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Bill White, a leader on and off the field as a Cardinals player, was a natural to take those skills to the executive level.

Thirty years ago, on Feb. 3, 1989, White was named president of the National League, succeeding Bart Giamatti, who became commissioner of baseball.

Two years after Dodgers executive Al Campanis told a national television audience blacks lacked the necessities for management, White became the highest-ranking African-American sports official in the United States and the first black to head a major professional sports league.

White’s hiring came 42 years after Jackie Robinson integrated the major leagues as a player for the 1947 Dodgers. In 1989, White became leader of a league with no black managers and no black general managers. Frank Robinson of the American League Orioles was the only black manager in February 1989 and Hank Aaron, a vice president of the National League Braves, was the only black executive of a major-league club.

“I don’t think they could have found anyone more qualified than Bill White,” Aaron said to the Associated Press.

Success in St. Louis

White played 13 seasons in the National League for the Giants (1956 and 1958), Cardinals (1959-65 and 1969) and Phillies (1966-68). With the Cardinals, White hit 20 or more home runs in five consecutive seasons and had more than 100 RBI three years in a row. In 1964, when the Cardinals were World Series champions, White batted .303 with 191 hits. As a first baseman, he won the Gold Glove Award seven times, including six with St. Louis, and he was an all-star in five of his Cardinals seasons.

In 1961, White successfully led an effort to end segregation of players at spring training in Florida.

“When Bill was first with the Cardinals, blacks could not stay in the same hotel as whites,” teammate Tim McCarver said. “Bill spoke up and said it was wrong. The next season, blacks were in the same hotel as the whites.”

Cardinals general manager Bing Devine reacquired White from the Phillies in 1969 and wanted him to learn to be a manager. White, however, wasn’t interested. “I didn’t want to manage,” White told me in 2011. “I didn’t want to try to tell 25 other guys how to play the game. I’d rather do something where the success depends on me, not on other people.”

After his playing career, White became a Yankees broadcaster in 1971 and still was in that role when he got a surprise call from Dodgers executive Peter O’Malley in late 1988.

Courting a candidate

O’Malley told White a search committee wanted to interview him for the National League president job. White replied, “Thanks, but I’m not interested.”

A week later, O’Malley called again, White recalled in his 2011 book “Uppity,” and said the committee still wanted to interview him.

“I thought it wouldn’t hurt to meet with them, even though I still wasn’t interested in actually taking the job,” White said.

White was interviewed in New York by the committee of O’Malley, Giamatti, retired National League president Chub Feeney and executives William Bartholomay of the Braves and Fred Wilpon of the Mets.

“My first reaction was, ‘Are these people serious?’ ” White said. “In meeting the people, I found out they were dead serious. Once I found that out, we went forward.”

The finalists were White and Simon Gourdine, director of labor relations for the Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York and former deputy commissioner of the NBA.

The committee recommended White to the 12 National League team owners, who unanimously approved him and awarded a four-year contract.

White said he accepted because “it was a challenge, and throughout my life, a challenge has been something that is hard for me to resist.”

Stellar reputation

Reaction to White’s hiring was overwhelmingly positive.

Bob Broeg of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said the National League would find White to be “a most responsible as well as respectable president.”

Frank Dolson of the Philadelphia Inquirer called White “a man of character, a man of conviction, a man of determination.”

“Some men have to grow into a job; in this case, the job will become bigger simply because of the man occupying the office,” Dolson wrote.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Al Campanis sent a congratulatory telegram to White and hailed him as “articulate, intelligent and a gentleman who has the capability to become an outstanding league president.”

Lou Brock, White’s teammate with the Cardinals, said, “This is a great step, almost equal to Jackie Robinson’s entry into baseball.”

Another Cardinals teammate, Bob Gibson, said, “There are a lot of Archie Bunkers in the world that never really have experienced just being in the same room with a (black) person. The more jobs that are gotten, acquired, the more you are going to be able to dispel the myths that have been going on for years.”

White fully understood the significance of being the first African-American to hold the position but he downplayed the racial aspect because he wanted to be judged on skills, not skin color.

