela from the ballpark through a private exit, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Silly seasons

The victory moved the Cardinals (30-20) to within 1.5 games of the first-place Phillies (34-21) in the National League East. The players went on strike the next day.

Before play resumed on Aug. 10, baseball declared the games completed before the strike would count as one season, and the games completed after the strike would count as a second season. Those teams with the best division records in each season would advance to the playoffs.

The Phillies were declared champions of the National League East Division in the first season.

Baseball made the decision even though, because of scheduling inconsistencies, all teams were not playing the same amount of games. 

After the strike, the Expos (60-48) finished atop the National League East in the second season and the Cardinals (29-23) placed second.

The Phillies and Expos were the National League East teams that went to the playoffs, even though overall in 1981 the top three records in the division belonged, in order, to the Cardinals (59-43), Expos (60-48) and Phillies (59-48).

The Dodgers, who finished atop the National League West in the first season of 1981, became National League and World Series championships.

Pedro Guerrero overcame his gaffe against the Cardinals and hit .300 for the Dodgers. He was named World Series most valuable player, hitting .333 with two home runs versus the Yankees.

Valenzuela finished 13-7 with eight shutouts in 1981 and won both the National League Cy Young Award and Rookie of the Year Award. He was 1-0 in the World Series, pitching a complete game.

Guerrero and Valenzuela both eventually played for the Cardinals.

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Though it wasn’t unusual for Darryl Kile to hit a batter with a pitch, the number he plunked in a game against the Cardinals was extraordinary, even for him.

Twenty-five years ago, on June 2, 1996, while with the Astros, Kile hit four Cardinals batters with pitches in a game at St. Louis. Three of the four who were struck figured in the scoring, leading to a Cardinals victory.

Kile was the first National League pitcher to pelt four batters with pitches in one game since the Cubs’ Moe Drabowsky did it exactly 29 years earlier, on June 2, 1957, against the Reds. Boxscore

Breaking bad

The Sunday afternoon game between the Astros and Cardinals at Busch Memorial Stadium matched a pair of right-handers, Kile vs. Todd Stottlemyre.

In the second inning, Kile plunked the leadoff batter, Ray Lankford. He moved to second on Gary Gaetti’s single and scored on John Mabry’s hit.

Gaetti was hit by a pitch in the sixth, but the Cardinals didn’t score.

It was a different story in the eighth. With two outs, none on and the Cardinals clinging to a 1-0 lead, Gaetti and Mabry each singled. The next batter, Danny Sheaffer, hitless in his last 10 at-bats, was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. It was the first time in three years Sheaffer got plunked in a major-league game.

Up next was Luis Alicea, the Cardinals’ hot hitter. Alicea had hit a home run in each of his three previous games. With the bases loaded, he dug in, expecting Kile to throw a strike.

“I wanted to get a good rip at it,” Alicea told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I was disappointed because I didn’t even have a chance.”

Kile hit Alicea with a pitch, scoring Gaetti from third and giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.

“I was just trying to make too good a pitch,” Kile told the Associated Press.

Kile said he hit three batters with curveballs. Regarding the two he plunked in the eighth, Kile said, “You just can’t do stuff like that.”

The Astros got a runner to second base with two outs in the ninth, but Stottlemyre got Craig Biggio to pop out to shortstop Royce Clayton, completing the shutout win. Boxscore

Batters beware

Kile hit a league-high 16 batters with pitches in 1996. It was the second time he led the league in most batters hit by pitches. The other was when he plunked 15 in 1993.

After being acquired by the Cardinals in November 1999, Kile twice led the club in most batters hits by pitches (13 in 2000 and eight in 2002) and placed second in 2001 (11).

In 12 years in the majors, Kile hit 117 batters with pitches. By comparison, Bob Gibson, who had a reputation as an intimidator, hit 102 batters with pitches in 17 years. Gibson is the Cardinals franchise leader in that category.

The major-league record for most batters hit by pitches is 277 by Gus Weyhing, who pitched from 1887-1901, including part of the 1900 season with the Cardinals.

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Two years after being named an American League all-star, Richie Scheinblum became a Cardinals pinch-hitter, closing out his big-league playing career.

A switch-hitting outfielder, Scheinblum was acquired by the Cardinals to help in their quest for a division title late in the 1974 season. Scheinblum was adept at pinch-hitting and the Cardinals wanted him solely for that role.

Scheinblum never got to play in the postseason. The Pirates edged out the Cardinals for the 1974 National League East title.

Scheinblum had six at-bats, all as a pinch-hitter, and produced two singles for the Cardinals. After the season, the Cardinals sold his contract to a team in Japan.

Known as much for his dry wit as for his baseball skills, Scheinblum hit .263 in eight seasons in the majors with the Indians, Senators, Royals, Reds, Angels and Cardinals. He died on May 10, 2021, at 78.

Live and learn

As Bob Broeg noted in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Scheinblum was born in the same New York City hospital in which Babe Ruth died and in which scenes for “The Godfather” were filmed.

Describing his early childhood in the Bronx, Scheinblum told The Sporting News, “They tore down my neighborhood to build slums.”

Scheinblum moved with his family to Englewood, N.J. His Little League coach was a woman, Janet Murke, who taught him to hit from either side of the plate, The Sporting News reported.

After graduating from high school, Scheinblum played baseball at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University in Brookville, N.Y., and earned a degree in business administration.

Playing in the Central Illinois Collegiate Summer League, Scheinblum had a job with an ice cube manufacturer.

“We worked from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” Scheinblum told The Sporting News. “We were paid 80 cents an hour for making ice cubes for the Polar Bear Ice Cube Company. They’d wrap two of us in heavy clothes to keep us from freezing and put us in a room where the temperature was 30-below zero.”

