Archive for the ‘Pitchers’ Category

Before he became a Cardinals closer, Jason Isringhausen was a starting pitcher who appeared ready to anchor the Mets’ rotation for a long time.

Twenty-five years ago, on July 17, 1995, Isringhausen, 24, made his major-league debut in a start for the Mets against the Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Isringhausen, or Izzy as he became known to some, pitched impressively versus the Cubs, fulfilling lofty expectations after a stellar season in the minors, and went on to have a successful rookie year.

A right-hander, Isringhausen’s career went into reverse the following season when he had two arthroscopic surgeries _ one to repair a tear in his right shoulder and the other to remove bone chips in his right elbow.

Plagued by more illness and injuries, Isringhausen didn’t become an ace with the Mets, but he revived his career as a reliever with the Athletics before joining the Cardinals and becoming the franchise leader in career saves.

Longshot prospect

Isringhausen was born and raised in the village of Brighton, Ill., about 40 miles from St. Louis. He attended Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Ill., for two years and was an outfielder on its baseball team.

The Mets took Isringhausen in the 44th round of the 1991 June amateur baseball draft. He was the 1,157th player selected.

Converted to pitcher, Isringhausen made the most of the chance and rose through the Mets’ farm system as a starter. “The Mets are intrigued by the development” of Isringhausen, The Sporting News reported in May 1994.

In 1995, Isringhausen began the season at Class AA Binghamton and was 2-1 with a 2.85 ERA. Promoted to Class AAA Norfolk, he was 9-1 with a 1.55 ERA.

Amid much hype, Isringhausen made the leap from sleepy Brighton to bustling New York City when the Mets brought him to the majors in July 1995 and put him in their rotation.

Looking good

For his debut game in the big leagues, Isringhausen asked for uniform No. 44, a visual reminder of the high round he was drafted.

More than 30 friends and family members, including his father Chuck, celebrating his 54th birthday, made the 275-mile trek from Brighton to Chicago to see Isringhausen start against the Cubs on a Monday night.

Isringhausen didn’t disappoint. He retired the Cubs in order in six of his seven innings. The Cubs scored two runs, both in the fourth, on two hits and two walks. Otherwise, Isringhausen retired the first 10 batters as well as the last 10.

“It was much better than I expected,” Isringhausen told the New York Daily News. “It wasn’t easy. I worked my butt off. I was pretty nervous in the first inning, but after I got through the lineup one time I really calmed down.”

When Isringhausen departed after the seventh inning, the score was tied at 2-2. The Mets scored five times in the ninth for a 7-2 triumph. The win went to reliever Jerry DiPoto, who pitched two scoreless innings, but the story was Isringhausen. Boxscore

“The kid was everything they promised and more. Much more,” declared the Chicago Tribune.

Of the 25 batters Isringhausen faced, he threw 17 first-pitch strikes.

“The kid is real good,” said Mark Grace, whose single with one out in the fourth was the first hit against Isringhausen. “He had a great fastball and good curve. He still has to develop a third pitch, but if he does, then he’ll really be something. I have to say I was very impressed.”

Said Mets manager Dallas Green: “We know now he can pitch at the major-league level. He knows it now, too.”

First win

Isringhausen got no decision in his next start against the Rockies at Denver.

His third start, on July 30, 1995, versus the Pirates was his first in New York. Isringhausen pitched eight innings, yielded one run and got his first win in the majors. Boxscore

“Izzy had everything going, a good changeup, a real good curve and a good fastball,” said Mets catcher Alberto Castillo. “Everything he pitched, he put right in my glove.”

Said Dallas Green, “He’ll more than justify our faith in him. No question about that.”

After splitting his first four decisions, Isringhausen won his last seven in a row and finished 9-2 with a 2.81 ERA in 14 starts for the 1995 Mets.

Converted closer

At spring training in 1996, Isringhausen and two other young Mets starters, Bill Pulsipher and Paul Wilson, were drawing comparisons with the 1969 Mets trio of Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman and Nolan Ryan, but it didn’t work out. Isringhausen never had another wining season with the Mets.

