Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

Walt Moryn was a big blonde slugger who hailed from Paul Bunyan country and was nicknamed Moose.

Sixty years ago, on June 15, 1960, the Cardinals acquired Moryn from the Cubs for utility player Jim McKnight and $25,000.

An outfielder and left-handed pull hitter, Moryn’s swing seemed tailored for the original Busch Stadium in St. Louis, where the shortest distance for a home run was to right.

Though no longer in his prime when he joined the Cardinals, Moryn, 34, had enough pop remaining in his bat to elicit calls of “M-o-o-o-s-e” from the fans in St. Louis when he got hold of a pitch.

Cubs clouter

Moryn was born and raised in St. Paul, Minn. His paternal grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from Russia and his maternal grandparents came from Poland. Moryn entered the Navy when he was 18 and served on an ammunition ship in the Pacific for two years during World War II.

When he returned home, Moryn played baseball in an industrial league. In August 1947, the Dodgers held a tryout camp in St. Paul. Moryn attended and was signed on the recommendation of scout Andy High, a former Cardinals infielder.

Moryn was 28 when he debuted in the majors with the Dodgers in June 1954. He also spent part of 1955 with them and was traded to the Cubs after the season.

For a stretch of three seasons, 1956-58, Moryn hit with consistent power and became a favorite of Cubs fans. He had 23 home runs in 1956, 33 doubles in 1957 and 26 home runs in 1958.

After his production declined to 14 home runs in 1959, Moryn was platooned in left field with Frank Thomas in 1960.

The signature play of Moryn’s career occurred on May 15, 1960, when he made a shoestring catch of a line drive by the Cardinals’ Joe Cunningham with two outs in the ninth to preserve a no-hitter by Don Cardwell. Video

Though Moryn was batting .294 and had an on-base percentage of .366 in 38 games for the 1960 Cubs, his home run total was a mere two when the Cubs shipped him to the Cardinals. Moryn told the Chicago Tribune he was on the outs with Cubs general manager John Holland. “He’s been trying to get rid of me for three years,” Moryn said.

Popular player

To make room for Moryn on their roster, the Cardinals sent Leon Wagner, their Opening Day left fielder, to the minors. The Cardinals were loaded with outfielders. Cunningham, Moryn and Stan Musial batted from the left side, and Curt Flood, Bob Nieman and John Glenn batted from the right. Moryn figured to platoon with Nieman in left.

“At Busch Stadium, I think Moryn still will be dangerous,” Cardinals coach Johnny Keane told the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

Though listed at 6 feet 2 and 205 pounds, Moryn told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he weighed 225. St. Louis writers had fun with his alliterative name and his size, referring to him as “Mighty Moose Moryn” and “a mass of muscle from Minnesota.”

Moryn was popular with teammates and helped rookies.

Second baseman Jerry Kindall, another St. Paul native who entered the majors with the Cubs in 1956, told the Chicago Tribune, “He gave the appearance of a very gruff guy, but if you were a teammate, you saw through that in a hurry. He was really a tender-hearted guy.”

In the book “We Played the Game,” Tim McCarver said when he was with the Cardinals as an 18-year-old in 1960, “Guys like Walt ‘Moose’ Moryn and Kenny Boyer couldn’t have been friendlier.”

Hot in August

In his Cardinals debut, on June 17, 1960, against the Braves, Moryn was 0-for-5 and struck out four times. Boxscore

Moryn hit .100 for the Cardinals in June and .194 in July, but sizzled in August, hitting .433 with 19 RBI in 23 games for the month.

“Cardinals crowds raise the “M-o-o-o-s-e’ call whenever the big blonde comes to the plate,” The Sporting News noted.

Moryn’s August performances at home included:

_ Aug. 6 vs. the Reds: 3-for-4, including a triple and a home run, and two RBI. Boxscore

_ Aug. 7 vs. the Reds: 2-for-2, including a home run and a walk, and two RBI. Boxscore

_ Aug. 17 vs. the Giants: 3-for-5, including a home run, and three RBI. Boxscore

_ Aug, 26 vs. the Pirates: 4-for-4, all singles, against Bob Friend. Boxscore

Moryn ended August with a .314 batting average since he joined the Cardinals.