Perennial prospect

Scheinblum was 21 when the Indians signed him in 1964 and sent him to the minors. A year later, he made the leap from Class A to the big leagues. Recalling Indians manager Birdie Tebbetts, Scheinblum told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “He used to tell me to go kneel in the on-deck circle until he could think of someone to send up to hit.”

Scheinblum spent most of the next three seasons (1966-68) in the minors. The Sporting News referred to him as “the perennial rookie.”

Lou Piniella also was an Indians outfield prospect. After the 1968 season, the Indians protected Scheinblum, rather than Piniella, from the American League expansion draft.

Scheinblum could hit and throw, but he was neither a graceful fielder nor fast. Asked what gave him the most trouble on defense, Scheinblum told the Kansas City Star, “Everything they hit at me.” Regarding his speed, Scheinblum said, “It takes me five steps to get out of the batter’s box.”

In the Indians’ 1969 spring training opener, Scheinblum “misjudged a fly ball into a triple and fell down fielding a single into a triple,” The Sporting News reported. “He hit an inside-the-park homer, but was called out at third for missing the bag.”

Improbably, Scheinblum began the 1969 season as the Indians’ Opening Day right fielder, batting third in the lineup.

“For four years I’ve been overawed,” he told The Sporting News. “Not anymore.”

He went hitless in his first 34 at-bats.

“The only good thing about playing in Cleveland is you don’t have to make road trips there,” Scheinblum said to Sports Illustrated.

Royal treatment

Demoted to the minors in 1970, Scheinblum hit .337 for Wichita and was dealt after the season to the Senators. Manager Ted Williams had Scheinblum on the 1971 Opening Day roster, but he hit .143 and was sent back to the minors.

“I’ve been sent down more than laundry in a chute,” Scheinblum said to the Los Angeles Times.

Playing for Denver, Scheinblum hit .388 in 106 games. It was the highest batting average in the American Association since Harry Walker hit .393 for the Cardinals’ Columbus farm club in 1951.

The Royals purchased Scheinblum’s contract and he opened the 1972 season with them as a reserve outfielder. In May, after Bob Oliver was traded, Royals manager Bob Lemon platooned Scheinblum and Steve Hovley in right field.

“At first, I was reluctant to go with Scheinblum because I didn’t think he was too good defensively,” Lemon told Sports Illustrated, “but we got to a point where we needed hitting. So I put him in.”

Scheinblum had an unorthodox way he batted. “I pull my head, swing up, and collapse my back leg _ things I shouldn’t do,” Scheinblum said.

The Indians and Senators had tried to change his style, but Royals hitting coach Charlie Lau left him alone. Scheinblum hit .386 in June and took over in right, joining an outfield with Amos Otis in center and former Indians teammate Lou Piniella in left.

“Amos covered everything,” Scheinblum told the Kansas City Star. “I was told to stand on the right field line and don’t move. Lou was told to stand on the left field line and don’t move. What our job was, when the ball was hit, we’d point.”

At the all-star break, the top three hitters in the American League were Scheinblum (.325), Piniella (.319) and Otis (.309). All three were named to the all-star team.

Scheinblum hit .300 for the season and his on-base percentage was .383. He was stunned when the Royals traded him and pitcher Roger Nelson to the Reds after the season for outfielder Hal McRae and pitcher Wayne Simpson.

Seeing red

The Reds were the reigning National League champions and were set in the outfield with Pete Rose, Cesar Geronimo and Bobby Tolan. “I’m probably the only guy in the history of baseball to hit .300, make the all-star team and not have a job the next year,” Scheinblum told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Scheinblum was miserable in the role of reserve outfielder with the 1973 Reds, but attempted to maintain a sense of humor. Asked by teammate Jack Billingham why he always was spitting in the dugout, Scheinblum replied, “That’s the way I keep my weight down.”

Hit king Pete Rose called Scheinblum “the king of the one-liners.”

Scheinblum hit .300 as a Reds pinch-hitter but .222 overall. After the Reds traded him to the Angels in June 1973, Scheinblum told The Sporting News, “They try to discount everything you do over there to hold salaries down …. For the talent they have, they have the most underpaid team in baseball.”

He also took a swipe at the Reds’ manager, saying, “Two pennants have gone to Sparky Anderson’s head.”

In a letter published by The Sporting News, Reds public relations director Jim Ferguson responded, “Scheinblum did more talking than hitting.”

Helping hand

Scheinblum hit .328 in 77 games with the 1973 Angels. At spring training the next year, Angels manager Bobby Winkles assigned coach Whitey Herzog to work daily with Scheinblum on fielding. “We don’t think he’s been as good a defensive outfielder as he can be,” Winkles told the Los Angeles Times.

In April 1974, the Angels traded Scheinblum back to the Royals. Four months later, on Aug. 5, Scheinblum’s contract was purchased by the Cardinals.

Scheinblum, 31, was assigned to Tulsa and hit .247 in 24 games. In September, he was called up to the Cardinals, who entered the month 2.5 games behind the division-leading Pirates.

In his six plate appearances as a Cardinals pinch-hitter, all against right-handers, Scheinblum’s highlights were singles against relievers Gene Garber of the Phillies Boxscore and Dave Giusti of the Pirates. Boxscore

Scheinblum also appeared in the Cardinals’ epic 25-inning game versus the Mets. Batting in the 13th, he flied out to left. Boxscore.

Scheinblum spent the 1975 and 1976 seasons with the Hiroshima Carp in Japan.

His son, Monte Scheinblum, became a professional golfer and was the U.S. national long driving champion in 1992.

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