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Wide receiver Charley Taylor and quarterback Sonny Jurgensen were in sync, able to connect in a city often associated with disconnection. So when they botched a play in a key game against the St. Louis Cardinals, it was unusual and costly.

With the Washington Redskins, Taylor was “the man who had given more headaches to cornerbacks than any pass catcher to play the game,” according to the Washington Post.

His ability to consistently rack up receptions made him one of the franchise’s most popular players. As Sports Illustrated noted, “It would have surprised hardly anyone at a Georgetown dinner party to hear Henry Kissinger, with his mouth full of caviar canapes, discoursing about the grace of Charley Taylor.”

Taylor played in 22 games versus the Cardinals. He caught 78 passes against them, but it was one he didn’t catch that became perhaps the most noteworthy.

A player who held the NFL record for career receptions (649) when he retired after the 1977 season, Taylor died on Feb. 19, 2022, at 80.

Multiple skills

Charley Taylor was born and raised in Grand Prairie, Texas, an aircraft manufacturing hub located 14 miles west of Dallas. His mother, Myrtle, was a chef, butcher and restaurant owner and his stepfather, James, built airplane parts, according to the New York Times.

A local grocer, R.B. Clarke, who had connections to Arizona State University, arranged for Taylor to meet the school’s football coach, Frank Kush, who offered a scholarship.

Taylor excelled as a running back at Arizona State and hoped to be drafted by the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys so he could play near home. When a college roommate informed him he was taken by Washington with the third overall pick in the first round of the 1964 draft, “I actually rolled over in bed and started crying because I wanted to go to Dallas so bad,” Taylor told the Associated Press.

Swift and sure-handed, Taylor excelled at running back for Washington his rookie season in 1964, rushing for 755 yards, catching 53 passes and scoring 10 touchdowns in 14 games.

About midway through the season in 1966, coach Otto Graham moved Taylor from running back to wide receiver. Taylor initially resisted the move but discovered the position change “gives me the opportunity to do what I do best _ catch the ball and run with it,” Taylor told the Associated Press.

Taylor and Bobby Mitchell gave Washington a pair of elite receivers as targets for quarterback Sonny Jurgensen. All three were destined for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Taylor said Mitchell and assistant coach Ray Renfro, a Browns receiver when Graham quarterbacked them, were influential in his transformation.

“They knew I had the knack for catching the ball,” Taylor said to the Associated Press. “What they had to teach me was to run patterns. That’s the difficult thing _ reading defenses and running good patterns.”

Taylor led the NFL in receptions in 1966 (72) and 1967 (70).

Mitchell, who also had started his NFL career as a running back before shifting to receiver, told Sports Illustrated, “Charley would always get the double coverage. I had some big days because people said Charley Taylor wasn’t going to beat them.”

All mixed up

Taylor, 33, and Jurgensen, 40, were in their 11th season together when Washington (4-2) faced the Cardinals (6-0) on Oct. 27, 1974, at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis.

Though the Cardinals defeated Washington in the second week of the season and were atop the NFC East Division, Taylor said, “We still feel Dallas is the team we have to beat.”

Pinned to a bulletin board in the Cardinals’ locker room, Taylor’s quote was viewed as “an affront to our pride,” Cardinals defensive tackle Bob Rowe told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Taylor was matched in the game against cornerback Roger Wehrli, another future Pro Football Hall of Famer. When the Cardinals drafted Wehrli out of Missouri in the first round in 1969, it was partly because it was thought he had the speed to cover receivers such as Taylor.

On the game’s opening drive, Washington advanced to the Cardinals’ 48-yard line before Jurgensen attempted a pass. On first-and-10, he called for Taylor to run an out pattern to the sideline.

Taylor ran the route correctly, but Wehrli had him covered. Taylor adjusted, turning up field, but Jurgensen didn’t adjust his pass. He threw before Taylor broke free of Wehrli.

“I was throwing the ball away,” Jurgensen told the Post-Dispatch.

Instead, he threw it into the hands of Wehrli, who moved forward, rather than follow Taylor, when he saw Jurgensen release the ball. “I just kept coming and there was no one there but me,” Wehrli told the Post-Dispatch.