Role player

Though he hit a three-run home run off Robin Roberts to carry the Cardinals to a 4-1 triumph at Philadelphia on Sept. 9, Moryn fell back into a slump and hit .154 for September.

In 75 games for the 1960 Cardinals, Moryn hit .245 with 11 home runs. He batted .301 at Busch Stadium and .196 on the road. Moryn also hit .266 versus right-handers and .111 against left-handers. He was a terror against the Reds, hitting .440 with five home runs and 11 RBI in 11 games for the 1960 Cardinals.

Moryn made 49 starts in the outfield _ 30 in right and 19 in left _ for the 1960 Cardinals.

At spring training in 1961, Moryn surprised the Cardinals by reporting at 198 pounds. “I’ve never been this light before,” he told the Globe-Democrat.

Regarding his playing weight in 1960, Moryn told the Post-Dispatch, “I realized I had let myself get too heavy.”

Cardinals trainer Bob Bauman predicted a slender Moose would slug more home runs at Busch Stadium. “I can see Moryn hitting a lot out on Grand Avenue this year,” Bauman said.

Used exclusively against right-handers and mostly as a pinch-hitter, Moryn, 35, never got untracked with the 1961 Cardinals. He hit .125 in 17 games and was traded to the defending World Series champion Pirates on June 15, 1961, for minor-league catcher Roberto Herrera and cash.

Three days later, on June 18, 1961, in his third game with the Pirates, Moryn, naturally, hit a three-run home run versus the Cardinals’ Larry Jackson. Boxscore

It was one of the last highlights for Moryn in the majors. He hit .200 in 40 games for the Pirates in 1961, his last season in the big leagues.

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For the second time in five years, the Cardinals in June got a future Hall of Fame pitcher who helped them become champions.

Ninety years ago, on June 16, 1930, the Cardinals acquired Burleigh Grimes from the Braves for pitchers Bill Sherdel and Fred Frankhouse.

A spitball specialist whose dark stubble gave him a menacing look on the mound, Grimes, 36, had a reputation as an intimidating competitor and consistent winner.

With the Cardinals, he was 13-6 in 1930 and 17-9 in 1931, and they won National League pennants both years. In the 1931 World Series, Grimes, pitching in pain caused by an inflamed appendix, started and won the deciding Game 7.

Like Grimes, Grover Cleveland Alexander, a right-hander destined for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, was acquired by the Cardinals in a June transaction. The Cardinals claimed Alexander, 39, on waivers from the Cubs in 1926 and he helped them win pennants in 1926 and 1928. His strikeout of the Yankees’ Tony Lazzeri with the bases loaded in Game 7 was the iconic moment in the Cardinals’ first World Series championship.

Winning formula

Grimes, 23, made his debut in the majors with the Pirates in 1916. After posting a 3-16 record in 1917, Grimes was sent to the Dodgers in a trade involving outfielder Casey Stengel and it revived his career. Grimes was 19-9 in 1918, the first of 14 consecutive seasons of double-digit wins.

In February 1920, baseball outlawed the spitball, but exempted pitchers who threw the pitch in the majors before then. Grimes was one of those exempted and was permitted to throw the spitball the remainder of his career. He chewed slippery elm bark for the substance used for the pitch.

Grimes four times had 21 or more wins in a season for the Dodgers, including 1920 when he was 23-11 for the National League champions.

“No pitcher in baseball history was a more determined fighter,” The Sporting News reported.

Off the field, Grimes was talkative and thoughtful. He studied and analyzed pitching techniques and willingly shared his views. On the field, he was intense.

“There was only one man standing between me and more money, and that was the guy with the bat,” Grimes said.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted, “When pitching, he is a snarling hard-to-get-along-with personality. He glares at an infielder who makes an error behind him and sneers at umpires who fail to meet his approval in their decisions.”

Bust with Braves

In 1928, Grimes was with the Pirates and was 25-14. The next year, he was 16-2 and on pace for 30 wins when he was struck on the right thumb by a ball off the bat of the Giants’ Bill Terry in July. Boxscore

Sidelined a month, Grimes won once the rest of the 1929 season and finished at 17-7.

A holdout in spring training in 1930, Grimes was traded to the Braves in April when the Pirates rejected his demand for a two-year contract. Rushed into the season without any spring training, Grimes struggled to a 3-5 record and 7.35 ERA for the 1930 Braves, who sought to unload his contract.

