Celebrated throughout the day and night, the unveiling of the Stan Musial statue outside Busch Stadium was the St. Louis version of a royal wedding.

Fifty years ago, on Aug. 4, 1968, the public got its first glimpse of the statue honoring the greatest Cardinals ballplayer and civic treasure.

From the moment Stan’s mother, Mary, and his wife, Lillian, pulled the cords to remove its coverings, the statue became as prominent a part of the St. Louis community as the iconic Gateway Arch.

Writers initiative

The bronze statue of Musial in his batting stance came about through the efforts of the St. Louis chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Much of the $35,000 cost of the statue was raised from the proceeds of a 1963 retirement dinner for Musial sponsored by the baseball writers. The dinner at the Chase-Park Plaza hotel drew 1,400 people, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In addition to the funds raised from the dinner, private contributions were made by Cardinals flagship radio station KMOX, the board of directors of the Cardinals and the St. Louis chapter of the baseball writers association.

Carl Mose, a sculptor based in Alexandria, Va., was hired to create the statue and he spent three years on the project.

The statue initially was planned to show Musial signing a scorecard for a youth, an image Musial preferred, “but costs and freedom of artistic expression prevailed,” Post-Dispatch sports editor Bob Broeg reported.

To get the image for the statue, Musial posed in his batting stance while Mose sketched, but the sculptor “had to rework the original plaster design after Musial thought it depicted him in too upright of a stance and found other things not quite right about it, including the configuration of his head,” according to author James N. Giglio in his book “Musial: From Stash to Stan the Man.”

Redbirds reunion

The statue, 10 feet, 8 inches high atop an 8.5-foot marble pedestal, was placed outside the stadium near Broadway and Walnut streets.

The dedication was scheduled to be held after the Cubs and Cardinals played on a Sunday afternoon.

Before the game, the club hosted a brunch for Musial, his family and friends in team owner Gussie Busch’s stadium dining room. Officials also invited members of the 1941 Cardinals because Musial made his major-league debut with them. Busch presented each former player with a commemorative Cardinals wristwatch.

After the meal, Musial and the group went onto the field for a pregame ceremony and were introduced to the crowd of 47,445 by broadcaster Harry Caray.

Nineteen of Musial’s teammates from the 1941 Cardinals were on hand: Johnny Beazley, Walker Cooper, Frank Crespi, Erv Dusak, Harry Gumbert, Ira Hutchinson, Howie Krist, Whitey Kurowski, Eddie Lake, Gus Mancuso, Marty Marion, Steve Mesner, Johnny Mize, Terry Moore, Don Padgett, Howie Pollet, Enos Slaughter, Lon Warneke and Ernie White.

Also in the group were Ollie Vanek, the scout who signed Musial for the Cardinals in 1938; two of the umpires from Musial’s first game, Jocko Conlon and Beans Reardon; and two of Musial’s youth sports coaches from his hometown of Donora, Pa., Michael Duda and Frank Pizzica.

When Musial, dressed in uniform, was introduced to the crowd by Caray, fans responded with “deafening” applause, the Post-Dispatch reported. Musial ran to right field, did a pantomime of a fielder pursuing a fly ball, and waved.

Stan’s 4-year-old grandson, Jeffrey, turned to his grandmother Lil and asked, “Is Stan Musial going to play today?”

The game matched aces Ferguson Jenkins of the Cubs against Bob Gibson of the Cardinals. Gibson took a 4-3 lead into the ninth, but Al Spangler led off the inning with a home run, his first in three years, and tied the score at 4-4. The Cubs won, 6-5, on Lee Elia’s RBI-single against Joe Hoerner in the 13th. Boxscore

Symbol of sportsmanship

About 20,000 people gathered for the statue dedication after the game, the Post-Dispatch reported. Among the guests on the dais were Gov. Warren Hearnes of Missouri, U.S. Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri, St. Louis Mayor Alfonso Cervantes, baseball commissioner William Eckert, National League president Warren Giles and retired baseball commissioner Ford Frick.

In a 1963 ceremony before Musial’s final game, Frick said of Musial, “Here stands baseball’s perfect warrior; here stands baseball’s perfect knight.”

Those words were inscribed on the base of the Musial statue.

At the dedication, Frick told the crowd, “Fortunately, behind the bronze and the stone is a man of heart and great integrity. If the time comes when people are so blasé that they don’t look for a Musial glove under a boy’s pillow, or a Musial bat at the side of the bed, then something will be lost from life.”