Wehrli streaked 53 yards down the sideline, converting an interception into a touchdown for the first time in his NFL career. His only other interception return for a touchdown was in 1979 against Tommy Kramer of the Minnesota Vikings. Wehrli totaled 40 interceptions, all for the Cardinals.

St. Louis won the game, 23-20, improving to 7-0 and moving three games ahead of Washington in the division standings. Video and Game Stats

“The Cardinals made the big plays,” Jurgensen said to the Post-Dispatch. “Now they’re in the driver’s seat. It was a key game. We had to have it, and they got it.”

St. Louis and Washington each finished 10-4 in the regular season and each lost in the first round of the playoffs.

Taylor remains the Washington franchise leader in career touchdowns scored (90) _ 11 rushing and 79 receiving.

Of his 79 touchdown catches, 53 came on throws from Jurgensen, 21 from Billy Kilmer, two each from Randy Johnson and Jim Ninowski and one from Joe Theismann. The touchdown pass to Taylor was the first of Theismann’s NFL career.

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When push came to shove during a game at Cincinnati, both the Cardinals and the plate umpire behaved badly.

On April 22, 1952, Cardinals manager Eddie Stanky confronted umpire Scotty Robb, who responded with a shove.

Two weeks later, Robb submitted his resignation to National League president Warren Giles, then accepted a surprise offer to continue umpiring in the American League.

Law and order

A Baltimore native, Douglas Walker Robb, known as Scotty, played semipro baseball until an arm injury prompted him to move into umpiring. He umpired college and minor-league games before serving two years (1944-45) in the Navy.

Robb was 38 when he became a National League umpire in August 1947. In his debut game, Cardinals versus Giants at the Polo Grounds in New York, he umpired at third base. Johnny Mize drove in four runs against his former club, powering the Giants to a 6-5 victory. Boxscore

Three years later, on July 2, 1950, Robb had a confrontation with Stanky in a game between the Braves and Giants at the Polo Grounds.

With the score tied at 2-2 in the seventh inning, the Giants had a runner on first, none out, when Stanky came to the plate with “visions of a game-winning rally,” the New York Daily News reported.

Nicknamed “The Brat,” Stanky got upset when Robb, working the plate, called Bob Chipman’s first pitch to him a strike. Stanky took an angry swing at the next delivery and missed badly. Strike two. After watching a pitch go outside, Stanky grounded into a rally-killing double play.

“Angrier than ever when he reached the bench, Stanky threw a couple of water buckets onto the grass,” the Daily News reported, and Robb ejected him.

Giants manager Leo Durocher came out of the dugout to argue and Robb tossed him, too.

As Stanky and Durocher made the long walk across the outfield to the clubhouse behind the bleachers in center, Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson threw a towel in the direction of Robb and he also was ejected.

In a flash, the Giants had lost their second baseman, center fielder and manager.

“It was a senseless rhubarb and strictly the Giants’ fault,” declared the Boston Globe.

Robb took “a wicked booing” from Giants fans the remainder of the game, the Globe noted, especially after the Braves struck for four runs in the ninth and won, 6-3. Boxscore

Boiling point

The Giants traded Stanky, 36, to the Cardinals in December 1951 and he became their player-manager, replacing Marty Marion.

After the Cardinals split their first six games in 1952, Stanky selected rookie pitcher Vinegar Bend Mizell, 21, to make his big-league debut in a start against the Reds at Crosley Field.

Mizell, who allowed the Reds two runs in the first and none for the rest of the game, showed more poise than Stanky and some of his veteran players.

In the third inning, Robb, the plate umpire, called out the Cardinals’ Solly Hemus on strikes for the second time in the game. Hemus barked at Robb before heaving his bat toward the grandstand on the first-base side near the visitors’ dugout.

Robb ejected Hemus, prompting Stanky to rush out of the dugout. Robb ordered Stanky to leave the field, but instead he got as close as he could to the umpire. Stanky stood toe to toe with Robb, gestured excitedly, waved his index finger in his face and berated him, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

“I wanted to know why Hemus was put out of the game,” Stanky told the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

According to the Dayton Journal Herald, Stanky and Robb “were jostling each other in a startling fashion.”

