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Given a pair of assignments that took him outside his customary role, Bob Tewksbury delivered on both and produced an intriguing victory for the Cardinals.

Twenty-five years ago, on April 25, 1992, Tewksbury, a starting pitcher, was brought into a game against the Expos as an emergency reliever for a depleted Cardinals bullpen.

He also was tasked with making a plate appearance with two outs and the potential winning run at third base, a situation which usually would have called for a pinch-hitter.

Defying the odds, Tewksbury pitched two innings of scoreless relief and got the hit that brought St. Louis a walkoff win.

April drama

Looking to jump-start their season after losing nine of their first 15, the Cardinals opened a three-game series against the Expos at St. Louis on April 24, 1992. Trailing 3-2 with two outs and none on in the ninth, the Cardinals scored two runs off closer John Wetteland and won, 4-3. Boxscore

The next night, the starting pitching matchup was Ken Hill, the former Cardinal, for the Expos against Jose DeLeon. The Cardinals tied the score, 1-1, in the eighth on a Ray Lankford home run off Hill.

Relief pitching for both teams was sharp and the score remained tied through 15 innings.

In the 16th, after having used all six pitchers in his bullpen, Cardinals manager Joe Torre called on Tewksbury, who hadn’t made a relief appearance since May 5, 1990.

Tewksbury held the Expos scoreless in the 16th and 17th, allowing one base runner, Marquis Grissom, who singled.

Batter up

In the bottom half of the 17th, with Mel Rojas in his fourth inning of relief for the Expos, Rex Hudler and Gerald Perry opened with consecutive singles, but Brian Jordan grounded into a double play.

With Hudler on third and two outs, Torre, out of position players on the bench, let Tewksbury bat.

Tewksbury had produced nine hits and two RBI for the 1991 Cardinals and seven hits and two RBI for the 1990 Cardinals. He got his first big-league RBI in 1989 with a single for the Cardinals at Montreal against the Expos’ Andy McGaffigan.

In 1992, Tewksbury was hitless in six at-bats before facing the Expos.

Confident swing

Tewksbury took the first pitch from Rojas for ball one.

On the next delivery, Tewksbury swung and lined the ball over the head of left fielder John Vander Wal for a game-winning single.

“That’s the hardest ball I’ve ever hit,” Tewksbury told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I felt confident going to the plate. I went to the batting cage three times today to hit.”

The RBI was Tewksbury’s sixth in 120 career at-bats in the big leagues. He would finish his career with a .132 batting average and 19 RBI. To put into perspective the rarity of his hitting feat, consider that Tewksbury batted .073 (3-for-41) in his career against the Expos.

For his effort, Tewksbury also earned the win, the first and only one he would get in relief in his 13 years in the major leagues. His other 109 big-league wins all came as a starter. Boxscore

Previously: Cards turned from skeptics to supporters of Bob Tewksbury

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Proving he was recovered from major surgery and still possessed the ability to alter the outcome of a game, Ray Lankford dazzled the Dodgers in an epic ninth-inning performance that delivered a victory for the Cardinals against one of their former standouts.

In his first game since undergoing an off-season rotator cuff operation on his left shoulder, Lankford sparked a Cardinals comeback against the Dodgers and their closer, Todd Worrell, 20 years ago on April 22, 1997.

The Cardinals trailed by a run with two outs and none on in the ninth when Lankford performed his magic.

Help wanted

The Cardinals went to Los Angeles to complete a road trip that began with three games in Miami against the Marlins and continued with three versus the Padres in Honolulu.

Lankford, working his way back to form on an injury rehabilitation assignment with the Class A minor-league affiliate at Prince William, Va., initially wasn’t expected to rejoin the Cardinals until May 1.

However, when the Cardinals struggled to score five total runs over four games _ a pair of 2-1 losses to the Marlins and wins of 1-0 and 2-1 over the Padres _ general manager Walt Jocketty sent Jerry Walker, vice president for player personnel, to watch Lankford at Prince William.