Broadcaster Jack Buck, master of ceremonies for the dedication, said, “Stan indicated he never forgets the fans. This statue will assure that we’ll never forget him.”

When it came time for Musial to speak, he said, “I like to think of the statue as a symbol of sportsmanship and great freedom of opportunity.”

Displaying emotion, Musial told the audience, “I want to thank everyone, for my mother and the Musial family, for making me a Cardinal forever.”

With tears welling, Mary Musial gave her son a kiss.

After the dedication, Musial hosted a party at his restaurant, Stan Musial & Biggie’s, and delighted the guests with his dancing. When the party ended, Musial invited a small group to his house, where he played the harmonica late into the night.

In 2006, when the Cardinals opened a new Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis, the statue was relocated to a prominent place outside the entrance on the west side of the ballpark, and remained a popular gathering place for residents and visitors alike.

Yellow baseballs couldn’t help a Cardinals club from feeling blue about a season coming apart at the seams.

Eighty years ago, on Aug. 2, 1938, in the first game of a doubleheader between the Cardinals and Dodgers at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, yellow baseballs were used in a major-league game for the first time.

To the Cardinals, the color of the baseball didn’t make any difference in helping their hitting or pitching. The Dodgers beat the Cardinals, 6-2, using yellow baseballs in the opener, and in the second game, when standard white baseballs were brought back into play, the Dodgers won again, 9-3.

Afterward, Cardinals manager Frankie Frisch suggested his players should try using red baseballs. “Maybe it would make them mad,” seeing red, Frisch said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The losses dropped the Cardinals’ record to 38-54 and intensified speculation about Frisch’s job security. Two months later, Frisch was fired and the Cardinals went on to finish with a 71-80 mark, their fewest wins in a season since 1924.

Higher visibility

Frederick H. Rahr, a color engineer from New York, developed the yellow baseball after he witnessed Tigers catcher Mickey Cochrane get beaned by a pitch at Yankees Stadium in 1937. Rahr determined a yellow baseball would make the game safer to play because it would be easier to see than a white baseball.

“It is intended primarily to stop beanball accidents,” Rahr told The Sporting News.

Rahr convinced the baseball coaches at Columbia University and Fordham to use his yellow baseball in a game in April 1938. Dodgers executive Larry MacPhail took notice and got permission from National League president Ford Frick to try the yellow baseball in a regular-season game.

The yellow ball with red stitches was a delight for sportswriters, who described it in their game reports as a “stitched lemon,” a “golden globe,” “canary yellow” and having “a dandelion hue.”

Play ball

Played on a bright Tuesday afternoon, the game with the yellow baseball seemed like any other game.

“I didn’t see much difference,” home plate umpire George Barr said to The Sporting News.

Said Cardinals outfielder Joe Medwick, the reigning National League batting champion: “When you’re hitting, the ball rides, no matter if it’s red, white or blue.”

The majority of spectators liked the yellow baseball and said they could follow it well, the New York Times reported. Most of the Cardinals and Dodgers were OK with it, too.

“I saw it all right,” Dodgers coach Babe Ruth told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. “I hit three of them out of the park in batting practice.”

Other positive reviews:

_ Don Gutteridge, Cardinals third baseman: “I’d like to hit against it all the time.”

_ Leo Durocher, Dodgers shortstop; “It suited me all right. I couldn’t find any fault with it.”

_ Merv Shea, Dodgers catcher: “It’s much easier to follow on a low pitch because the cover of the ball doesn’t reflect the glare of the sun.”

The biggest complaint concerned the dye used to make the baseballs yellow.

“The dye came off on my fingers and the ball was a bit too slippery for my knuckleball,” said Dodgers starter Freddie Fitzsimmons.

Fitzsimmons kept wiping the dye from his hand onto his jersey and pants and “the entire side of his uniform was stained” yellow, according to United Press.

Among the other criticisms:

_ Turk Stainback, Dodgers outfielder: “I noticed the dye came off the ball and onto the bat after it was hit.”

_ Frenchy Bordagaray, Cardinals outfielder: “The yellow ball is too hard to autograph.”

“The yellow cover soiled easily and the umpires were kept busy tossing in new spheres,” the St. Louis Star-Times noted.