During what the Globe-Democrat described as a “tornadic argument,” Robb thought Stanky touched or bumped him.

According to Bob Broeg of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “As far as press box observers could tell, it was a phantom touch, as light-fingered and as unobtrusive as a pickpocket.”

Stanky said to the Globe-Democrat, “I told Robb that I never touched him. If I did, it was not intentional, and probably was caused by the fact that his momentum as he was walking toward our dugout carried him into me.”

Enraged, Robb threw down his mask, put both hands on Stanky’s chest and vigorously shoved him back a few steps. “The umpire squared off and Stanky, obviously stunned, then started toward Robb,” the Post-Dispatch reported.

“It appeared as if the two might start swinging at each other,” the Globe-Democrat noted. 

Umpires joined Cardinals players and coaches in getting between the two and preventing further damage.

Stanky told the Post-Dispatch, “Getting shoved that way and not being able to strike back was the most embarrassing, the most humiliating thing that’s ever happened to me on a ball field.”

Robb ejected Stanky and the game continued. Gene Mauch replaced Hemus at shortstop.

Stan the Mad

More trouble happened in the seventh. With the Cardinals trailing, 2-1, Stan Musial batted with two outs and a runner on first. Musial hit a grounder sharply down the line at first. Umpire Lon Warneke, Musial’s former Cardinals teammate, ruled it a foul ball. “From the press box, the ball appeared to be foul by at least two feet,” the Cincinnati Enquirer noted.

Musial thought otherwise.

“Stan, who seldom protests a decision, kicked the dirt viciously several times,” the Globe-Democrat reported.

According to the Post-Dispatch, Musial was “drop-kicking dirt with the skill of a football field goal specialist.”

Perhaps to prevent Musial from getting ejected for the only time in his career, Cardinals reliever Al Brazle ran from the bullpen onto the field to argue on Musial’s behalf. Warneke ejected Brazle. Boxscore

Tough job

National League president Warren Giles was at the game and witnessed the shenanigans. The next day, Giles met for 45 minutes with Stanky, Hemus and the four umpires _ Robb, Warneke, Babe Pinelli and Dusty Boggess _ to get their versions of what happened.

As the meeting ended, Robb and Stanky shook hands. “It’s all over now,” Stanky told The Sporting News. “We’ll forget it and start anew.”

A few hours later, Giles, a former Cardinals minor-league executive, announced he was fining Hemus $25 and Stanky $50 for their roles in the incident. Giles publicly reprimanded Robb and said he fined the umpire an amount greater than the combined fines of Hemus and Stanky. Years later, The Sporting News reported Robb was fined $200.

Robb “seemed to feel he had been humiliated by Giles’ reprimand and fine,” The Sporting News reported.

The next game Robb worked was on April 26 when the Cardinals played the Cubs at St. Louis. In the seventh inning, Warneke ejected Stanky for arguing a call at third base. Boxscore

Unable to overcome the feeling that Giles hadn’t supported him, Robb resigned on May 5 and said he would operate a printing business in New Jersey.

Two days later, Robb was stunned when American League president Will Harrirdge offered him an umpiring job.

“When Mr. Harridge approached me with an offer, I was so choked up I couldn’t talk for a minute or two,” Robb told The Sporting News.

Harridge said, “I signed what I believed to be a good umpire and the kind of gentleman we would like to have on our staff.”

Robb umpired in the American League through June 1953, then retired from baseball at age 44.

“It’s a lonesome, difficult life,” Robb told The Sporting News. “An umpire must live like a hermit, avoiding casual acquaintances and not associating with players, managers or coaches. The travel is bad … and the pay wasn’t too good either.”

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Earl Morrall thought he was going to be a quarterback for the St. Louis football Cardinals.

It might have happened if the team he was with, the New York Giants, had been less cautious.

Rather than replacing, or substituting for, the Cardinals’ Jim Hart, Morrall went on to play for the Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins, filling in for Johnny Unitas and Bob Griese with astounding success.

As the Los Angeles Times noted, “Morrall was the NFL’s answer to a brilliant Broadway understudy.”