When Jocketty received a glowing report _ “Jerry said he was swinging the bat well and throwing well,” Jocketty told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch _ the Cardinals brought Lankford to Los Angeles for the series opener against the Dodgers.

Call the closer

La Russa put Lankford in center field and batted him third in the order, behind Ron Gant and ahead of Brian Jordan, against Dodgers starter Pedro Astacio. Lankford drew a walk in the first inning, grounded out in the third, doubled in the fifth and flied out in the seventh.

In the ninth, Dodgers manager Bill Russell brought in Worrell to protect a 4-3 lead.

Worrell, 37, had pitched six seasons (1985-89 and 1992) for the Cardinals, amassing 129 saves and a 2.56 ERA. He was a key member of their 1985 and 1987 pennant-winning clubs.

The former Cardinal had gotten off to a good start for the 1997 Dodgers, with five saves and a 1.12 ERA.

Speed burns

Worrell appeared on his way to a routine save against the Cardinals. He retired Delino DeShields on a groundout and struck out Gant.

Lankford came up next and reached first safely on an infield single.

With Jordan at the plate, Lankford swiped second. Then he stole third.

“When we let catchers know that we’re running, that can kind of mess them up a little,” Lankford said.

A rattled Worrell walked Jordan.

“The prevailing theory is that when Lankford got to third with the tying run Worrell was reluctant to throw his slider for fear he would bounce it in the dirt,” wrote Rick Hummel of the Post-Dispatch.

The next batter, Gary Gaetti, was 2-for-19 on the season with runners in scoring position. With Jordan running on the pitch, Worrell grooved a fastball that Gaetti pulled into the left-field corner, scoring Lankford and Jordan and giving the Cardinals a 5-4 lead.

John Mabry followed with a double to right-center, scoring Gaetti.

“You don’t see that happen very often when Todd can’t hold the lead,” Russell told the Los Angeles Times.

Said Worrell: “Some nights you have it, some nights you don’t. I can’t get the third out. It makes it hard to swallow.”

Cardinals closer Dennis Eckersley set down the Dodgers in order in the bottom of the ninth, sealing the 6-4 St. Louis victory. Boxscore

Pressure points

“I figured (Lankford) would provide a spark,” said Jocketty. “I think he put some life into the team.”

Said La Russa: “Could it be any better than that? It was just the way he did it. He got base hits, he walked, he stole bases, he played good defense. Wow.”

The next night, April 23, the Dodgers led the Cardinals, 2-1, with one out and the bases empty in the ninth when Russell brought in Worrell. Gaetti greeted him with an infield single and was lifted for a pinch-runner, Steve Scarsone.

Mabry struck out and Scarsone swiped second.

Up next was Gant. He hit a towering fly into a 25-mph wind to left that was caught for the final out. “If the wind hadn’t been blowing in,” said Worrell, “that ball might have gone out.” Boxscore

Worrell, in the last year of an 11-season major-league career, posted 35 saves for the 1997 Dodgers, but had a 2-6 record and 5.28 ERA.

Lankford had one of his best Cardinals seasons in 1997. He batted .295 with 36 doubles, 31 home runs, 98 RBI and 21 stolen bases in 133 games. His on-base percentage of .411 was his single-season career high.

Previously: Ray Lankford found redemption in 5-strikeout game

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Embracing the aloha spirit, the Cardinals accepted an opportunity for a Hawaiian adventure and avoided trouble in paradise.

Agreeing to a request by the Padres, the Cardinals participated in the first regular-season major-league games played in Hawaii 20 years ago in April 1997.

The three games against the Padres in Honolulu were part of a 10,200-mile Cardinals road trip that included stops in Miami and Los Angeles.

“There is a special challenge every season. This will be one of them,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The risk was worth the reward. The Cardinals won two of the three games played in Hawaii, drew large crowds to Aloha Stadium and enjoyed the visit.