“If I didn’t think I could do the job, I would have been foolish to take it out of some historic significance,” White said.

Red tape

White said he wanted to improve relations between players and umpires and between players and club owners.

Soon after he started, White had to deal with the Pete Rose betting scandal and later with Reds owner Marge Schott, who got suspended for making insensitive comments.

Among White’s successes were his role in guiding expansion of the league into Denver and Miami, keeping the Giants from leaving San Francisco and reestablishing authority of the league president over the umpires union.

White retired in 1994 after some of the team owners he’d supported failed to back his recommendations.

“I was tired of the politics, tired of the behind-the-scenes maneuverings, tired of the lies,” White said in “Uppity.”

In his 1994 book “Stranger to the Game,” Gibson said White confided to him the difficulties he faced as league president.

“White has been frustrated by his inability to push through change and otherwise get things done,” said Gibson. “When he was telling me this over drinks one night and explaining why he felt compelled to resign his position, I said, ‘Why don’t you just stay in it for the money?’ He replied that he couldn’t do that. I said, ‘Hell, I can. Give the job to me.’ In reality, though, I couldn’t work under those conditions any more than Bill could.”

The Pirates came close to convincing the Cardinals to send them Stan Musial, but settled instead for Murry Dickson.

Seventy years ago, on Jan. 29, 1949, the Cardinals sold the contract of Dickson, a starting pitcher, to the Pirates for $125,000.

The Pirates were willing to pay almost three times as much if the Cardinals included Musial in the deal. The purchase price would have been $310,000 _ $250,000 for Musial, the reigning National League batting champion, and $60,000 for Dickson, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

One of the Cardinals’ owners was willing but the other wasn’t, so Musial remained with St. Louis.

Right stuff

Dickson was born in Tracy, Mo., a town along the Platte River in the western part of the state. He was 20 when he signed with the Cardinals in 1936.

A right-hander with a slight build, Dickson began his professional career with Grand Island of the Nebraska State League in 1937 and worked his way through the Cardinals’ system.

After posting a 22-15 record for Houston of the Texas League in 1939, Dickson was rewarded with a promotion to the Cardinals and made his major-league debut on Sept. 30, 1939, with 3.2 scoreless innings of relief against the Cubs at Chicago. Boxscore

Dickson made another September appearance with the Cardinals in 1940 after posting a 17-8 record for Columbus, Ohio. He spent all of 1941 in the minors and stuck with the Cardinals in 1942.

The Cardinals won National League pennants in 1942 and 1943. Dickson was 6-3 in 1942, 8-2 in 1943 and made a relief appearance in the World Series versus the Yankees before entering the Army.

Dickson was assigned to a reconnaissance unit in Europe during World War II, achieved the rank of sergeant and earned four battle stars. General George S. Patton wanted Dickson to be his driver, but Dickson asked to be assigned elsewhere, according to the Society for American Baseball Research.

After two years of military service, Dickson returned to the Cardinals in 1946, achieved a record of 15-6 with a 2.88 ERA and helped them win another pennant. In the 1946 World Series against the Red Sox, Dickson started Game 3 and Game 7. He was the losing pitcher in Game 3 and got no decision in Game 7, though the Cardinals won.

Pursuing a deal

In his book, “Stan Musial: The Man’s Own Story,” Musial said Dickson “liked to experiment with pitches. He had the widest assortment I ever saw _ fastball, curve, slider, knuckler, sinker, screwball _ and a remarkable arm.”

Dickson was 13-16 in 1947 and 12-16 in 1948, when he gave up 39 home runs, but Cardinals manager Eddie Dyer liked him and wanted him in the starting rotation.

The Pirates liked Dickson, too. He was 0-5 against them in 1948, but with a 2.17 ERA, and the Pirates were convinced he’d improve their starting staff.

After the 1948 season, the Pirates began a “relentless pursuit” of Dickson, according to The Pittsburgh Press.

Pirates majority owner and president Frank McKinney was a friend of Cardinals president Robert Hannegan, who co-owned the St. Louis club with Fred Saigh. McKinney and Hannegan were powerful figures in the national Democratic Party and confidantes of President Harry Truman.