Johnny Mize of the Cardinals socked one of the yellow baseballs over the fence in the seventh for the only home run of the game. Boxscore

In the second game, the Cardinals’ frustrations poured out when umpire Bill Stewart started to signal Durocher out at the plate, changed his mind and called him safe. Cardinals catcher Mickey Owen shoved Stewart, threw the white baseball high into the air and was ejected, the Post-Dispatch reported. Frisch came onto the field and “took to kicking dirt over home plate as often as Stewart would brush the plate off” and also was ejected. Boxscore

Keeping with tradition

In an editorial, The Sporting News, urged more use of the yellow baseballs.

“Though the ball cannot be regarded as a complete success at present … enough favorable evidence was adduced to warrant a continuation of the experiment,” The Sporting News wrote. “Anything that contributes to greater safety in the game merits a thorough trial.”

After the 1938 season, baseball officials approved teams using yellow baseballs in games as long as both teams were in agreement, but the experiments were done only a couple of more times in 1939.

In 1973, at the request of Athletics owner Charlie Finley, major-league officials allowed the use of orange baseballs in an exhibition game between the Athletics and Indians in Arizona, but the idea didn’t catch on.

With their third baseman, Gary Gaetti, about to turn 40, the Cardinals went looking for a successor and came up with Fernando Tatis.

Twenty years ago, on July 31, 1998, the Cardinals traded pitcher Todd Stottlemyre and shortstop Royce Clayton to the Rangers for Tatis, pitcher Darren Oliver and a player to be named, outfielder Mark Little.

The move upset Gaetti, who wasn’t ready to give up his starting role, and surprised Tatis, who was happy being with the Rangers.

Though his stay in St. Louis turned out to be short, Tatis made it memorable, accomplishing an unusual feat within the most productive season of his career.

Vying for value

The 1998 Cardinals were 50-57 and out of playoff contention entering the last day of the interleague trade deadline on July 31. With Stottlemyre and Clayton eligible to become free agents after the season, the Cardinals looked to trade them rather than have them depart without getting any players in return.

The Cardinals tried to sign Stottlemyre to a long-term contract that summer, proposing three years for $21 million, but he wanted a four-year contract, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “The Cardinals don’t have to apologize for offering $7 million a season,” Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz wrote.

Stottlemyre was sought by several contenders, including the Rangers, who were neck-and-neck with the Angels in the American League West Division. Stottlemyre had extensive postseason experience, pitching in the 1992 and 1993 World Series for the Blue Jays and the 1996 National League Championship Series for the Cardinals.

The Rangers offered Oliver, a left-hander, for Stottlemyre. Oliver, 27, was younger than Stottlemyre, 33, and wouldn’t be eligible for free agency until after the 1999 season. The Cardinals liked Oliver, but also wanted Tatis. Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty told his counterpart, Doug Melvin, the Rangers would have to take Clayton, 28, in exchange for Tatis, 23, if they wanted Stottlemyre. Melvin agreed, projecting Clayton as an upgrade over Kevin Elster at shortstop.

After replacing Ozzie Smith as Cardinals starting shortstop in 1996, Clayton was a National League all-star in 1997, but he slumped in 1998 (.234 batting average) and the Cardinals weren’t interested in offering him a contract before he entered free agency.

“Clayton represented everything wrong with this disappointing team: moodiness and stubbornness,” wrote Miklasz. “He pouted when he didn’t bat leadoff. He never embraced the suggestions to hit smarter with two strikes. Clayton never tried to hit the ball the opposite way.”

All-star potential

While rating Oliver as “a solid third or fourth starter and probably better than that,” Jocketty acknowledged, “The guy we liked is Tatis. We needed to find a third baseman and he was the best guy available.”

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said Tatis had “an above-average arm. He’s got the talent to become an impact-type third baseman.”

Said Melvin: “We don’t like giving him up because we really think he’ll be an all-star third baseman.”

Tatis made his major-league debut with the Rangers in 1997 and he was batting .270 in 95 games for them in 1998 when he was traded.

After joining the Cardinals, Tatis said of the trade, “When I knew about it, I felt really bad. I was just in shock … I loved it over there.”

Gaetti was unhappy about being benched for Tatis. Gaetti, 39, was batting .263 with 23 doubles and 10 home runs when Tatis was acquired. “The third baseman was not the weakest link on this team,” Gaetti said. “It’s just frustrating.”

On Aug. 14, the Cardinals released Gaetti and he signed with the Cubs five days later, on Aug. 19, his 40th birthday.

Ups and downs

Tatis got off to a terrible start with the Cardinals, committing three errors in his first three games and going hitless in his first 11 at-bats.