Passed around

Born in Muskegon, Mich., Morrall excelled in athletics at Michigan State. A shortstop and third baseman in baseball, he played in the College World Series. In football, he was a consensus all-America at quarterback and led Michigan State to victory in the Rose Bowl.

The San Francisco 49ers selected Morrall in the first round of the 1956 NFL draft. In his rookie season, Morrall backed up Y.A. Tittle. After the 49ers took Stanford quarterback John Brodie in the 1957 draft, they traded Morrall to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

At Pittsburgh, Morrall was the starting quarterback in 1957 and his backups were Len Dawson and Jack Kemp. Harry Gilmer was the Steelers’ backfield coach and Buddy Parker was head coach.

Parker, a former Cardinals player, had been head coach of the Detroit Lions and led them to two NFL championships before joining the Steelers. His quarterback in Detroit was Bobby Layne and Parker wanted him in Pittsburgh.

During the third week of the 1958 season, the Steelers traded Morrall to the Lions for Layne.

Returning to his home state wasn’t a treat for Morrall. He mostly was a backup to the likes of Tobin Rote, Jim Ninowski and Milt Plum. “I was at my lowest ebb,” Morrall told The Sporting News. “I thought about giving up the game.”

An exception was in 1963 when Morrall made 10 starts and threw 24 touchdown passes, but the next year he hurt his shoulder and the Lions reinstated Plum as the starter.

A positive from Morrall’s time with Detroit is he made a connection with Don Shula, a Lions assistant coach for three seasons (1960-62). Shula joined the Lions as a defensive backs coach and became defensive coordinator. “When I was in Detroit, I always had a lot of respect for the way Earl could come in off the bench and win games for you,” Shula told The Sporting News.

Help wanted

In August 1965, the Giants, seeking an experienced quarterback to replace Y.A. Tittle, acquired Morrall from the Lions.

Morrall, 31, threw 22 touchdown passes as the Giants’ starter in 1965, but the next year he broke his wrist and was limited to seven starts. After the season, the Giants got Fran Tarkenton from the Minnesota Vikings and declared him the starter for 1967.

The Cardinals’ quarterback for 1967 was supposed to be Charley Johnson, who’d been their starter since 1962. His backup was Jim Hart, who spent his rookie season in 1966 on the sidelines until getting into the final game as a substitute.

In August 1967, the Cardinals’ plans got scrambled when Johnson, a reserve Army officer, received orders to report for military service.

With Johnson unavailable, the Cardinals were looking at Hart as their starter unless they could acquire a veteran quarterback before the Sept. 17 start of the season.

“If there’s anyone I’d like to have, it would be the Rams’ Bill Munson,” Cardinals head coach Charley Winner told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Cardinals contacted the Rams, who decided to keep Munson as their backup to Roman Gabriel.

“Earl Morrall might be available,” the Post-Dispatch reported.

A matter of timing

The Giants needed a defensive lineman. With second-year pro Tom Kennedy groomed as a potential backup to Tarkenton, published reports indicated Morrall was available in exchange for a defensive tackle or end.

Harry Gilmer, the Steelers’ backfield coach when Morrall was their quarterback, was in his first year as Cardinals quarterback coach in 1967 and was thought to be advocating for Morrall.

“I thought they would try to trade for an experienced quarterback because I didn’t think they thought I was ready,” Hart told Sports Illustrated.

In the 1977 book, “The Jim Hart Story,” Hart said, “You can’t tell me the Cardinals didn’t try to go after another veteran quarterback. I’ve since learned they were willing to beg, borrow or steal somebody with experience.”

When the Giants didn’t play Morrall in exhibition games, speculation suggested he was being kept out to prevent the chance of an injury while trade talks were held.

One proposed deal was for the Cardinals to send defensive lineman Don Brumm to the Giants for Morrall, the New York Daily News reported.

“The way I understand it, I would have been sent to St. Louis earlier (in the exhibition season),” Morrall told The Sporting News, “but the Giants were reluctant doing it too soon because we were going to open the (regular) season against the Cardinals and they didn’t want me revealing too much information.”