While attending the 1948 World Series, McKinney met with Hannegan to discuss a deal for a pitcher. Hannegan offered a choice of four _ Dickson, Red Munger, Howie Pollet and Ted Wilks, The Pittsburgh Press reported.

“Dickson was the pitcher we wanted,” McKinney said.

McKinney said he and Hannegan continued to negotiate, including when they were in Washington, D.C., for Truman’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 1949.

“I worked on this deal for a long time,” McKinney said.

Wait a minute

At some point, the trade talks between McKinney and Hannegan focused on Musial.

In a column headlined “Bucs Almost Had Musial,” Post-Gazette sports editor Al Abrams reported McKinney “had just about convinced Robert Hannegan to sell him Musial and Murry Dickson in one package.”

While at Truman’s inauguration, Hannegan, who suffered from hypertension, said he was advised by his doctor to sell his share of the Cardinals because of the stress the job was causing him. Hannegan planned to sell his share to Saigh.

McKinney’s $310,000 bid for Musial and Dickson was appealing to Hannegan, who “wanted to get back the money he invested in Cardinals stock and get out of baseball because of ill health,” the Post-Gazette reported.

When Saigh was told of the proposed Pirates deal, he objected to Musial being included. “Saigh would have blown his top had such a deal gone through,” the Post-Gazette reported, “and no one could blame him. The move would have wrecked the St. Louis club.”

On Jan. 26, 1949, Hannegan called McKinney, told him Musial wasn’t available and the price for Dickson had gone up to $125,000. “(He) told me to make up my mind within an hour,” McKinney said to The Pittsburgh Press.

McKinney called Pirates manager Billy Meyer, who said, “Get Dickson.”

Hannegan and McKinney made the deal but agreed to keep it quiet because the next day, Jan. 27, 1949, Hannegan announced he sold his shares to Saigh, who gained control of the franchise.

Two days later, it was Saigh who announced Dickson’s contract was sold to the Pirates.

Pinpoint control

Dickson was 12-14 for the 1949 Pirates, but 5-3 versus the Cardinals, who finished a game behind the pennant-winning Dodgers.

Musial said Dickson liked to pitch from behind in the count and get overeager batters to chase pitches. “He had such great control that instead of coming in there with a fat one, he could catch a corner with a pitch that looked good, but wasn’t,” Musial said.

In five seasons with the Pirates, Dickson was 66-85. He went to the Phillies in 1954 and they traded him back to the Cardinals on May 11, 1956, with Herm Wehmeier for Harvey Haddix, Stu Miller and Ben Flowers.

Dickson was 13-8 for the Cardinals in 1956 and 5-3 in 1957 before he hurt his right shoulder and was released.

He pitched for the Athletics and Yankees in 1958, making two relief appearances for New York in the World Series against the Braves, and for the Athletics again in 1959 when he was 43.

Dickson’s career record in the big leagues was 172-181, including 72-54 for the Cardinals.

The Cardinals took a chance on Carlos Baerga, hoping the second baseman could revive his career, but the experiment didn’t last long because they couldn’t wait for him to lose weight.

Twenty years ago, on Jan. 27, 1999, Baerga, a free agent, signed a one-year contract for $1.25 million with the Cardinals, who needed a second baseman to replace departed free agent Delino DeShields.

Before choosing Baerga, the Cardinals also considered Pat Meares, a Twins shortstop who played second base early in his professional career, but the free agent wanted more than the club was willing to provide, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

With the Mets in 1998, Baerga, 30, had gotten out of shape, limiting his fielding range, but he assured Cardinals manager Tony La Russa he’d come to spring training camp at Jupiter, Fla., ready to play.

The Cardinals, who were grooming prospect Adam Kennedy in the minors, hoped Baerga would be a short-term solution at second base in 1999 until Kennedy was prepared to take over, most likely in 2000.

Ready or not

Baerga, a switch-hitter, made his major league debut with the Indians in 1990 and developed into an elite player.