After his shoulder and elbow surgeries in 1996, Isringhausen developed tuberculosis in 1997. He also broke his right wrist. He was sidelined all of the 1998 season after having reconstructive surgery on his right elbow.

In July 1999, the Mets traded Isringhausen (1-3, 6.41 ERA) to the Athletics, and the move saved his career. Isringhausen became a closer and in three seasons with the Athletics he produced 75 saves.

Granted free agency after the 2001 season, Isringhausen, 29, came close to accepting an offer from the Rangers, but signed instead with the Cardinals to play near home.

In seven seasons (2002-2008) with St. Louis, Isringhausen had a franchise-record 217 saves, including a league-leading 47 in 2004 when the Cardinals won the pennant.

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On a journey to join in a happy occasion, Cardinals pitcher Bob Duliba was injured in a car accident in which two infants and a woman were killed.

Sixty years ago, on July 12, 1960, Duliba was driving from St. Louis to Kansas City to attend the wedding of teammate Ray Sadecki when his car skidded in the rain near Boonville, Mo., and was hit head-on by another vehicle.

In Duliba’s car were his wife, Alice, 21, and two other passengers, Sophie Wilga, 40, and her nine-month-old daughter, Anna Marie Wilga. The girl was killed in the accident, and Duliba and the two women were injured.

In the other car were the driver, Robert Haukap, 26, of Columbia, Mo.; his wife, Margie Haukap, 24; and their two sons, Robert Jr., 3, and nine-month-old Timothy. Killed in the accident were Timothy and his mother. Robert Jr. and his father were injured.

Duliba was charged with careless and reckless driving, but the misdemeanor charge was dismissed by a prosecutor when a jury couldn’t reach a verdict. Duliba resumed his playing career with the Cardinals and went on to pitch for three other big-league clubs.

Pitching prospect

Duliba was born in Glen Lyon, Pa., about 30 miles west of Scranton. He was 9 when his father, who worked in the coal mines, died.

In 1952, when Duliba was 17, he signed with the Cardinals. A right-handed pitcher, he played four seasons in their farm system before enlisting in the Marines in 1956. After three years in the Marines, Duliba returned to baseball with the Cardinals’ Omaha farm team in 1959.

The Cardinals promoted Duliba to the big leagues in August 1959 and he posted a 2.78 ERA in 11 relief appearances for them. Citing the young pitching talent available to the Cardinals, The Sporting News reported, “Among those who look like money in the bank are Bob Duliba, Bob Miller, Bob Gibson, Ernie Broglio and Marshall Bridges.”

In the fall of 1959, the Cardinals brought Duliba to their Florida Instructional League club to have a couple of tutors, former pitchers Johnny Grodzicki and Howie Pollet, work on improving his curveball. “We certainly feel they helped him,” said Cardinals general manager Bing Devine.

Heading into spring training in 1960, Cardinals manager Solly Hemus said he was counting on Lindy McDaniel, Duliba and Bridges to be the club’s top relievers.

In the first half of the 1960 season, Duliba, 25, made 27 relief appearances for the Cardinals and was 4-4 with a 4.20 ERA.

At the all-star break, Duliba prepared to attend Ray Sadecki’s July 13 wedding.

Highway horror

At about 7 p.m. on July 12, Duliba was driving west on U.S. Highway 40, about 10 miles past Columbia, Mo., when he lost control of the car on a curve in a rainstorm, a state trooper told the Kansas City Times.

Duliba’s passenger, Sophie Wilga, testified in magistrate court that the road was slick and the vehicle began skidding, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Wilga said Duliba’s car came to a stop in the wrong lane immediately before being struck by the car driven by Robert Haukap.

According to the Kansas City Times, Robert Haukap was an engineering student at the University of Missouri and worked for the State Highway department. He suffered a back injury, concussion and cuts in the accident.

His son, Robert Haukap Jr., suffered cuts and bruises.

Duliba’s wife, Alice, fractured her pelvis.