“It’s asking a lot for him to make plays like Brooks Robinson and hit like Mike Schmidt, but when he settles in he’ll be fine,” La Russa said.

Tatis got on track and batted .287 for the 1998 Cardinals. Oliver made 10 Cardinals starts that season and was 4-4 with a 4.26 ERA.

After dealing Tatis, the Rangers acquired Todd Zeile, the former Cardinal, from the Marlins to play third base. Stottlemyre (5-4), Clayton (.285) and Zeile helped the 1998 Rangers finish in first place in the AL West and reach the postseason.

In 1999, Tatis had the best season of his 11-year career in the big leagues. Tatis had single-season career highs in runs (104), hits (160), home runs (34), RBI (107), walks (82), stolen bases (21), batting average (.298) and on-base percentage (.404) for the 1999 Cardinals.

On April 23, 1999, he became the only major-league player to hit two grand slams in an inning, achieving the feat in the third against Chan Ho Park of the Dodgers. Boxscore

In 2000, Tatis was limited to 96 games, none from April 30 to June 29 because of a groin injury. With Placido Polanco available to play third base, the Cardinals traded Tatis and pitcher Britt Reames to the Expos in December 2000 for pitchers Dustin Hermanson and Steve Kline.

Oliver led the 1999 Cardinals in innings pitched (196.1) and was 9-9. He became a free agent after that season and returned to the Rangers.

Free agents Stottlemyre and Clayton took different paths after the Yankees eliminated the Rangers in the 1998 AL Division Series. Stottlemyre signed with the Diamondbacks and Clayton stayed with the Rangers.

Little, 26, the player to be named in the Rangers-Cardinals deal, made his major-league debut with St. Louis in September 1998 and had one hit in 12 at-bats. After spending 1999 and 2000 with minor-league Memphis, Little was granted free agency and signed with the Rockies.

Two years after he established the tone for the 2006 World Series, pitching a Game 1 gem and propelling the club toward a championship, Anthony Reyes and the Cardinals were eager for a divorce.

Ten years ago, on July 26, 2008, the Cardinals traded Reyes to the Indians for minor-league reliever Luis Perdomo and cash.

Reyes, 26, was with the Cardinals’ farm club at Memphis when the deal was made. He began the 2008 season with the Cardinals, clashed with pitching coach Dave Duncan, sprained his right elbow and got demoted to the minor leagues.

Disillusioned, Reyes was ready to be traded and the Cardinals were prepared to accommodate him.

“He needs a change of scenery,” Cardinals outfielder Skip Schumaker said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Said Reyes: “When you get overlooked and you feel you’re pitching well, you want to go to a place that’s a better fit.”

Hot prospect

Reyes pitched at the University of Southern California and was selected by the Cardinals in the 15th round of the 2003 amateur draft. In 2004, Reyes pitched for two clubs in the Cardinals’ system and had an overall record of 9-2 with 140 strikeouts in 111 innings.

Before the 2005 and 2006 seasons, Reyes was named the top pitching prospect in the Cardinals’ organization by Baseball America magazine.

He made his major-league debut on Aug. 9, 2005, in a start against the Brewers at Milwaukee and got the win, yielding two runs in 6.1 innings of a 5-2 Cardinals victory. Boxscore On June 22, 2006, Reyes pitched a one-hitter for the Cardinals against the White Sox, but lost, 1-0, on a Jim Thome home run. Boxscore

Though he was 5-8 with a 5.06 ERA in 17 starts for the 2006 Cardinals, Reyes was the Game 1 starter in the World Series because veterans Chris Carpenter, Jeff Suppan and Jeff Weaver were unavailable after pitching in a seven-game National League Championship Series against the Mets.

Matched against Tigers ace Justin Verlander in Detroit, the odds didn’t favor Reyes, but he delivered a masterpiece, limiting the Tigers to two runs in eight innings and earning the win in a 7-2 St. Louis victory. Reyes retired 17 consecutive Tigers batters. Boxscore The Cardinals went on to win four times in five games and clinch their first World Series title in 24 years.

Steps backward

After the postseason, the Cardinals allowed Suppan, Weaver and another starter, Jason Marquis, to leave as free agents, figuring Reyes would help fill the void, but Reyes lost his first 10 regular-season decisions with the 2007 Cardinals and finished the season at 2-14 with a 6.04 ERA.