He batted .312 with 205 hits and 105 RBI for the Indians in 1992 and followed up by batting .321 with 200 hits and 114 RBI in 1993. Baerga also did well in 1994 and 1995, batting .314 each season, but on July 29, 1996, the Indians traded him and utility player Alvaro Espinoza to the Mets for infielders Jeff Kent and Jose Vizcaino.

Baerga didn’t have the kind of success with the Mets he had with the Indians. He batted .266 with 53 RBI for the 1998 Mets before becoming a free agent.

The Reds and Angels wanted Baerga but he chose the Cardinals after La Russa called him multiple times during the winter and encouraged him to sign.

“He’s a premier guy who went in the opposite direction and he’s determined to get back the respect he had,” La Russa said to the Post-Dispatch.

La Russa conceded Baerga “gave the appearance of being a little listless mentally and physically” with the Mets, but “we’ve had it confirmed that he’s really working hard. I think he’s anxious to reassert himself.”

Said Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty: “We understand he still makes the double play very well. He always has. It’s just a question of whether he has enough range to make the plays.”

Post-Dispatch columnist Jeff Gordon was skeptical, asking, “Has there been any thought given to sending Baerga out to play second base on skates?” and colleague Bernie Miklasz concluded, “This is the end of the line for Baerga. If he doesn’t turn his career around in St. Louis, it’s over. So he should be motivated.”

Weight watchers

When Baerga reported to Cardinals training camp, he was listed as carrying 215 pounds on a 5-foot-11 frame.

In exhibition games, Baerga produced two hits in 15 at-bats, twisted an ankle and, according to the Post-Dispatch, “impressed no one.”

On March 17, 1999, Baerga was released by the Cardinals because “he was too heavy and too slow,” the Post-Dispatch reported.

“He just wasn’t in shape,” said Jocketty. “He was overweight. I was disappointed with that weight. He just wasn’t able to move as well as you need to (as) a middle infielder.”

Said Baerga: “This has been my body all of my life, but when spring training is over I’m always down to where I want to be. I don’t think I hurt my defense. I didn’t miss any balls. I still make all the plays.”

La Russa met with Baerga and told him “if he could just pick up that step or two, he could have plenty of career ahead of him, but at this point, it’s not there.”

Six days later, on March 23, 1999, Baerga signed a minor-league contract with the Reds.

Baseball journeyman

Placido Polanco was the 1999 Opening Day second baseman for the Cardinals. Joe McEwing eventually got most of the starts before Kennedy was called up in late August and given a look.

Baerga played in 52 games for the Reds’ farm club at Indianapolis before he requested his release. He signed with the Padres, played 21 games for their Las Vegas farm club and was called up to the big leagues in late June 1999.

On Aug. 2, 1999, Baerga started at second base for the Padres against the Cardinals at St. Louis, produced a single in four at-bats and fielded cleanly. It was his only start in the four-game series. Boxscore.

Baerga batted .250 in 33 games for the Padres before his contract was sold to the Indians on Aug. 16, 1999.

Baerga sat out the 2000 season, played in Korea and with the Long Island Ducks in 2001, and returned to the big leagues with the Red Sox in 2002. He went on to play for the Diamondbacks in 2003 and 2004 and with the Nationals in 2005.

In 14 major-league seasons, Baerga batted .291 with 1,583 hits.

After the 1999 season, the Cardinals acquired Fernando Vina from the Brewers to play second base in 2000.

As a 22-year-old rookie, Mel Stottlemyre pitched with poise and precision for the Yankees against the Cardinals in the 1964 World Series.

Stottlemyre, who died Jan. 13, 2019, at 77, started three World Series games versus the Cardinals and was matched against Bob Gibson in each. Stottlemyre got a win in Game 2, a no-decision in Game 5 and a loss in Game 7. He had a 3.15 ERA in 20 innings and yielded no home runs to the Cardinals.

Relying primarily on sinkers and sliders, Stottlemyre didn’t possess an overpowering fastball like Gibson did, so he tried to get groundouts rather than strikeouts.