Sophie Wilga, who suffered cuts in the accident, was a former neighbor of Ray Sadecki. She planned to visit family in Kansas City with her daughter after attending the wedding. She was traveling with the Dulibas because her husband Stanley, a grain inspector, remained in St. Louis to work, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Duliba suffered multiple injuries, including five rib fractures, a concussion, cuts and a bruised kidney, The Sporting News reported. The Cardinals declared him inactive for the remainder of the 1960 season.

Case in court

On Aug. 12, 1960, in the Boone County magistrate court, Duliba was charged with careless and reckless driving after a coroner’s jury held him responsible for the accident, citing his car being in the wrong lane when struck. Duliba posted a $100 bond and pleaded not guilty.

According to the Post-Dispatch, Haukap had no recollection of the accident, his attorney, James L. Walsh, said at the inquest.

Duliba declined to testify at the inquest on advice of his attorney, Arnold J. Willman, the St. Louis Globe-Democrat reported. According to the Post-Dispatch, Willman said his client had no auto insurance because he couldn’t afford it.

Willman requested a jury trial and a change of venue. His requests were granted, and the case was shifted from Columbia, Mo., to Fayette, Mo.

A month later, on Oct. 17, 1960, the charge against Duliba was dismissed. Prosecuting attorney Larry Woods of Boone County recommended dismissal after the trial in magistrate court resulted in a hung jury, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Playing again

Duliba recovered from his injuries and played winter ball in Venezuela with Cardinals teammate Bob Gibson before reporting to spring training in 1961. Duliba spent the 1961 season in the minors and made 59 relief appearances.

Back in the minors at the start of the 1962 season, Duliba, 27, got called up to the Cardinals in July. In his first appearance in the majors since the accident, he worked two scoreless innings in relief of Gibson. Boxscore

On July 19, 1962, Duliba got his first save for the Cardinals in three years when he sealed a win for Sadecki against the Cubs. Boxscore

Duliba was 2-0 with two saves and a 2.06 ERA in 28 relief appearances for the 1962 Cardinals.

He figured to be in the club’s plans for 1963, but on April 5 he was optioned to the minors. Duliba “angrily demanded the Cardinals trade him,” the Globe-Democrat reported, and he was sent to the Angels for pitcher Bob Botz.

In three seasons with the Cardinals, Duliba was 6-5 with three saves and a 3.07 ERA in 66 relief appearances. He went on to pitch for the Angels (1963-64), Red Sox (1965) and Athletics (1967). His best season was 1964 when he was 6-4 with nine saves in 58 games for the Angels.

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In the year he won the National League Cy Young Award, Mike McCormick did his part to try to enable the Giants to keep pace with the Cardinals in the pennant race, but he didn’t get enough help from a pair of future Hall of Famers on the pitching staff.

McCormick, a left-handed pitcher who played 16 years in the major leagues, died June 13, 2020, at 81. He had his best season in 1967 when he was 22-10 with a 2.85 ERA for the Giants.

Relying on a screwball to keep batters off stride, McCormick was 3-0 in three starts against the 1967 Cardinals.

The Cardinals finished with a 101-60 record, 10.5 games ahead of the second-place Giants (91-71). One reason the Giants couldn’t catch the Cardinals was the performances of two starters destined for Cooperstown, Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry. Marichal was 0-2 versus the Cardinals in 1967 and Perry was 0-5.

ERA leader

A baseball standout from Alhambra, Calif., McCormick was 17 when he signed with the Giants for $50,000 in August 1956. He went directly to the majors and made his debut with a scoreless inning of relief versus the Phillies on Sept. 3, 1956. “He could really throw when I first saw him,” Giants second baseman Red Schoendienst told The Sporting News.

McCormick’s first decision in the big leagues was a loss to the Cardinals in a start on Sept. 15, 1956, at the Polo Grounds in New York. Al Dark, who became McCormick’s manager with the 1961-62 Giants, hit a home run against him. Boxscore

The Giants moved from New York to San Francisco after the 1957 season. At their Bay Area home, McCormick and his wife became collectors of antique clocks. “I specialize in school and railroad clocks from the period between 1860 and 1880,” McCormick told The Sporting News.