The Giants’ stalling worked in their favor. In the Giants’ final exhibition game, against the Green Bay Packers, Kennedy fractured a collarbone and separated a shoulder. With Kennedy out for the season, the Giants needed to keep Morrall as backup to Tarkenton.

“Morrall believed he was pegged for a trade to St. Louis,” The Sporting News reported. “He says he heard the deal was practically made, but was called off when Kennedy (was) injured.”

In “The Jim Hart Story,” Cardinals defensive tackle Bob Rowe said the subject of who would start at quarterback dominated discussion among the players.

“One guy wanted to know if anybody had heard who they were going to get to replace Charley (Johnson),” Rowe recalled. “Somebody else said he was pretty sure they were going to go with Hart. Then everybody in the group said, ‘Oh my God!’ “

In the 1967 regular-season opener, the Giants beat the Cardinals, 37-20, at St. Louis. Tarkenton threw three touchdown passes and wasn’t intercepted. Hart had one scoring throw and was intercepted four times.

(In retirement, Morrall and Hart both resided in Naples, Fla., and became friends. In 2014, the Naples Daily News shed a different light on the 1967 trade talk. “According to Hart, the quarterbacks nearly were traded for one another,” the newspaper reported.)

Center stage

Morrall spent the 1967 season as Tarkenton’s backup. In August 1968, the Colts’ No. 2 quarterback, Jim Ward, got hurt in an exhibition game. At the urging of Don Shula, who had become their head coach, the Colts acquired Morrall from the Giants to back up Johnny Unitas.

The minor transaction turned out to be a big deal for the Colts.

Two weeks later, on Sept. 7, 1968, Unitas severely injured his right elbow in the Colts’ final exhibition game. Morrall, 34, became the Colts’ starter and led them to a 13-1 record in the regular season. Morrall’s 26 touchdown passes were the most in the league and he was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player.

The Colts advanced through the playoffs before losing to the New York Jets and their flashy quarterback, Joe Namath, in the Super Bowl.

Two years later, the Colts returned to the Super Bowl against the Dallas Cowboys. Unitas left the game after injuring his ribs. Morrall replaced him, helping the Colts to victory.

Don McCafferty was the Colts’ head coach then. Don Shula left after the 1969 season to become Miami Dolphins head coach.

The Colts placed Morrall on waivers before the 1972 season and the Dolphins signed him to back up Bob Griese.

Just like with the Colts in 1968, the timing was superb.

After winning their first four games, the 1972 Dolphins were playing the San Diego Chargers when Griese suffered a broken leg and dislocated ankle. Morrall, 38, could feel the tension from his teammates as he entered the huddle. According to lineman Bob Kuechenberg, Morrall took a look at the worried faces staring back at him and said, “All right, anyone know any dirty jokes?”

The relaxed confidence of the unfazed old pro calmed the Dolphins. With Morrall the starter, they completed the regular season with a 14-0 record. He led them to a win in the first playoff game and started the second before Griese replaced him. Griese was the starter when the Dolphins capped their perfect season with a Super Bowl victory against the Washington Redskins.

Morrall played for the Dolphins until he was 42. At the invitation of University of Miami head coach Howard Schnellenberger, Morrall later mentored Hurricanes quarterbacks Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar and Vinny Testaverde.

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Two years after Mike Flanagan won the American League Cy Young Award, the Orioles were willing to trade him to the Cardinals.

The Orioles made Flanagan the centerpiece of a package they offered to the Cardinals in 1981. In exchange, the Orioles wanted two players the Cardinals were willing to trade, outfielder Sixto Lezcano and shortstop Garry Templeton.

The trade talks between the Cardinals and Orioles began in November 1981 and extended to the baseball winter meetings in December, but despite several attempts to structure a deal, the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement.

Neither club regretted the outcome. The Cardinals traded Templeton and Lezcano to the Padres for a future Hall of Famer, Ozzie Smith, who helped them win the World Series championship in 1982.

Rather than have Templeton at shortstop, the Orioles turned to an internal candidate, Cal Ripken, who, like Smith, developed into a Hall of Famer and helped them win the World Series championship in 1983.

Trade chip

A durable left-hander, Flanagan was 23-9 in 1979 when the Orioles won the American League pennant. Flanagan received 26 of 28 first-place votes in the Cy Young Award balloting.