In his complete-game victory over the Cardinals, Stottlemyre got 18 of the 27 outs on ground balls, according to The Sporting News. Of the 35 Cardinals batters he faced, nine hit the ball into the air, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Stottlemyre “pitched impressively with a sinker that was so good he needed only three outfield putouts,” Post-Dispatch sports editor Bob Broeg noted.

Yankee from Yakima

Stottlemyre was born in Hazleton, Mo., a village along the Big Piney River near Mark Twain National Forest in the southern part of the state. His father was a pipefitter and moved the family to Oregon and South Carolina before settling in Mabton, an agricultural town in Yakima Valley in Washington state, in the early 1950s.

Stottlemyre attended Yakima Valley Community College, joined the baseball team and was taught to throw a sinker by coach Chuck Brayton.

“He was a hard worker and a dedicated pitcher from the start,” Brayton told The Sporting News. “I guess you could sum it up by saying he loved the game.”

Eddie Taylor of the Yankees was the only big-league scout to make an offer to Stottlemyre.

“Every time I was tempted to go along with the crowd I’d think about the boy’s determination, his character and his will to learn,” Taylor said. “What impressed me most was he always pitched winning baseball and he had a free-throwing arm. His fastball was really not much, but he had that effortless way of throwing the ball. What kept me interested was his sinker.”

Stottlemyre, who didn’t get a signing bonus, was assigned to the Class D level of the minor leagues in 1961.

In 1964, he was at Class AAA Richmond, Va., and had a record of 13-3 with a 1.42 ERA. Seeking a replacement for Whitey Ford, who had a hip problem, the Yankees called up Stottlemyre in August.

The right-hander made his major-league debut on Aug. 12, 1964, pitched a complete game and got the win in a 7-3 Yankees triumph over the White Sox. Stottlemyre went on to post a 9-3 record and 2.06 ERA for the Yankees, who won the American League pennant by finishing a game ahead of the White Sox.

Go low

After Ray Sadecki beat Ford in Game 1 of the World Series, Stottlemyre was matched against Gibson in Game 2 at St. Louis on Oct. 8, 1964.

Stottlemyre dodged trouble in the sixth when a ball laced by Lou Brock struck him on the right wrist. Stottlemyre retrieved the ball, threw out Brock and assured Yankees manager Yogi Berra the wrist was all right.

“It was numb for a little bit, but that feeling went away,” Stottlemyre told the New York Daily News.

In the eighth, with the Yankees ahead, 4-1, the Cardinals put runners on second and third with none out. “I thought about taking Stottlemyre out,” Berra said. “One more hit and I would have.”

Relying on the sinker, Stottlemyre got Curt Flood to ground out to third and Brock to ground out to short. Carl Warwick scored from third on Brock’s groundout, cutting the Yankees’ lead to 4-2, but the Cardinals had two outs and a runner, Jerry Buchek, on second.

The threat, though, wasn’t over. Buchek moved to third on catcher Elston Howard’s passed ball and Bill White walked, bringing cleanup hitter Ken Boyer to the plate.

Stottlemyre’s first pitch to Boyer was a mistake, high and inside, but Boyer swung and missed. Howard went to the mound and reminded Stottlemyre to keep the ball down and away. Boyer grounded out softly to short, ending the inning.

“When Stottlemyre got in the jam, I expected to get a good shot at him, but he didn’t give in,” Boyer said.

Said Howard: “He has more poise than any other young pitcher I’ve ever caught. Base hits don’t rattle him. He keeps coming back.”

The Yankees went on to an 8-3 victory. The first four batters in the Cardinals’ order, Flood, Brock, White and Boyer, were held hitless.

Stottlemyre’s line: 9 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks 4 strikeouts.

Gibson’s line: 8 innings, 8 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts.

“We have a pretty good-hitting ballclub, but we couldn’t get much off that kid,” Gibson said. “He’s nothing but good. I’d have had to be awfully good to beat him today.” Boxscore

Dueling aces

Stottlemyre and Gibson both were good in Game 5 on Oct. 12, 1964, at Yankee Stadium. The Cardinals prevailed, 5-2, on Tim McCarver’s three-run home run off Pete Mikkelsen in the 10th.