“If this isn’t heaven, it’s close to it,” Cardinals outfielder Ron Gant said.

Player approval

The Padres, who in 1996 played the Mets in Monterrey, Mexico, in the first big-league regular-season series outside the United States or Canada, were seeking to expand their fan base and marketing reach by scheduling a 1997 series in Hawaii.

Initially, the Padres asked the Astros to move a series from San Diego to Honolulu, but the Houston club declined.

The Padres then turned to the Cardinals.

Cardinals management approached catcher Tom Pagnozzi, the club’s players union representative, and asked him to put the idea to a vote of his teammates. Pagnozzi said Cardinals players voted almost unanimously to play the Padres in Honolulu rather than San Diego.

“It was not a close vote,” Pagnozzi told the Post-Dispatch. “It was completely one-sided. That surprised me a lot.”

Said Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty: “We gave the players the right to say yes or no. We wouldn’t have done it if the players hadn’t agreed to it.”

Jocketty said the Padres “are paying our expenses over what they would have been if we had played in San Diego.”

While in Hawaii, Cardinals players were to get double the usual amount of meal money _ $125 per day.

“Another 100 beans and I’m going to be styling in Hawaii,” Cardinals reliever Dennis Eckersley said.

Cross country trip

After finishing a homestand in St. Louis on Monday, April 14, the Cardinals went to Miami to play three games with the Marlins. After losing the series finale on Thursday afternoon, April 17, the Cardinals boarded a plane in Fort Lauderdale for a 12-hour trip to Honolulu.

The Padres, who finished a road trip in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, April 16, got to Hawaii on Thursday, April 17, a day ahead of the Cardinals.

“Maybe they’re already drinking Mai Tais,” Cardinals pitcher Todd Stottlemyre said.

The Cardinals arrived in Honolulu at 2 a.m. on Friday, April 18. The Padres scheduled a workout at Aloha Stadium for their players that day. The Cardinals told their players to take the day off.

La Russa told the Post-Dispatch he probably would use the off day to visit the U.S.S. Arizona. Players John Mabry, Mark Sweeney and T.J. Mathews went surfing. Third baseman Gary Gaetti tried snorkeling.

Pitching prowess

The Cardinals and Padres were scheduled to play a doubleheader on Saturday, April 19, starting at 4:05 pm on the artificial surface of Aloha Stadium.

In the opener, Cardinals starting pitcher Matt Morris was struck on his right hand by a Tony Gwynn line drive in the first inning.

Morris completed a scoreless first and batted in the second, then departed when he couldn’t grip the ball.

Mark Petkovsek relieved and pitched six scoreless innings. Mathews and Eckersley finished with a scoreless inning apiece and the Cardinals won, 1-0. The run was scored in the sixth when, with two outs, Brian Jordan doubled, swiped third and went home on catcher John Flaherty’s wild throw. Boxscore

“I had a good fastball down in the zone,” Petkovsek told the Honolulu Advertiser. “As we progressed into the game, I used my changeup and curve a little more.”

The Cardinals won the second game, 2-1, behind the three-hit pitching of Alan Benes and a RBI apiece by Sweeney and Mabry. Boxscore

Attendance for the doubleheader was 37,382.

The Cardinals became the first team to sweep a doubleheader with three total runs since the Indians beat the Blue Jays by the same scores on May 17, 1981.

Second bananas

In the 2:05 pm series finale on Sunday, April 20, the Padres won, 8-2, before a crowd of 40,050. The Cardinals’ highlight was Gant’s inside-the-park home run.

Gant circled the bases and belly-flopped across home plate after center fielder Rickey Henderson crashed into the wall while pursuing the drive. “I thought I had a pretty good jump on it, but when you get out toward the wall it seems like you’re going downhill _ and then I stumbled a little bit,” Henderson told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Boxscore

Reaction from the Cardinals to the Hawaii experience largely was positive.