When the Cardinals offered Sherdel (3-2, 4.64 ERA) and Frankhouse (2-3, 7.32) for Grimes, the Braves agreed. The year before, Frankhouse was 7-2 for the Cardinals. Sherdel had been with them since 1918 and eight times had seasons of double-digit wins. His best year was 1928 when he was 21-10 for the National League champions.

Sherdel told the Post-Dispatch, “I’ll be pulling for the Cardinals except when I pitch against them.”

Said Frankhouse, “I was hoping we’d land Grimes, but I didn’t even think I might be sent away.”

The Boston Globe concluded, “The Braves cannot be any worse off with Sherdel and Frankhouse. In fact, they should benefit for all the good the high-priced Burleigh Grimes was to them.”

Braves manager Bill McKechnie, who managed the Cardinals to the 1928 pennant, had a different viewpoint, telling the Globe there was no doubt Grimes would win a lot of games for St. Louis.

Making a difference

Grimes joined a Cardinals rotation of Bill Hallahan, Syl Johnson, Jesse Haines and Flint Rhem.

“We have made a deal that will make us a more dangerous pennant contender,” said Cardinals manager Gabby Street. “Grimes is a great pitcher.”

According to the Post-Dispatch, Grimes told club owner Sam Breadon, “You didn’t make any mistake when you got me. There’s nothing the matter with my arm.”

On the day the Cardinals got Grimes, they lost to the Dodgers and their record dropped to 26-28.

The addition of Grimes, along with the return to the lineup of two ailing future Hall of Famers, second baseman Frankie Frisch (spike wound) and left fielder Chick Hafey (sinuses), eventually helped propel the Cardinals higher in the standings.

After posting losing records in June and July, the 1930 Cardinals surged to 23-9 in August and 21-4 in September. Grimes had a significant role. He was 5-2 in August and 4-1 in September.

When Grimes shut out the Pirates on Sept. 25, 1930, it enabled the Cardinals to keep a three-game lead over the Cubs with three to play, assuring at least a share of the pennant. Boxscore

The Cardinals clinched the next day and faced the Athletics in the World Series.

Grimes was 12-4 with a 3.13 ERA as a starter for the 1930 Cardinals and 1-2 with a 6.35 ERA as a reliever. He pitched a pair of five-hitters in the 1930 World Series, but was the loser in both. The Athletics won four of six versus the Cardinals.

In the 1931 World Series rematch, Grimes was 2-0 with a 2.04 ERA. He beat Lefty Grove in Game 3 and George Earnshaw in Game 7.

Field manager

Two months after his World Series success, Grimes, 38, was traded by the Cardinals to the Cubs for outfielder Hack Wilson and pitcher Bud Teachout.

The Cardinals reacquired Grimes in July 1933 after he was released by the Cubs. He pitched in four games for the Cardinals in 1933 and four more in 1934. Grimes also pitched for the Yankees and Pirates in 1934, his last season as a big-league pitcher, and finished with a career record of 270-212.

In 1935, he became manager of a Cardinals farm club in Bloomington, Ill.

In 1937, 20 years after he was traded for Casey Stengel, Grimes replaced Stengel as Dodgers manager. Grimes managed the Dodgers for two seasons before Leo Durocher took over the role.

Grimes managed for several more seasons in the minors, including 1945 and part of 1946 with the Cardinals’ Rochester farm team.

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The Cardinals intended for Chris Sabo to replace Todd Zeile as their first baseman, but the plan fizzled when Sabo’s back gave out.

Twenty-five years ago, on June 8, 1995, the Cardinals signed Sabo after he was released by the White Sox. A third baseman, Sabo was sent to the Cardinals’ Louisville farm club to learn to play first base so he could be brought back to the majors and fill multiple roles.

About a week later, on June 16, 1995, Sabo was called up to the Cardinals amid a massive shakeup. On the day he arrived, manager Joe Torre was fired and Zeile was traded to the Cubs.

Interim manager Mike Jorgensen put Sabo into the lineup at first base, but his time with the Cardinals lasted only a few games.

Cincinnati kid

Sabo won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1988 when he produced 40 doubles and 46 stolen bases as third baseman for the Reds.