In September 1981, Flanagan developed tendinitis in his left elbow and missed a turn in the rotation, ending a streak of 157 consecutive starts since 1977. “It’s just an oil change and a 30,000-inning checkup,” he told The Sporting News.

With Flanagan eligible to become a free agent after the 1982 season, the Orioles wanted to get him signed to a multiyear contract in November 1981. When he wouldn’t commit, the Orioles let it be known they were willing to deal him.

As the Baltimore Evening Sun noted, “Rather than take a chance on losing a pitcher of Flanagan’s caliber as a free agent, it is preferable to trade him.”

A player the Orioles wanted was outfielder Sixto Lezcano. Acquired by the Cardinals from the Brewers in December 1980, Lezcano asked to be traded after the 1981 season.

When he was with the Brewers, then an American League team, Lezcano had a .378 on-base percentage in games against the Orioles.

“The Orioles have coveted Lezcano almost since the day he broke in with Milwaukee,” The Sporting News reported, also noting that Orioles manager Earl Weaver “long has been a fan of Lezcano.”

Whitey Herzog, who had the dual role of Cardinals manager and general manager, wanted a pitcher in exchange for Lezcano. Orioles general manager Hank Peters “apparently is willing to part with Mike Flanagan,” according to The Sporting News.

Mix and match

A trade of Lezcano for Flanagan likely would have been made, but the Orioles opted to expand the deal to include Templeton.

Herzog wanted to trade Templeton, who was unhappy in St. Louis, and sought a shortstop in return. The shortstops the Orioles offered were veteran backup Lenn Sakata and rookie Bobby Bonner.

Jim Russo, who resided in St. Louis and scouted the National League for the Orioles, recommended Lezcano and Templeton. Russo was “instrumental in these discussions from the beginning,” the Baltimore Evening Sun reported.

In November 1981, the Baltimore Sun reported the proposed deal was Flanagan, outfielder Gary Roenicke and either Sakata or Bonner for Lezcano and Templeton.

Both sides were intrigued but agreed to suspend talks until the December baseball winter meetings in Hollywood, Fla.

At those meetings, the Baltimore Evening Sun reported, Orioles third baseman Doug DeCinces was added to the offer. The proposed trade was Flanagan, DeCinces, Roenicke and either Sakata or Bonner for Lezcano and Templeton.

The Orioles were willing to include DeCinces because they projected Cal Ripken, who debuted with them in August 1981, to be their third baseman, with either Sakata or Bonner playing shortstop.

The Cardinals, though, were not sold on having either Sakata or Bonner as their replacement for Templeton. A shortstop Herzog liked was Ivan DeJesus of the Cubs. Herzog also asked the Orioles for pitcher Sammy Stewart as a substitute for Flanagan. A right-hander who could start and relieve, Stewart had a 2.32 ERA for the 1981 Orioles. In 26 relief appearances that year, his ERA was 1.58.

“Herzog has a high regard for Flanagan,” the Baltimore Evening Sun reported, “but the pitcher he coveted most … was Sammy Stewart.”

Eager to make a deal, the Orioles tried to accommodate Herzog and the Cardinals. According to the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles, Cardinals and Cubs discussed a three-way trade. The Orioles would send Flanagan, DeCinces and Bonner to the Cubs for DeJesus and pitchers Mike Krukow and Lee Smith. Then the Orioles would swap DeJesus and Sammy Stewart to the Cardinals for Templeton, Lezcano and pitcher Bob Shirley.

“We’ve talked to the Cubs extensively, very extensively,” Hank Peters told the Baltimore Sun.

The Cubs, though, foiled the plan, trading Krukow to the Phillies on Dec. 8 for Keith Moreland, Dickie Noles and Dan Larson.

The Cardinals and Orioles continued to try to find the right combination of players to complete a deal. The Cardinals asked for outfielder John Shelby instead of Roenicke, the Baltimore Evening Sun reported, and the Orioles asked for outfielder Gene Roof.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “one possible combination would have had Templeton and Lezcano going to the Orioles for pitchers Flanagan and Steve Stone and either Bonner or DeCinces.”