“The trip wasn’t really a problem,” La Russa said. “We had plenty of time with the day off. The toughest part of this was playing a doubleheader and then coming back the next day to play when it’s really warm.”

La Russa was surprised the Padres organized the Hawaii weekend, not Major League Baseball (which did endorse it). Thus, the Padres were promoted more heavily and more favorably than the Cardinals.

In his column for the Star-Bulletin, Dave Reardon wrote, “La Russa didn’t like his team being billed as the Washington Capitals to the Padres’ Harlem Globetrotters. Can’t blame him.”

After the finale, the Cardinals went to Los Angeles, had an off day on Monday, April 21, and opened a series against the Dodgers with a 6-4 victory on Tuesday, April 22.

Previously: Before Kolten Wong, Joe DeSa gave Cards Hawaiian punch

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In a pivotal Easter weekend showdown with the Mets, the Cardinals proved to the reigning World Series champions they wouldn’t be intimidated, even when the Redbirds _ and their best pitcher _ got a bad break.

Looking to re-establish themselves as contenders, the Cardinals swept a three-game series from the Mets 30 years ago in April 1987.

The glory of that achievement was marred, however, when Cardinals ace John Tudor broke a bone below his right knee in a freak dugout collision with Mets catcher Barry Lyons on Easter Sunday.

“We got a sweep, but the broom broke,” Cardinals trainer Gene Gieselmann said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

With Tudor projected to be sidelined for three months, it appeared the Cardinals’ chances of dethroning the Mets had been damaged.

Instead, the Cardinals pulled together and, with Tudor’s help down the stretch, won their third National League pennant in six years.

Message delivered

In 1986, the Mets had a 108-54 record, finishing 28.5 games ahead of the Cardinals in the NL East, and went on to win the pennant and World Series championship. The Mets won eight of nine games in St. Louis against the Cardinals that season.

The April 17-19 series was the Mets’ first visit to St. Louis in 1987 and the Cardinals wanted to send an early message that they wouldn’t be pushovers.

Tudor started the series opener on April 17 and got the win in a 4-3 Cardinals victory. In the fifth inning, with the Mets ahead, 3-2, Tudor started the comeback with a single off Bob Ojeda. Tommy Herr put the Cardinals in front, 4-3, with a two-run single. Ricky Horton pitched three scoreless innings in relief of Tudor for the save. Boxscore

Herr delivered another key blow in the second game of the series on April 18. After the Cardinals got a run in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score at 8-8, Herr hit a grand slam off Jesse Orosco with two outs in the 10th, lifting St. Louis to a 12-8 triumph. Boxscore

Fateful foul

The Easter Sunday pitching matchup on April 19 in the series finale was Greg Mathews for the Cardinals against Sid Fernandez.

In the third, with the Cardinals ahead, 1-0, St. Louis slugger Jack Clark lofted a pop fly that carried toward the home team dugout.

Lyons, making his first start of the season in place of Gary Carter, who was getting a day off, gave chase, barreling full steam in pursuit of the ball.

Looking skyward, Lyons kept running hard as he neared the Cardinals’ dugout.

“I thought I had a play on it, but the ball was right in the sun and I couldn’t judge where I was,” Lyons told the Post-Dispatch.

Reckless chase

Tudor and teammates were standing on the first step of the dugout. As his teammates scattered, Tudor reached out to try to prevent Lyons from tumbling down the steps and onto the dugout floor.

“I tried to catch him,” Tudor said. “I don’t know what the hell he was thinking about. He never even broke stride. If I wasn’t there, I don’t know what would have happened to him.

“I got up on the first step, expecting him to slide. Most catchers come in and slide and you can stop them … He never stopped. When I tried to sidestep him, he took me that way. He kind of pinned me. He caught my foot _ and hip _ against the bench. The bottom of my foot was against the bench.”

The collision snapped Tudor’s right tibia bone. Lyons was unhurt. Video

The ball, uncatchable, landed several rows into the stands.