A son of a plumber from Detroit, Sabo became a Cincinnati favorite. Nicknamed “Spuds” for a resemblance to the dog Spuds McKenzie in beer commercials, Sabo wore goggles, a buzz cut and a K-mart wardrobe, and drove a well-used 1982 Ford Escort.

In 1990, Sabo had 38 doubles, 25 home runs and 25 steals for the champion Reds. In the Reds’ World Series sweep of manager Tony La Russa’s favored Athletics, Sabo hit .563 with two home runs and fielded flawlessly at third.

After the 1993 season, Sabo became a free agent, rejected an offer from the Mets and signed a one-year contract for $2 million with the Orioles because he viewed them as a contender.

The Orioles opened the 1994 season with a left side of the infield featuring Cal Ripken Jr. at shortstop and Sabo at third, but it didn’t last. Sabo hit .228 in April and went on the disabled list in May because of a bad back. His replacement, Leo Gomez, hit .325 in May and held the job.

Used primarily in the outfield and as designated hitter, Sabo played in 68 games for the Orioles, hit .256 and departed for free agency after the season.

New role

The Cardinals considered signing Sabo to be their third baseman, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, but traded for Scott Cooper of the Red Sox instead. When no other teams showed interest, Sabo, 33, thought about returning to the University of Michigan to finish the work he started on a degree 14 years earlier, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Sabo’s plans changed on April 10, 1995, when the White Sox gave him a one-year contract at $550,000 to be their designated hitter. John Kruk was the first choice of White Sox general manager Ron Schueler to be designated hitter, the Tribune reported, but when Kruk, a free agent, opted to retire, Schueler selected Sabo.

Sabo plays with “intensity and has fire in his eyes,” Schueler said.

Said Sabo: “I’ve never been very level-headed. I have quite a temper. It’s the only way I’ve been able to get where I have. I get fiery. I don’t have a world of talent. So I fire up to help myself.”

Sabo preferred to play third base, but the White Sox had a Gold Glove winner, Robin Ventura, there.

What a Kruk

The White Sox opened the 1995 season with Sabo batting in the cleanup spot between slugger Frank Thomas and Ventura. In May, Kruk changed his mind about retirement and signed with the White Sox, who intended to make him the designated hitter.

Miffed, Sabo told The Cincinnati Post he’d return to the Reds “for a song.”

“I plan on being with the Reds again before I’m done, one way or the other,” Sabo told The Post.

Kruk, 34, joined the White Sox on May 24, 1995. The Tribune’s Paul Sullivan described him as having “the physique of Babe Ruth, the batting eye of Tony Gwynn and the sarcastic wit of David Letterman. He chain-smoked cigarettes, didn’t watch his weight and proudly wore the same T-shirt day after day.”

The White Sox released Sabo on June 5. In 20 games for them, he hit .254 with one home run.

Team in turmoil

Three days later, on June 8, 1995, the Cardinals signed Sabo and indicated he would be used as a utility player for them after he went to Louisville and learned to play first base.

“We know he can play third and the outfield,” said Cardinals manager Joe Torre. “If he can play first, it will add to his versatility. If he’s healthy, he’s a threat with the bat. He can hit the homer and he pulls the ball. He plays well defensively.”

Sabo hit .393 in nine games as Louisville’s first baseman.

Promoted to the Cardinals, he never got to play for Torre. With the Cardinals’ record at 20-27, general manager Walt Jocketty fired Torre on the morning of June 16 before trading Zeile. Though Zeile hit .291 with 22 RBI in 34 games, he was dealt after accusing management of reneging on a contract agreement.

With Zeile gone, Sabo became the first baseman and was assigned uniform No. 18, the same previously worn by Mike Shannon and Andy Van Slyke. In his Cardinals debut on June 16 against the Giants at St. Louis, Sabo batted fifth in the order between Ray Lankford and Scott Cooper. He made a fielding error in the second inning, leading to a run, but had a run-scoring single in the fifth. Boxscore

Sabo played in four more games for the Cardinals, making another start at first, one at third and two pinch-hit appearances. He had a two-run double versus Dodgers rookie Hideo Nomo on June 19. Boxscore

During batting practice one day, Sabo developed back spasms. He went on the disabled list on June 29, 1995, and remained sidelined for six weeks. “I don’t think there’s a lot of fuel left in the tank,” Cardinals coach Gaylen Pitts told Larry Harnly of The State Journal-Register of Springfield, Ill.