In 1960, McCormick led the National League in ERA at 2.70. The runner-up was the Cardinals’ Ernie Broglio (2.74). Hall of Fame left-hander Carl Hubbell, the Giants’ farm director, told the Sporting News, “McCormick has a lot of what I call pitching instinct. He doesn’t have a set pattern for pitching to any particular hitter, but he senses what to throw next. Mike amazes me with his poise and control.”

Two years later, the Giants won the National League pennant, but McCormick, who developed a left shoulder injury, was limited to 98.2 innings and had a 5-5 record. He didn’t pitch in the World Series against the Yankees.

After the season, the Giants traded him to the Orioles. “He had a sore arm, a hot temper and a fastball he thought he could throw past any batter,” The Sporting News noted.

Continuing to experience shoulder pain, McCormick was 6-8 for the Orioles in 1963 and 0-2 in 1964 before he was demoted to the minors. In April 1965, the Orioles dealt McCormick to the Senators and he was 19-22 for them over two seasons before being traded back to the Giants in December 1966.

“We think he can help us in relief and as a spot starter,” said Giants general manager Chub Feeney.

Pitching lessons

No longer a power pitcher, McCormick, 29, relied on control and changing speeds in his second stint with the Giants.

It wasn’t an easy transition. Because of rainouts and days off, he made a mere two starts in April 1967. At the end of May, his record was 3-2 with a 4.64 ERA and manager Herman Franks sent him to the bullpen. One of McCormick’s relief appearances came June 16, 1967, against the Cardinals. He pitched 4.1 innings and allowed one run. Boxscore

Returned to the starting rotation, McCormick won seven consecutive decisions from June 19 to July 15. One of those wins was June 27, 1967, a shutout versus the Cardinals at St. Louis. McCormick scattered seven hits and walked none. In contrast, Cardinals starter Steve Carlton walked six in 4.2 innings and gave up four runs. Boxscore

Cardinals hitting coach Dick Sisler said batters made the mistake of trying to pull McCormick’s screwball.

“You can’t play long ball against a screwball,” Sisler told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “You’ve got to hit to the opposite field.”

Doing his part

On Aug. 10, 1967, the Giants opened a four-game series against the Cardinals at St. Louis. The Giants were nine games behind the first-place Cardinals and needed to win the series if they were going to challenge for the pennant. “If anybody can catch them, it’s us,” McCormick said.

Hoping to set the tone, McCormick prevailed in the opener, limiting the Cardinals to six hits in a 5-2 victory.

“When he makes you hit his pitch, he’s got you,” Sisler said. “When he wins, I’d say that nine out of 10 batters swing at bad pitches.” Boxscore

Unfazed, the Cardinals won the final three games of the series, beating Gaylord Perry and two former Cardinals, Lindy McDaniel and McCormick’s road roommate, Ray Sadecki. The Giants left St. Louis 11 games behind with 47 left to play.

Top of his game

McCormick faced the Cardinals for the final time in 1967 on Aug. 23 at San Francisco and beat them again, pitching another shutout. His ERA versus the Cardinals for the season was 0.86. Boxscore

“McCormick has done about all he can to stall the Cardinals’ pennant express,” declared the Post-Dispatch.

Said Cardinals outfielder Roger Maris: “He’s always on the borderline with his pitches. He’s on the inside corner or the outside corner, or right on the borderline high or low, but he never has thrown me a pitch down the middle of the plate.”

In games not started by McCormick, the Giants were 4-11 versus the Cardinals in 1967.

McCormick led the league in wins (22) and became the first Giants left-hander with 20 in a season since Johnny Antonelli in 1956. In winning the Cy Young Award, McCormick got 18 of 20 votes from the baseball writers.