Said Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog: “Nobody thought Barry was coming in. There wasn’t any play. The Easter Bunny couldn’t have caught that ball _ and he can jump.”

Costly win

Tudor was taken to a hospital and his right leg was placed in a cast.

The Cardinals went on to win the game, 4-2, completing the sweep. Boxscore

“You look at the three games they won and I think the deciding factor in all of them was defense,” said Mets outfielder Mookie Wilson. “… They’re probably the best defensive ball club in baseball. They are going to be a force to be reckoned with.”

A force that would be without Tudor until August.

“Now we’ll see how good I can manage,” Herzog said.

Happy ending

When Tudor returned to the lineup Aug. 1 for a start against the Pirates, the resilient Cardinals were in first place in the NL East at 62-39, four games in front of the Expos and 6.5 ahead of the Mets.

Tudor won eight of nine decisions after he returned, finishing with a 10-2 record for the season.

The last of those wins came on Oct. 2 when Tudor faced Lyons for the first time since Easter. Lyons singled twice in two at-bats against Tudor _ “He hit two changeups that I hung. Bad pitches,” Tudor said _ but the Cardinals won, 3-2. Boxscore

St. Louis finished the regular season atop the NL East at 95-67, three ahead of the runner-up Mets, and clinched the pennant by winning four of seven in the NL Championship Series against the Giants.

Previously: How Cardinals held off Mets in October 1985 drama

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Desperate for a quality shortstop, the Cardinals turned to Ruben Amaro and gave him his first opportunity to play in the major leagues. Amaro fielded splendidly but didn’t hit well enough and the Cardinals quickly gave up on him.

Amaro, who died March 31, 2017, at 81, played one season for the Cardinals. Traded to the Phillies after the 1958 season, he went on to have a long career as a player, coach and scout.

Though Amaro’s time with the Cardinals was relatively short, it covered a lot of ground, beginning in Mexico and ending in Japan.

Career choice

Born in Mexico in 1936, Amaro was the son of Santos Amaro, a powerful hitter who played baseball in Cuba in winter and in Mexico in summer.

As a teen-ager, Ruben Amaro caught the attention of the Cardinals when he played for the Mexican team in the Central American Games. The Cardinals offered him a contract in 1954.

At the time, Amaro, 18, was considering a career in engineering and his older brother, Mario, wanted to be a doctor, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Amaro saw baseball as a way to help pay for his brother’s education.

“All the time my father played baseball, he didn’t make much money,” Amaro told Jack Rice of the Post-Dispatch. “Maybe I can. I play baseball, Mario goes to medical school.”

The Cardinals sent Amaro to their Class C team in Mexicali, a city situated on the border of Mexico and the United States. Amaro played two seasons for the Mexicali Eagles, batting .285 in 1954 and .305 with 18 home runs in 1955.

Racial prejudice

Impressed, the Cardinals promoted Amaro to the Class AA Houston Buffaloes in 1956.

Amaro “arrived in Houston with the reputation of being one of the finest fielders in baseball. Possessing a great arm, sure hands and fine speed, Amaro has not disappointed,” The Sporting News reported.

Playing shortstop for manager Harry Walker, Amaro batted .266 with 64 RBI in 1956.

The Cardinals assigned Amaro to Houston again in 1957. When Houston went to Shreveport, La., for a series in May, Amaro wasn’t allowed to play “because of the Louisiana racial law,” The Sporting News reported.

Humiliated, Amaro considered quitting baseball but decided to stick it out after a talk with his father, according to a biography by the Society for American Baseball Research.

Climbing the ladder

Houston won the 1957 Texas League championship and faced Atlanta, the Southern Association champion, in the Dixie Series.

Though Amaro hit .222 during the season, he provided the key hit in the Dixie Series. His two-run home run off Don Nottebart in the seventh inning lifted Houston to a 3-1 series-clinching victory in Game 6.