In August 1995, the Cardinals sent Sabo to their St. Petersburg farm club in the Florida State League to get in condition for a possible return to the majors in September. Instead, after Sabo hit .231 in 14 games for St. Petersburg, the Cardinals released him because “he didn’t dominate that league like you’d think he would,” Jocketty said.

In 13 at-bats for St. Louis, Sabo had two hits and three RBI.

As he predicted, Sabo returned to the Reds and played his final major-league season with them in 1996.

In 2018, Sabo was named head baseball coach at the University of Akron.

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When Whitey Herzog became Cardinals manager, he replaced a friend who had been his roommate and teammate with the Mets.

Forty years ago, on June 8, 1980, the Cardinals fired manager Ken Boyer and hired Herzog to succeed him.

Boyer, an all-star and Gold Glove Award winner as Cardinals third baseman in the 1950s and 1960s, was their manager since April 1978. Herzog managed the Royals to three consecutive division titles before being fired after the 1979 season.

In 1966, the Mets had Boyer as their third baseman and Herzog as a coach. In his book, “White Rat: A Life in Baseball,” Herzog said he and Ken Boyer shared a New York apartment with Yankees players Roger Maris and Clete Boyer, Ken’s brother.

“When the Mets were on the road, Clete and Roger had the place, and when the Yankees were on the road, Kenny and I took it over,” Herzog said.

After Boyer was fired by the Cardinals, he told a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter, “Wish Whitey Herzog good luck. I hope they can turn it around.”

The comment was relayed to Herzog, who said, “I appreciate that. We are very good friends.”

Time for a change

After Herzog left the Royals, Cardinals general manager John Claiborne called him occasionally to seek his opinions on players. Claiborne and Herzog had worked together for Bing Devine with the Mets.

At one point in their conversations, Herzog said, Claiborne asked whether he’d want to become a paid consultant to the Cardinals. “I told him I didn’t want to get tied up with something like that, but I’d be happy to give him my opinions when he asked for them,” Herzog said.

The 1980 Cardinals hit the skids early and Claiborne and club owner Gussie Busch determined Boyer needed to go.

On Saturday, June 7, 1980, Herzog said he got a call from Busch’s attorney, Lou Susman, who asked him to meet Busch in St. Louis the next morning. Meanwhile, Claiborne headed to Montreal, where the Cardinals were playing, to inform Boyer he was fired. Claiborne intended to get to Montreal on Saturday night and meet with Boyer the next morning, but a rainstorm canceled the connecting flight and Claiborne had to spend the night in Chicago.

On the morning of June 8, 1980, Herzog went to Busch’s estate at Grant’s Farm and Claiborne took a flight from Chicago to Montreal, where the Cardinals and Expos were to play a Sunday afternoon doubleheader.

Herzog met with Busch and Susman, and was offered a one-year, $100,000 contract to manage the Cardinals. When Herzog objected to the length of the contract, Busch countered with a three-year deal through the 1982 season. Herzog accepted and Busch made plans to announce the hiring in a news conference late in the afternoon.

At Montreal, the Cardinals lost Game 1 of the doubleheader, dropping their record to 18-33 and giving them 21 losses in their last 26 games.

Boyer was in the clubhouse, making out the lineup card for Game 2, when he looked up and was surprised to see Claiborne enter. “I thought for certain he had come here to discuss possible trades,” Boyer told the Montreal Gazette.

Instead, Claiborne told Boyer he was fired. “This is something you want to talk about to a man face to face, not over the telephone,” Claiborne said.

Claiborne offered Boyer another job within the organization, but Boyer said he wanted time to think it over.

“Boyer was on his way to St. Louis by the second inning of the second game,” the Gazette reported.

Coach Jack Krol filled in as manager for Game 2, and the Cardinals lost again.

Mourning in Montreal

In the locker room, after getting swept in the doubleheader, most Cardinals said they were sorry Boyer was gone and exonerated him of blame for the team’s record. Boyer was 166-191 as Cardinals manager.

In comments to the Post-Dispatch, first baseman Keith Hernandez said the 1980 Cardinals were “the worst team I’ve been on since I’ve been in the major leagues. The worst. We are bad. The manager is only as good as his horses and we don’t have the horses. I’m going to miss Ken Boyer.”