The Cardinals and Phillies discussed a trade of Reyes for outfielder Michael Bourne, but the proposed deal unraveled, Joe Strauss reported in the Post-Dispatch.

Reyes was prone to using high fastballs to entice batters to swing and miss. Duncan wanted him to pitch to contact rather than try for strikeouts. Reyes didn’t embrace the concept and “became a point of frustration” for Duncan, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said reports of a disconnect between Duncan and Reyes were “nonsense” and caused a distraction. “I regret the fact people mentioned he was not a Dave Duncan style of pitcher,” La Russa told the Post-Dispatch.

The Cardinals moved Reyes to a reliever role in 2008 and he was 2-1 with a save and a 4.91 ERA before spraining his right elbow. After a stint on the disabled list, Reyes was sent by the Cardinals to their Class AAA farm club at Memphis.

“Reyes came to represent the risks of holding on to a young player too long,” the Post-Dispatch reported. “Aware of Duncan’s frustrations with Reyes, some within the organization advocated trading the pitcher after his celebrated win in the first game of the 2006 World Series.”

Fresh start

After the Indians acquired Reyes from the Cardinals, they sent him to their Class AAA affiliate at Buffalo. Working with pitching coach Scott Radinsky, a former Cardinals reliever, Reyes was 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA in two starts for Buffalo before getting called up to the Indians.

Reyes made his Indians debut in a start on Aug. 8, 2008, against the Blue Jays at Toronto and got a win, yielding a run in 6.1 innings of a 5-2 Cleveland victory. Boxscore

“He had a good heartbeat, made pitches when he needed to and was very efficient,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said to the Akron Beacon Journal.

Reyes used the media attention his win attracted to express his frustrations with Duncan and the Cardinals.

“When I’d get sent down in St. Louis, no one ever told me what I was supposed to work on,” Reyes said to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “It wasn’t like it was anything mean, but I was going crazy trying to figure out if I did something wrong. Did I step on someone’s toes?”

In comments to the Beacon Journal, Reyes said, “I felt like I didn’t fit in over there. They didn’t like anything I was doing. It made for some long years.”

After Reyes earned a win in a start at Cleveland against the Royals on Aug, 19, he told the Beacon Journal, “I think I’m getting there. I got in a lot of bad habits the last couple of years, so coming here gives me a chance to get rid of them.”

Elbowed out

Reyes continued pitching well for the 2008 Indians, but on Sept. 5 he was pulled from a start at Kansas City because of elbow pain. Sidelined for the remainder of the season, Reyes was 2-1 with a 1.83 ERA in six starts for the 2008 Indians.

In 2009, Reyes made eight starts for the Indians and was 1-1 with a 6.57 ERA before his right elbow gave out. On June 12, 2009, Reyes underwent reconstructive elbow surgery and never again pitched in the major leagues.

Reyes pitched in the Indians’ farm system in 2010 and 2011. At 30, his final professional season was in 2012 when he pitched for the Padres’ Class AAA Tucson club managed by former Cardinals catcher Terry Kennedy.

In 67 big-league games, Reyes was 13-26 with a 5.12 ERA.

Reyes became a firefighter for the Los Angeles County Fire Department in California in 2017, following in the footsteps of his father, also a firefighter.

Wayne Garrett, who had some of his best games against the Cardinals, finished his major-league playing days with them, producing a sustained stretch of solid hitting for St. Louis and positioning himself to earn an opportunity to extend his career in Japan.

Forty years ago, on July 21, 1978, the Cardinals purchased Garrett’s contract in a waiver deal with the Expos. The Cardinals envisioned Garrett, a left-handed batter, for a pinch-hitting role, but he performed well when given the chance to substitute for slumping third baseman Ken Reitz and ended up being used in a platoon with Reitz the remainder of the season.

Playing almost exclusively against right-handed pitchers, Garrett batted .333 for the 1978 Cardinals, generating 21 hits in 63 at-bats. He hit .389 (7-for-18) with runners in scoring position.

The Cardinals were impressed and wanted Garrett, 30, to return in 1979 as a utility player, but when he and the club couldn’t agree on contract terms, Garrett departed as a free agent.

Cards connections

In 1965, Garrett was selected by the Braves in the sixth round of major-league baseball’s first amateur draft. During his stint in the Braves’ system, Garrett caught the attention of Mets scout Bob Scheffing, who recommended him to management. In December 1968, the Mets took Garrett in the Rule 5 minor-league draft and he opened the 1969 season with the major-league club.