McCormick followed the 1967 season with 12 wins for the Giants in 1968 and 11 in 1969 before he was traded to the Yankees in 1970. His last season in the majors was 1971 with the Royals. He finished with a career record of 134-128.

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Mike Morgan delivered a special performance for the Cardinals at a special time in his life.

Twenty-five years ago, on July 3, 1995, Morgan came close to pitching a no-hitter. He held the Expos hitless until giving up an infield single with one out in the ninth at Busch Memorial Stadium.

Morgan’s gem capped a life-altering three-week stretch for him in which he became a father for the first time and got traded from the Cubs to the Cardinals.

Trial and tribulation

A right-handed pitcher, Morgan was 18 when he was selected by the Athletics in the first round of the 1978 amateur baseball draft. He went directly from high school in Las Vegas to the big leagues and made his debut with the Athletics in a start against the Orioles on June 11, 1978.

Morgan embarked on an odyssey, pitching for the Athletics (1978-79), Yankees (1982), Blue Jays (1983), Mariners (1985-87), Orioles (1988), Dodgers (1989-91) and Cubs (1992-95). The Cardinals were the eighth of 12 teams he pitched for in the majors.

The most successful seasons Morgan had were 1991 with the Dodgers (14-10, 2.78 ERA) and 1992 with the Cubs (16-8, 2.55).

His most trying year was 1994. His mother had stomach surgery, his father developed a brain aneurysm and his wife suffered a miscarriage. Morgan was the Cubs’ Opening Day starter, went on the disabled list three times for multiple physical ailments as well as emotional stress, and finished the strike-shortened season with a 2-10 record and 6.69 ERA.

When the 1995 season began, Morgan was on the disabled list again with an injured rib cage, but his outlook brightened in late May. Morgan’s wife, who got pregnant again in October, was progressing encouragingly and Morgan returned to the Cubs’ rotation.

After winning two of his three decisions for the 1995 Cubs, Morgan told The Sporting News, “If I’m healthy, I can pitch with anyone, and right now I’m healthy.”

The Cubs came close to dealing Morgan to the Phillies, prompting him to say, “I don’t want to go anywhere. Four years are the longest I’ve been with one club. These are my friends. They’re great dudes.”

Big changes

On the morning of June 16, 1995, Morgan was with his wife, who had gone into labor, at a hospital near their home in Utah. Soon after his wife gave birth to their first child, a girl, Morgan got a phone call from the Cubs. Expecting congratulations, Morgan instead was told he’d been traded to the Cardinals with two minor-league prospects for first baseman Todd Zeile. Morgan also learned the Cardinals had fired manager Joe Torre.

Morgan said goodbye to his wife and daughter, and dutifully reported to St. Louis, where two days later, June 18, 1995, he started for the Cardinals and took the loss against the Giants. Boxscore

He earned a complete-game win versus the Phillies in his second start and lost to the Astros in his third, giving him a 1-2 mark and 4.19 ERA with the Cardinals.

Taking control

Morgan, 35, made his fourth start against the Expos on a Monday night in St. Louis.

The Cardinals got a run in the first and five in the eighth, including John Mabry’s first home run in the big leagues, while Morgan kept the overeager Expos from getting a hit, enticing them to chase pitches.

“This is precisely the kind of guy who gives an undisciplined team like ours trouble,” Expos manager Felipe Alou told the Montreal Gazette.

The Expos didn’t get a ball out of the infield until Darrin Fletcher lined out to left in the eighth. Fletcher described Morgan’s pitches as “a little cutter away, a sinker away, a little harder sinker. Nothing inside.”

Rondell White, one of the Expos’ top hitters, said, “You get anxious because he’s not doing anything but throwing the ball to the outside. You’re up there hoping you get that fastball, just one of them, but it never comes.”

White hit a groundball in the eighth between first and second. Ranging to his left, second baseman Geronimo Pena gloved the ball, spun and threw blindly to first. The throw was wide and low, pulling first baseman Danny Sheaffer off the bag.