“Whatever the other teams offer St. Louis, we’ll make a better offer,” Earl Weaver said to the Baltimore Sun. “I’m definitely not against overloading the deal with pitchers if we can get a shortstop who bats .300 and a man who can go get fly balls like Sixto.”

On Dec. 10, the Baltimore Evening Sun reported, “The trade has been restructured so many times that the two teams have talked nine times in the last two days.”

Change in plans

By then, the Padres had entered the picture, and the Cardinals’ interest in the Orioles cooled considerably.

Before the winter meetings ended, the Padres agreed to trade Ozzie Smith and pitchers Steve Mura and Al Olmsted to the Cardinals for Templeton, Lezcano and pitcher Luis DeLeon.

A month later, in January 1982, the Cubs traded Ivan DeJesus to the Phillies for Ryne Sandberg and Larry Bowa, and the Orioles dealt DeCinces to the Angels for outfielder Dan Ford.

Ford became the Orioles’ right fielder in 1982, filling the role the team had envisioned for Sixto Lezcano.

The Orioles opened the 1982 season with Cal Ripken at third base and Lenn Sakata at shortstop. Ripken shifted to shortstop in July.

Mike Flanagan earned 15 wins for the 1982 Orioles.

In 18 seasons in the majors with the Orioles and Blue Jays, Flanagan had a record of 167-143.

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Just as with Covid in 2021, Cardinals team members in 1996 were urged to be responsible and get inoculated to help protect themselves and others from a contagious disease.

On Oct. 23, 1996, St. Louis County health officials said four employees of Bartolino’s South restaurant at 5914 South Lindbergh Boulevard were diagnosed with the highly contagious hepatitis A disease.

Health officials recommended that everyone who ate food from the restaurant between Oct. 9, 1996, and Oct. 20, 1996, should receive an injection of immune globulin, which contains antibodies to the disease.

As many as 4,000 people, including players and other team members of the Cardinals, were at risk, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

At risk

On Oct. 13, after the Cardinals beat the Braves in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series at St. Louis, Bartolino’s South served the team a catered meal of salad, pasta and chicken, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Also, the night before, the restaurant catered a party at the house of Cardinals catcher Tom Pagnozzi, according to the Post-Dispatch.

Unknown at the time was that a Bartolino’s South salad maker and three busboys had hepatitis A, health officials said.

Hepatitis A, a viral infection of the liver, can be passed by eating food prepared or handled by an infected person.

After the Cardinals lost Game 7 of the series at Atlanta on Oct. 17, team members dispersed to their homes.

Six days later, Cardinals officials learned the team may have been exposed to the viral infection. A club spokesman said the team was trying to contact all players, coaches and other personnel who shared the dinner and urged them to get a immune globulin shot.

Doing the right thing

“What we’re trying to do is to focus on preventing future cases,” said Dr. Linda Fisher, medical director of the St. Louis County health department. “The most important thing right now is that people who ate in the restaurant during that period of time need to promptly get these shots.”

To be effective, the immune globulin shot must be received within 14 days of exposure to the virus, the Post-Dispatch reported.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the immune globulin shot provides immunity for about 90 days. The immune globulin shot is different than a vaccine. Hepatitis A vaccine provides long-term protection and requires two inoculations six months apart.

On Oct. 23, the day it was revealed the restaurant workers were afflicted, the St. Louis County health department and area hospitals administered more than 2,500 doses of immune globulin to customers of the restaurant, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Among those who said they received the free shots that day were Pagnozzi and Cardinals trainer Gene Gieselmann.

According to the book “Cardinals Journal,” players, coaches and staff followed the advice of health officials and began a round of antibiotic shots as a precautionary measure, even though no one on the club had been reported ill.

The total number of restaurant customers who got the shots to protect them from hepatitis A reached 3,400, according to the Post-Dispatch.

In December 1996, the greater St. Louis chapter of the Missouri Restaurant Association and local health groups started a program to help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. According to the Post-Dispatch, the association arranged for restaurant employees to get vaccinations at a discount of $5 per person.

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

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

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

Breaking bad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Batters beware

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

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

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

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

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