In 1958, Amaro was assigned to the Class AAA Rochester Red Wings. St. Louis that season primarily started Eddie Kasko at shortstop. In July, when Kasko’s batting average dropped to .195, the Cardinals benched him and called up Amaro, even though he was batting .200 for Rochester.

Stan lends a hand

Amaro arrived in St. Louis on July 15 and was placed in the starting lineup by manager Fred Hutchinson for that night’s game against the Braves. “His name was in the lineup card as soon as his foot was in the door,” the Post-Dispatch reported.

The newspaper cautioned that Amaro “is well known to the Cards as a strong fielder but a weak hitter. His batting is the sorrow of his father, Santos Amaro.”

Sports editor Bob Broeg suggested Amaro’s arrival to play shortstop “provides just another chapter in the club’s almost constant trouble at the key defensive position.” With the exception of Marty Marion in the 1940s, the Cardinals “rarely have known satisfaction at a post which ranks second to none in defensive importance,” Broeg wrote.

In his book “Stan Musial: An American Life,” author George Vecsey said the Cardinals issued Amaro a pair of uniform pants at least two sizes too big. When Musial saw the rookie looking awkward in the baggy uniform, he said to clubhouse attendant Butch Yatkeman, “Would you get this young man a pair of pants so he can play like a major leaguer?”

When Amaro stepped onto the Busch Stadium field for the first time, he timidly watched the Cardinals take batting practice. Musial called out to the players, “He’s playing today. Let him have some swings.”

Amaro was forever grateful to Musial for his kindness.

Good glove

Starting at shortstop and batting eighth that night, Amaro went hitless in two at-bats against the Braves’ Joey Jay before being lifted for pinch-hitter Wally Moon, but his fielding impressed.

“After two easy fielding chances, his third was a hard-hit ball that made him range far toward third base and deeply,” the Post-Dispatch observed. “It is a testing place for a shortstop’s arm and he met the test well.” Boxscore

The next night, Amaro got his first big-league hit, a double off future Hall of Famer Warren Spahn. Boxscore

Amaro produced six hits in his first 18 at-bats (a .333 batting average) for the Cardinals, but struggled after that.

In 40 games, including 21 starts at shortstop, Amaro batted .224 for the 1958 Cardinals. He hit .364 (8-for-22) against left-handed pitchers and .167 (9-for-54) versus right-handers.

Strong resume

After the 1958 season, Amaro took part in a series of exhibition games the Cardinals played on a goodwill tour of Japan.

When the Cardinals returned home, they traded Amaro to the Phillies for outfielder Chuck Essegian on Dec. 3, 1958. “I cried when they traded me,” Amaro said.

After a season in the minors, Amaro played for the Phillies from 1960-65. He won a NL Gold Glove Award in 1964. Amaro also played for the Yankees (1966-68) and Angels (1969).

After his playing career, Amaro was a scout, minor-league manager, executive and big-league coach.

His son, Ruben Amaro Jr., a Stanford University graduate, played in the big leagues for eight years (1991-98) as an outfielder with the Angels, Phillies and Indians. He was general manager of the Phillies from 2009-2015.

Previously: Why Cardinals were keen on Gene Freese

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The Cardinals had hoped Brian Jordan would spend the 1992 season in the minor leagues and get the at-bats he needed to continue his development as a baseball player. Instead, two games into their season, the Cardinals promoted Jordan and put him into their everyday lineup as the right fielder.

Twenty-five years ago, on April 8, 1992, Jordan made his big-league debut and drove in four runs for the Cardinals against the Mets at St. Louis.

Three months later, an overmatched Jordan would be back in the minor leagues.

However, his early-season experience with the 1992 Cardinals wasn’t for naught. Jordan proved he had the potential to succeed in the big leagues. That spurred him to make a fulltime commitment to baseball and end his professional football career.