Official scorer Jack Herman gave an error to Pena. “I thought he had time to make a good throw,” Herman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He also admitted to the Montreal Gazette, “I might have scored it differently if it wasn’t a no-hitter.”

Alou called the ruling “an insult.” Morgan said, “Let’s face it, that ball gets hit like that in Montreal and it’s scored a hit.”

The next batter, Jeff Treadway, hit a drive to deep center. Brian Jordan raced to the wall and made a twisting catch.

Tough play

In the ninth, after Curtis Pride led off and flied out to left, Tony Tarasco drew a walk and Wil Cordero came to the plate.

Cordero hit a grounder down the third-base line. Scott Cooper grabbed the ball with his bare hand and fired a low throw to Sheaffer, who scooped it out of the dirt as Cordero streaked across the bag for a single.

Umpire Wally Bell told the Post-Dispatch, “I don’t think he would have beaten it out if the throw was good.”

Sheaffer said, “He had it beat, no question.”

Said Morgan: “Cooper did everything he could.”

With the no-hit bid gone, Jeff Parrett, a former Expo, relieved Morgan and secured the win, striking out David Segui and getting Moises Alou to ground out. Boxscore

Morgan lost his next four decisions and didn’t win again until Aug. 25. He was 5-6 with a 3.88 ERA for the 1995 Cardinals.

In 1996, Morgan was 4-8 with a 5.24 ERA for the Cardinals before he was released in August. He went on to pitch for the Reds (1996-97), Twins (1998), Cubs again (1998), Rangers (1999) and Diamondbacks (2000-2002).

With the 2001 Diamondbacks, Morgan, 42, got to the World Series for the first and only time. He made three relief appearances versus the Yankees and held them scoreless over 4.2 innings.

Morgan finished his career in the majors with a 141-186 record.

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In his short stay with the Cardinals, Bobby Locke pitched a total of two innings in one game and faced four future Hall of Famers.

A right-handed pitcher, Locke played in nine seasons in the majors leagues, primarily with the Indians, Phillies and Angels. He died June 4, 2020, at 86.

His time with the Cardinals consisted of three weeks in April 1962 when he made one appearance for them. It came against the Cubs, the team that traded him to the Cardinals. Locke pitched two scoreless innings in relief and faced nine batters, including the four who would make it to Cooperstown, Ernie Banks, Lou Brock, Ron Santo and Billy Williams.

Though Locke had a good outing, he and the Cardinals weren’t a good fit.

Unused and unhappy, Locke wanted to pitch more and the Cardinals responded by dealing him to the Phillies.

Pitching prospect

After excelling as a high school athlete in Republic, Pa., about 45 miles south of Pittsburgh, Locke briefly attended Arizona State on a football scholarship, returned home and signed a baseball contract with the Indians in 1953.

After four seasons (1953-56) in the Indians’ farm system, Locke spent two years in military service. He returned to baseball in 1959 with the Indians’ farm club at San Diego, posted a 1.63 ERA and was promoted to the majors in June.

Used as a reliever and spot starter, Locke was 3-2 for the Indians in 1959, 3-5 in 1960 and 4-4 in 1961. He also had a total of six saves.

Coveted by the Cubs

Locke threw a sinking fastball and it caught the attention of the Cubs, who traded second baseman Jerry Kindall for him in November 1961.

“I was surprised by the Kindall deal,” Locke told the Philadelphia Daily News. “Hell, I thought I could hit better than Kindall and I’m a pitcher.”

Before trading for Locke, the Cubs rejected a Braves offer of starting pitcher Bob Buhl for reliever Don Elston and Kindall, The Sporting News reported. Braves general manager John McHale said, “It’s kind of hard to understand. Buhl can win 15 games a year for just about anybody and Locke is pretty much an unknown.”

In its assessment of Locke, The Sporting News declared, “There are times when he appears to be the world’s greatest. At other times, you wonder if he isn’t traveling incognito.”

The Cubs projected Locke, 27, to join a 1962 starting rotation with Don Cardwell, Glen Hobbie and Dick Ellsworth. Locke “was virtually handed the No. 4 starting berth on a platter,” The Sporting News noted.