Garrett made his big-league debut for the Mets on April 12, 1969, against the Cardinals at New York. Batting third and playing second base, Garrett had a single and walk against Dave Giusti, who pitched a shutout in a 1-0 Cardinals victory. Boxscore

The next day, April 13, Garrett again got the start at second base and had a double and walk against Bob Gibson, who pitched the Cardinals to a 3-1 triumph. Boxscore

Garrett eventually was shifted to third base and platooned there with Ed Charles.

On July 2, 1969, Garrett had his first four-hit game in the big leagues. Batting fifth and playing third base, Garrett was 4-for-6 with four RBI, a walk and a run scored in the Mets’ 6-4 victory over the Cardinals in 14 innings at St. Louis. Garrett drove in two runs against Giusti with a double and a single, added a RBI-single against Chuck Taylor in the eighth and drew a bases-loaded walk from Ron Willis in the 14th. Boxscore

Garrett started 63 games at third and 34 games at second for the 1969 Mets, who supplanted the Cardinals as National League champions, and batted .218. The rookie got into two games in the 1969 World Series against the Orioles.

Big hits

On Sept. 1, 1970, Garrett had another four-hit game for the Mets against the Cardinals. He was 4-for-5 with a walk against Gibson and scored twice in a 4-3 Mets victory in 12 innings at St. Louis.

In the 12th, with the score tied at 3-3, Garrett led off with a single against Gibson. With Cleon Jones up next, the Mets signaled for a hit-and-run, but Jones swung and missed at a high fastball from Gibson. Garrett swiped second and continued on to third when catcher Ted Simmons’ throw clanked off the glove of Milt Ramirez for an error on the shortstop. Jones followed with a sacrifice fly, driving in Garrett with the go-ahead run. Boxscore

Garrett hit .333 versus Gibson in his career, with 22 hits in 66 at-bats and 10 walks, and had a .421 on-base percentage against the Cardinals ace.

In 1973, Garrett had his best big-league season, batting .256 with 16 home runs and 58 RBI as the third baseman for the Mets, who won their second National League pennant. Facing the Athletics in the World Series, Garrett hit solo home runs against Vida Blue in Game 2 and Catfish Hunter in Game 3. Batting leadoff in all seven games of the World Series, Garrett produced five hits, five walks and was hit by a pitch, but he struck out 11 times and batted .167.

The Mets traded Garrett to the Expos in July 1976 and he platooned at second base with Pete Mackanin the remainder of the season. In 1977, Garrett was plagued by shoulder and leg injuries and was a backup to Larry Parrish at third and Dave Cash at second.

Packing a wallop

By July 1978, Garrett seldom played for the Expos. He was batting .174 for the season when the Cardinals acquired him in a transaction that attracted little attention.

Soon after, Cardinals manager Ken Boyer decided to start Garrett against right-handed pitching because Reitz batted .183 overall in June and .226 in July.

On Aug. 13, 1978, Garrett was 3-for-4 with a walk, a RBI and a run scored in a 6-1 Cardinals triumph over the Mets at New York. Boxscore

A couple of weeks later, on Aug. 31 at St. Louis, Garrett batted for pitcher Aurelio Lopez and hit a ninth-inning grand slam against Reds reliever Doug Bair, though Cincinnati won, 11-6. The ball Garrett hit landed 20 rows deep in the bleacher seats beyond the right-field wall, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Boxscore

It was Garrett’s second major-league grand slam. The first occurred on Sept. 29, 1976, against former Mets teammate Tom Seaver in a 7-2 Expos victory at New York.

Overseas adventure

Garrett played his final big-league game on Sept. 26, 1978, going 2-for-4 in a 3-1 Cardinals win over the Mets at New York. Boxscore

“We got to make some decisions on him,” Boyer said. “He’s looking for a long-term contract, like three years, and we want to see whether we should enter into that kind of deal with him.”

The Cardinals decided to pursue free-agent Pete Rose rather than invest in a multi-year deal for a utility player. Garrett became a free agent and drew interest from the Brewers, but his best offer came from Japan.

Adrian Garrett, Wayne’s brother, went to Japan in 1977 after eight seasons as a utility player in the major leagues with the Braves, Cubs, Athletics and Angels. Adrian hit 35 home runs for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in 1977 and 40 home runs for them in 1978.

Wayne Garrett followed his brother’s career path, signed with the Chunichi Dragons in the Japan Central League and played for them in 1979 and 1980.