Second baseman Tommy Herr said, “There’s a lack of professionalism among certain players as far as guys running groundballs out, 100 percent all-out effort.”

Cardinals catcher Ted Simmons and pitcher Bob Forsch were two of the players most upset by Boyer’s firing, according to the Post-Dispatch. “Old Cardinals die hard,” Simmons said.

Pitcher John Fugham told The Sporting News, “Unfortunately, there were not 25 people on this team that were as intense as Kenny Boyer was. Therein lies the problem.”

Vern Rapp, who two years earlier was fired while the Cardinals were in Montreal and replaced as manager by Boyer, was a coach with the 1980 Expos. Asked his reaction to Boyer’s firing, Rapp told the Post-Dispatch, “I feel sorry for anybody it happened to. I know how it feels. It’s not a good feeling.”

Oh, brother

At the news conference at Grant’s Farm introducing him as Cardinals manager, Herzog said, “I’m going to take this dang team and run it like I think it should be run. I don’t think I’ve ever had trouble with players hustling. I understand that’s been a problem here. I think you’ll see the Cardinals running out groundballs.”

Asked whether the Cardinals needed a leader to emerge from within the team, Herzog said, “I don’t need a team leader. I’m the leader.”

Said Busch: “My type of manager, without any argument.”

Born and raised in New Athens, Ill., Herzog described himself as a “very opinionated, hardheaded Dutchman.”

At birth, he was named Dorrell Norman Elvert Herzog. His mother said she intended to name him Darrell, but the name got misspelled. In New Athens, where he excelled at basketball as well as baseball, everyone called him Relly. In the New Athens High School yearbook, it was noted, “He likes girls even more than basketball.” As a professional ballplayer, he got nicknamed Whitey because of his light blonde hair.

Herzog had two brothers _ Therron, who everyone called Herman, and Codell, who everyone called Butzy.

When Herzog was named Cardinals manager, Butzy, who “never played baseball in his life,” told Whitey what lineup he should use to help the Cardinals improve.

“I may play his lineup,” Whitey said.

“He better,” Butzy told the Post-Dispatch, “or we’ll have a fight.”

Whether or not it was with Butzy’s help, the Cardinals went on to win three National League pennants and a World Series championship during Whitey’s 11 years as their manager.

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Richie Allen capped one of his best performances for the Cardinals by hitting a grand slam against the pitcher who got traded with him to St. Louis.

Fifty years ago, on June 2, 1970, Allen had seven RBI for the Cardinals in their 12-1 victory over the Giants at St. Louis.

Allen had a run-scoring single and a two-run home run versus Giants starter Gaylord Perry. The grand slam came against Jerry Johnson, who was traded with Allen and Cookie Rojas by the Phillies to the Cardinals in October 1969 for Curt Flood, Tim McCarver, Joe Hoerner and Byron Browne.

On May 19, 1970, the Cardinals dealt Johnson to the Giants for pitcher Frank Linzy. Johnson was making his fifth appearance for the Giants when he faced Allen for the first time.

New look

Looking to shake up the Cardinals, who lost six of their last seven, manager Red Schoendienst changed the batting order for the series opener versus the Giants at Busch Memorial Stadium.

Schoendienst had been featuring a top five of Jose Cardenal, Julian Javier, Lou Brock, Richie Allen and Joe Torre. Against Perry and the Giants, Schoendienst went back to the batting order he used to open the season, with Brock in the leadoff spot, followed by Cardenal, Allen and Torre. Joe Hague batted fifth, and Javier dropped to the seventh spot, behind Ted Simmons.

“The big reason for the change is getting Allen back up there to No. 3 where he can hurt people even more,” Schoendienst told the Associated Press.

To the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Schoendienst explained, “I like to bat Cardenal second, especially against right-handers, because he has good bat control and can hit that outside pitch to right. and I want to be sure Allen gets to bat in the first inning.”

Played on a damp Tuesday night, the game attracted a crowd of 11,111, a number the Post-Dispatch described as “a poker player’s dream.”

Seven future Hall of Famers were in the lineups: Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Gaylord Perry for the Giants, and Lou Brock, Joe Torre, Ted Simmons and Steve Carlton for the Cardinals. On the bench were three more: Schoendienst and pitchers Juan Marichal of the Giants and Bob Gibson of the Cardinals.