Elvin Tappe, designated as Cubs head coach in a system featuring multiple coaches as field leaders instead of a manager, said, “Locke is exactly the type of pitcher who is most successful at Wrigley Field. He’s a hard thrower with a good, sinking fastball.”

Regarding his fastball, Locke said, “I’ll match it against anyone’s.”

Conform or else

The relationship between Locke and Cubs management began to deteriorate soon after he arrived at spring training camp in Arizona. The Cubs gave him a manual on fundamentals and Locke disregarded it, saying he knew how to play. They also gave him a jump rope. “Everybody got a rope to skip with in their spare time, but I didn’t see much sense in it,” Locke told the Philadelphia Daily News.

Regarding Locke’s relationship with the coaches, his “clubhouse conversation and independence disenchanted them quickly,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

Locke also disliked the Cubs’ system of a board of coaches, who took turns being head coach, in place of a manager. The issue flared into a controversy on March 6, 1962, during an intrasquad scrimmage. Locke walked off the mound and headed to the training room without consulting any of the coaches. The head coach, Elvin Tappe, wasn’t at the game because he was attending a civic luncheon in Phoenix.

“My arm was tight and I didn’t think I should pitch any more,” Locke told the Philadelphia Inquirer, “but the pitching coach wasn’t around and the others were involved in some kind of argument on the field and weren’t in the dugout when I came in. So I just went into the clubhouse.”

Locke added, “With this all-coach system, I just didn’t know who to talk to.”

One of the coaches, Vedie Himsl, said, “Bobby just has to get used to doing things our way.”

According to Himsl, “Bobby apologized for the public defection,” but Locke stayed deep in the Cubs’ doghouse.

“After that,” wrote Philadelphia Daily News columnist Larry Merchant, “a leper would have become more at home with the Cubbies than Locke.”

Locke said, “Nobody talked to me for two weeks after that incident, honest. Even the players shied away from me. Maybe they could feel I was an outcast with the front office.”

Odd man out

On April 7, 1962, before he had a chance to pitch in a regular-season game for the Cubs, Locke was traded to the Cardinals for a minor-league outfielder, Allen Herring, and cash.

Locke’s arrival gave the Cardinals five right-handed relievers. Getting enough work for Locke, John Anderson, Ed Bauta, Lindy McDaniel and Paul Toth was a challenge for manager Johnny Keane.

Locke was a Cardinal for two weeks before he got into the game against the Cubs. He entered in a mop-up role in the seventh inning with the Cubs ahead, 11-5.

After retiring the first two batters, Locke gave up a single to pitcher Dick Ellsworth before getting Lou Brock to ground to second for a forceout. In the eighth after retiring the leadoff batter, Locked walked Ron Santo, who advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Ernie Banks grounded out, Billy Williams walked, but Locke escaped unscathed when he got Bob Will to fly out to center. Boxscore

According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Locke told the Cardinals he’d just as soon move on if they weren’t going to pitch him more often.

“They had a lot of big stars over there and I knew I wouldn’t get much of a chance,” Locke said. “I want to pitch.”

On the move

On April 28, 1962, the Cardinals traded Locke to the Phillies for Don Ferrarese, a left-handed reliever who had been in the majors since 1955 and was Locke’s teammate with the Indians in 1959.

Ferrarese finished his big-league career with the 1962 Cardinals and was 1-4 with one save and a 2.70 ERA in 38 appearances for them.

In his first appearance for the Phillies, on April 29, 1962, Locke held the Mets to one hit in 4.2 innings of relief and got the win. He also contributed a run-scoring single. Boxscore

A happy Locke said, “With the Cardinals, everyone went separate ways. Here, everyone is on the same level.”

The good vibes faded quickly. Locke yielded runs in each of his next four appearances and was sent to minor-league Buffalo, his fifth club since October.

After pitching in parts of three seasons (1962-64) for the Phillies, Locke pitched for the Reds (1965) and Angels (1967-68).

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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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