Aaron Miles, a 5-foot-8 infielder, lacked size, not stature, as a Cardinals contributor.

Ten years ago, on July 20, 2008, Miles stunned the Padres with a walkoff grand slam in the ninth inning, carrying the Cardinals to a 9-5 victory at St. Louis.

The grand slam was the second of Miles’ major-league career, but his first walkoff home run at any level of play.

“That’s a feeling I never would have expected to get _ a walkoff home run,” Miles said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa summarized Miles’ achievement in two words: “Fantasy Island.”

Unforced error

The grand slam turned despair into joy for the Cardinals.

In the eighth inning, Troy Glaus hit a three-run home run against Heath Bell, giving the Cardinals a 5-3 lead, but the Padres rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth against Jason Isringhausen and Brad Thompson, tying the score at 5-5.

Padres manager Bud Black sent Bryan Corey to pitch the bottom of the ninth and he got the leadoff batter, Jason LaRue, to ground out to third.

Corey, pitching for his fifth team in his fifth big-league season, walked the next batter, Albert Pujols, on four pitches.

Thompson, the pitcher, came up next and third-base coach Jose Oquendo met him at the plate and instructed him to bunt. Padres catcher Luke Carlin noticed Pujols stretching his lead at first base in anticipation of a Thompson bunt.

As first baseman Adrian Gonzalez moved in toward the plate to be in position to field a bunt, second baseman Edgar Gonzalez started to move toward the first-base bag,

When Thompson didn’t offer at Corey’s first pitch, Carlin snapped a throw toward first base, but the ball arrived before Edgar Gonzalez did and sailed into right field. Pujols raced to third on the two-base error.

“Luke Carlin was throwing to a bag that had no one there,” analyst Mark Grant said on the Padres’ television broadcast.

“It was just a stupid play by me to throw the ball,” Carlin told the Associated Press. “I tried to be overaggressive and unfortunately it hurt us.”

Mighty mite

With Pujols in scoring position, La Russa called on catcher Yadier Molina to bat for Thompson with the count at 1-and-0. Molina ran from the bullpen to the dugout, grabbed a bat and went to the plate.

The Padres, looking to set up a possible forceout at any base, elected to intentionally walk Molina as well as the next batter, Skip Schumaker, loading the bases with one out. Schumaker had hit into 11 double plays for the season, but the Padres decided to take their chances with Miles.

A switch-hitter, Miles stood in from the left side against Corey, a right-hander. Miles was bating .327 against right-handers for the season.

The first pitch was called a ball and Miles swung at the second delivery and fouled it off to the left side. The third pitch missed the strike zone, making the count 2-and-1.

Corey’s fourth pitch was in Miles’ wheelhouse and he swung, driving the ball over the right-field fence and into the Cardinals’ bullpen, where it was snared on the fly by joyous teammate Ryan Franklin.

After he connected, Miles dropped his bat at the plate, watched the ball soar and pumped his fist as he headed up the first-base line. Cardinals players poured out of the dugout to mob him at the plate. Video

“Of all the ways you look for Aaron Miles to maybe beat you, that’s not the first thing to come to mind,” said surprised Padres TV play-by-play broadcaster Matt Vasgersian. Boxscore

Rare feat

The home run was the third of the season for Miles. He would finish with four for the season and 19 in a nine-year career in the major leagues. His other grand slam was hit right-handed for the Rockies against Marlins left-hander Al Leiter in the fourth inning of an 8-1 Colorado victory on May 8, 2005, at Miami.

The walkoff home run by Miles gave the Cardinals their first four-game sweep of the Padres since 1990 and moved St. Louis 14 games above .500 for the season. It was the 10th walkoff grand slam all-time by a Cardinals batter and the first since Gary Bennett did it against the Cubs on Aug. 27, 2006.

Cardinals with walkoff grand slams before Miles did it were Pepper Martin (1936), Joe Cunningham (1957), Carl Taylor (1970), Joe Hague (1971), Roger Freed (1979), Darrell Porter (1984), Tommy Herr (1987), David Eckstein (2005) and Bennett (2006).

Since then, Matt Carpenter hit a walkoff grand slam on April 27, 2017, in the 11th inning to beat the Blue Jays at St. Louis.

Miles hit 14 of his 19 major-league career home runs from the left side. Overall, he hit eight home runs for the Cardinals, eight for the Rockies and three for the Dodgers.