Carlton pitched a four-hitter and would have had a shutout if not for McCovey’s home run, a 420-foot drive into the bleachers in right-center. “I told myself to throw him a really nasty slider, but I hung it,” Carlton told the Post-Dispatch.

Carlton also contributed three singles. “That was just a little cream topping,” Carlton said.

Power source

Though Allen wasn’t a future Hall of Famer, he played like one.

In the first inning, Allen’s single versus Perry scored Cardenal from second.

In the fifth, Allen, a right-handed batter, sliced a Perry slider over the wall in right for a two-run homer. The ball “landed in the runway behind the right-field fence,” according to the Post-Dispatch. Impressed by Allen’s ability to drive the ball the opposite way, Cardinals coach George Kissell told the Post-Dispatch, “He hits them to right like a left-handed golfer.”

Allen had astonishing power, even though his right hand was weakened three years earlier when pieces of glass from a broken headlight on a car he was pushing severed nerves in his palm.

“I worked hard to get that hand so that I could use it again,” Allen told Dick Young of the New York Daily News. “I got a job as a bricklayer’s helper. For nothing. A friend of mine gave me the job. He wanted to pay me. He kept throwing money at me and I kept throwing it back. I wanted to work for nothing. It made me keep thinking of why I was doing it. I asked him for a slow bricklayer, though.”

Run producer

Allen and Perry faced one another frequently. Allen would finish his career with 30 hits and 31 strikeouts versus the spitball specialist.

Jerry Johnson was a different story. He was Allen’s teammate with the Phillies in 1968 and 1969, and for a brief time with the 1970 Cardinals. Johnson began the 1970 season in the minors, got called up to the Cardinals on May 1 and was 2-0 with one save in seven relief appearances for them before he was traded.

In the seventh inning, Johnson relieved Perry and deprived Allen of another RBI, striking him out on a slider with a runner on third and none out.

An inning later, Allen came up against Johnson with the bases loaded and hit a fastball into the seats in left-center for his fifth grand slam in the big leagues. He’d hit three more grand slams before his career was done. Boxscore

The home run would be the only base hit Allen would get in 12 career at-bats versus Johnson.

Allen had one other game with seven RBI. It occurred Sept. 29, 1968, for the Phillies against the Mets at Shea Stadium in New York. Allen hit a two-run home run versus Tom Seaver, a solo shot off Cal Koonce and a grand slam against Ron Taylor, the former Cardinal.

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The 1970 Cardinals found the closer they needed, but, following a familiar pattern, gave up on him too soon.

Fifty years ago, on May 29, 1970, the Cardinals acquired reliever Ted Abernathy from the Cubs for infielder Phil Gagliano.

A right-hander, Abernathy, 37, threw underhanded with a delivery described as submarine style.

At 6 feet 4, he was a formidable presence when he whipped his right arm down low to the ground and sent the ball zipping toward the plate.

The Cardinals needed quality relief and Abernathy provided it. He made 11 appearances for them and was 1-0 with a save and 2.95 ERA.

Inexplicably, a month after the Cardinals acquired Abernathy, general manager Bing Devine dealt him to the Royals for pitcher Chris Zachary, who was assigned to the minor leagues.

Abernathy went on to pitch in 36 games for the 1970 Royals and was 9-3 with 12 saves and a 2.59 ERA for them. He joined Wayne Granger (Reds), Dave Giusti (Pirates), Joe Hoerner (Phillies) and Mudcat Grant (Athletics and Pirates) as premier relievers dealt by Devine during his second stint with the Cardinals.

In 1970, when the Cardinals ranked last in the league in saves (20) and their team leader was Chuck Taylor (eight), Granger, Giusti, Hoerner and Grant had a combined record of 32-16 with 94 saves.

Adapt and adjust

Abernathy threw overhand until he injured his right shoulder as a high school freshman and switched to a sidearm delivery.

After signing with the Senators in 1952, Abernathy made his major-league debut with them in 1955.

Near the end of the 1956 season, Abernathy hurt his right elbow. Trying to compensate for the pain, he put pressure on his shoulder and damaged it again. Weakened, Abernathy was 2-10 with a 6.78 ERA for the Senators in 1957.