Getting close

Jordan was selected by the Cardinals in the first round of the June 1988 amateur baseball draft. He split his time in 1989, 1990 and 1991 playing baseball in the Cardinals’ minor-league system and playing football as a defensive back for the NFL Falcons. (Jordan had been drafted by the Bills but was released.)

In 1991, Jordan batted .264 in 61 games for Class AAA Louisville. When he reported to spring training in 1992, Jordan was hoping to earn a spot on the Cardinals’ Opening Day roster, even though he still was considering playing football for the Falcons that year.

Jordan had a good Grapefruit League season, batting .292 with seven RBI, but with St. Louis planning to go with a starting outfield of Pedro Guerrero in left, Ray Lankford in center and Felix Jose in right, it was determined Jordan should play every day in Louisville rather than be a Cardinals reserve.

On April 1, 1992, Cardinals manager Joe Torre told Jordan, 25, he wouldn’t make the Opening Day roster.

“He took it all right,” Torre said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I told him, ‘You’re really close. You could make the team, but you couldn’t play and we want you to play, to get some at-bats.’ I think he understood. He shook my hand and thanked me for the opportunity.”

Said Cardinals general manager Dal Maxvill: “He’s got an awful lot of confidence. He’s not afraid of anything. You’ve seen him fooled, taking one-hand swings _ and that’s an adjustment he’ll have to make. He knows he has to play every day. If he stayed here, he’d be sitting and that wouldn’t help his development at all.”

Call for help

Five days later, on April 6, 1992, the Cardinals opened the regular season at home against the Mets. Milt Thompson started in right field instead of Jose, who had strained his right hamstring.

The next night, Cardinals first baseman Andres Galarraga broke his right wrist when hit by a pitch from Wally Whitehurst.

With Jose and Galarraga headed for the disabled list, the Cardinals reversed course and called up Jordan. He arrived in St. Louis the morning of April 8 and was put in the lineup for that night’s game against the Mets.

Torre shifted Guerrero from left field to first base and inserted Bernard Gilkey in left field and Jordan in right.

“Jordan is going to contribute a lot and fill in well in the outfield,” said Cardinals third baseman Todd Zeile.

Good game

Torre placed Jordan in the fifth spot in the batting order, behind Guerrero and in front of Gilkey.

In his first big-league at-bat, in the first inning against Sid Fernandez, Jordan struck out on a 2-and-2 fastball.

Two innings later, facing Paul Gibson, Jordan stroked a two-run single off the glove of third baseman Bill Pecota and swiped second.

After Gibson struck him out in the fifth, Jordan contributed a RBI-double off Mark Dewey in the sixth and a RBI-groundout in the eighth. The Cardinals won, 15-7. Boxscore

Learning curve

Torre kept Jordan in the lineup, even though the rookie batted .197 (15-for-76) in April. When Jose came off the disabled list, Jordan got starts in left and center.

After batting .281 (16-for-57) in May, the Cardinals in June gave Jordan a $2.3 million three-year contract, with the stipulation he quit playing football.

After agreeing to the deal, Jordan went into a slump and began to press. It didn’t help that Falcons coach Jerry Glanville kept calling Jordan, trying to convince him to come back to football, according to the Post-Dispatch.

On July 12, the Cardinals returned Jordan to Louisville. He was batting .207 for St. Louis and he had more strikeouts (48) than hits (40).

“He didn’t take it very well,” Torre said of Jordan’s reaction to the demotion. “He was unhappy and mad, but he wasn’t disrespectful. He’s young. He’s impatient … He’s torn and distracted and he has to get himself back on track and get his confidence back. He’s not the same aggressive player we had earlier in the year.”

After several stops and starts, Jordan established himself as the Cardinals’ everyday right fielder in 1995.

In seven years (1992-98) with St. Louis, Jordan batted .291, with 671 hits in 643 games. He became a free agent after the 1998 season and signed with the Braves.

Previously: Ozzie Canseco and his rollercoaster stint with Cardinals

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