Stottlemyre’s line: 7 innings, 6 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts.

Gibson’s line: 10 innings, 6 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 13 strikeouts. Boxscore

Stottlemyre and Gibson both started Game 7 on two days’ rest on Oct. 15, 1964, at St. Louis. They were tired but Gibson was better, going the distance in a 7-5 Cardinals triumph.

Stottlemyre’s line: 4 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts.

Gibson’s line: 9 innings, 9 hits, 5 runs, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts. Boxscore

In 11 big-league seasons, all with the Yankees, Stottlemyre was 164-139 with a 2.97 ERA.

He served as pitching coach for the Mets (1984-93), Astros (1994-95), Yankees (1996-2005) and Mariners (2008). The 1986 Mets and the Yankees of 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000 won World Series championships.

At Florida State, James Ramsey was compared with Tim Tebow, but, like his University of Florida counterpart, the Cardinals prospect learned success in professional baseball requires more than faith.

On Jan. 7, 2019, Ramsey was hired to be the hitting coach for the Georgia Tech baseball team.

Seven years earlier, on June 4, 2012, Ramsey was selected by the Cardinals in the first round of the amateur draft.

The Cardinals in 2012 had two first-round picks followed by three supplemental selections before the start of the second round. Pitcher Michael Wacha, outfielder Stephen Piscotty and third baseman Patrick Wisdom made it to the major leagues. Ramsey and catcher Steve Bean did not.

Moving up

Ramsey, an outfielder who batted left-handed, was a standout high school athlete in suburban Atlanta. His father Craig and mother Mary were Florida State alumni and both played sports in college. Craig was a baseball player and Mary played tennis.

James followed his parents to Florida State and excelled at baseball. After his junior season, Ramsey was selected in the 22nd round of the 2011 amateur draft by the Twins, who wanted to convert him into a second baseman, but he rejected their offer of $500,000.

Ramsey spent the summer of 2011 playing in the Cape Cod League on the same team with Piscotty and batted .314.

In 2012, his senior season at Florida State, Ramsey hit .378 with an on-base percentage of .513 and was named Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year. He also earned a degree in finance.

Based on his Cape Cod League performance in 2011 and his Florida State success in 2012, Ramsey raised his ranking as a pro prospect in the 2012 draft.

“He was considered the top senior hitter in the draft,” according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

Skills test

The Cardinals had the 19th pick in the first round as compensation for the Angels’ signing of free-agent first baseman Albert Pujols and also had the 23rd selection. Wacha was their first choice and Ramsey their second.

After 30 total picks were made in the first round, a supplemental round of 30 more picks was held to provide further compensation to clubs losing free agents.

The Cardinals chose Piscotty 36th overall for the loss of Pujols, Wisdom 52nd overall for the loss of Octavio Dotel to the Tigers and Bean 59th overall for the loss of Edwin Jackson to the Nationals.

Scouts were split on whether Ramsey, 6 feet, 190 pounds, should remain an outfielder or move to second base.

Ramsey “doesn’t appear to possess any off-the-chart skills,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. “He is considered to have above-average speed, but with an average arm and average power.”

After the Cardinals chose him, Ramsey told the Orlando Sentinel, “I am not going to be the sexiest prospect that comes along. I am not going to be the 6-foot-5, 220-pound guy, but I am a winner and that’s the kind of guy they want in their organization.”

Ramsey was captain of his college team and, according to the Post-Dispatch, “Scouts have called Ramsey the Tim Tebow of Florida State baseball for his leadership and strong Christian faith.”

Tebow, the former Florida quarterback, tried professional baseball after his NFL career and batted .244 in the minor leagues. Tebow, 31, entered 2019 still seeking a call to the majors.

Stiff competition

The Cardinals gave Ramsey a $1.6 million signing bonus in June 2012 and assigned him to Class A Palm Beach, where he hit .229 in 56 games as a center fielder.

In 2013, Ramsey played for three teams in the Cardinals’ system, but he primarily was with Class AA Springfield, Mo., whose manager was Mike Schildt. Ramsey’s overall statistics for 2013 included a .256 batting mark, 16 home runs and a .373 on-base percentage.