Except for two appearances for the Senators in 1960, Abernathy spent the next five seasons (1958-62) in the minors. After undergoing shoulder surgery in 1959, he adopted the submarine delivery.

In 1963, Abernathy, 30, made it back to the majors with the Indians and experienced a career rebirth. With his arm strength restored and his submarine delivery perfected, Abernathy became a durable, effective big-league reliever.

“His delivery was sweeping so low it swept him to the top as a relief pitcher,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted.

Late bloomer

Abernathy was the National League leader in saves twice (31 for 1965 Cubs and 28 for 1967 Reds). He also led the league in games pitched three times (84 for 1965 Cubs, 70 for 1967 Reds and 78 for 1968 Reds).

Reliyng on a sinking fastball, curve and knuckleball he used as a changeup, Abernathy thrived on work. The more often he pitched, the better the results.

“If I don’t have to work more than a couple of innings, I can go for seven or eight days in a row, take a rest, and do it again,’ Abernathy told The Sporting News.

In 1970, during his second stint with the Cubs, Abernathy began the season as the setup reliever to closer Phil Regan.

On May 16, 1970, Abernathy relieved Cubs starter Ken Holtzman in the ninth inning of a game at St. Louis. With the Cubs ahead, 3-1, Abernathy was brought in to face slugger Richie Allen with the bases loaded and two outs.

With the count at 2-and-1, Abernathy needed to throw a strike, but his pitch sailed toward Allen. Though he tried to turn away, the ball struck Allen in the back of the head.

“I was surprised Allen didn’t get out of the way,” Abernathy told the Post-Dispatch. “I yelled to him, but I guess he didn’t hear me.”

Allen’s advancement to first allowed the runner from third to score, carrying the Cardinals to within a run at 3-2, but Regan came in and got Joe Torre to line out to center, ending the game. Boxscore

Come and gone

Two weeks later, the Cubs traded Abernathy to the Cardinals. Though Abernathy had a 2.00 ERA and a save in 11 games for the 1970 Cubs, manager Leo Durocher had lost confidence in him.

“The Cardinals were the only team who wanted Abernathy,” Durocher told the Chicago Tribune. “They needed relief pitching and were willing to take the chance. Maybe he’ll help them. I don’t know. All I know is that every time I put him in a game this year he was getting bombed.”

Before the Cardinals acquired Abernathy, five pitchers, Chuck Taylor, Tom Hilgendorf, Jerry Johnson, Sal Campisi and Billy McCool, earned saves for them in 1970. A week before Abernathy arrived, the Cardinals got another closer candidate, Frank Linzy, from the Giants.

“What they’re doing, of course, is indulging in a bit of wishful thinking when they claim anything in sight with a toeplate,” Bob Broeg wrote in the Post-Dispatch.

On May 30, 1970, Abernathy made his Cardinals debut at St. Louis against the Dodgers and pitched 3.1 innings in relief of starter Santiago Guzman. Boxscore

Abernathy got a save a week later in a game Bob Gibson won against the Padres at St. Louis. Boxscore

On June 27, 1970, in his last Cardinals appearance, Abernathy worked out of a bases-loaded jam he inherited and got the win versus the Phillies at St. Louis. Boxscore

Four days later, he was traded to the Royals.

Royal gift

“I was pitching well for the Cardinals,” Abernathy said. “At least I thought I was pitching pretty well. I asked Bing Devine (about the trade) and he told me, ‘That’s baseball. You move around.’ ”

When Abernathy reported to the Royals, he said to manager Bob Lemon, “I need work.” Lemon replied, “You came to the right place.”

Abernathy pitched five times in his first six days with the Royals and was 3-0 with a save and 0.96 ERA. In his first 9.1 innings, he allowed a run and struck out 13.

“Christmas has come a little early,” Lemon said.

Lemon, an ace for the Indians when Abernathy debuted in the American League 15 years earlier, knew how to utilize his reliever. Abernathy was 5-3 with four saves in July, 2-0 with four saves in August and 2-0 with four saves in September. Right-handed batters hit .202 against him.

Abernathy’s combined 1970 record with the Cubs, Cardinals and Royals was 10-3 with 14 saves and a 2.60 ERA.

Abernathy pitched for the Royals again in 1971 and 1972, ending his 14 years in the majors with a 63-69 record and 149 saves.

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