Ramsey was back with Springfield in 2014 and played again for Schildt, who, four years later, would become manager of the Cardinals.

“I can improve in a lot of facets in my game, but one thing I’ve been trying to focus on is the mental side,” Ramsey said to MiLB.com in May 2014. “If I can be the most relentless competitor everyday when I show up to the field, I’m going to give myself a good chance to succeed.”

Ramsey hit .300 with 13 home runs and a .389 on-base percentage in 67 games for Springfield in 2014, but he was unable to break through to Class AAA because the Cardinals had higher-rated outfield prospects such as Piscotty, Oscar Taveras, Randal Grichuk and Charlie Tilson.

Of those, Tilson was the most like Ramsey. “There’s no question Tilson’s emergence made Ramsey more expendable,” Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz observed. “Ramsey’s path to Busch Stadium was clogged.”

Down on the farm

On July 30, 2014, the Cardinals traded Ramsey to the Indians for pitcher Justin Masterson.

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak called it “dealing from an area of depth,” the Post-Dispatch reported.

Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said Ramsey “has a good approach at the plate with a little bit of power and he’s a guy we think will contribute at the major-league level,” according to the Akron Beacon-Journal.

The Indians gave Ramsey a chance at Class AAA and he hit .243 with 12 home runs for their Columbus club in 2015.

In April 2016, the Indians sold Ramsey’s contract to the Dodgers, who assigned him to a farm team. Four months later, the Dodgers dealt Ramsey to the Mariners, who also kept him in the minors.

On April 9, 2017, Ramsey was released by the Mariners and sat out the season. The Twins signed him in December 2017 and he played for two of their farm teams in 2018 before getting released on June 27, 2018.

At 28, Ramsey’s professional playing career was done without getting a chance to play a big-league game.

Florida State hired Ramsey as an assistant baseball coach in August 2018 and he worked there until getting the Georgia Tech offer.

Jaime Garcia often was at his best for the Cardinals when facing the Brewers.

On Jan. 9, 2019, Garcia, 32, retired as a major-league pitcher. The left-hander had a regular-season career record of 70-62 with a 3.85 ERA in 10 seasons in the big leagues. He spent eight of those years with the Cardinals and had a regular-season career mark of 62-45 with a 3.57 ERA for them.

Against the Brewers in his career, Garcia had a 12-6 regular-season record and 2.86 ERA. Eleven of those wins came while he was with the Cardinals.

The Brewers were the opponent in Garcia’s two most impressive outings.

Almost perfect

On May 6, 2011, Garcia retired the first 22 batters in a row and finished with a two-hit shutout against the Brewers at St. Louis. Boxscore

“I knew I had a perfect game,” Garcia said to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “It’s so hard not to think about it, but I was doing the best I could to stay focused on the next pitch.”

With one out in the eighth, Garcia walked Casey McGehee, ending the perfect game bid, and gave up a single to Yuniesky Betancourt before getting Corey Hart to ground into a double play. The second hit he allowed was a Rickie Weeks double in the ninth.

“His sinker was moving,” Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “His off-speed stuff was moving good, breaking down in the zone.”

Five years later, Garcia did even better.

Magic movement

On April 14, 2016, Garcia, relying on a mix of sinkers, sliders and cutters, pitched a one-hit shutout and struck out a career-high 13 in the Cardinals’ 7-0 triumph over the Brewers at St. Louis. Boxscore

Garcia’s strikeout total was the most for a Cardinals left-hander since Steve Carlton fanned 16 on May 21, 1970, at Philadelphia in a game the Phillies won, 4-3. Boxscore

Garcia was the first Cardinals left-hander to pitch a one-hit shutout and strike out as many as 13.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny described the darting movement of Garcia’s pitches as “odd and rare.”

“It’s just amazing what he can make the ball do,” Matheny said.

The movement Garcia gets on those pitches puts pressure on his left middle finger and requires treatment for blisters and a battered nail, Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch reported.

Garcia also singled twice, giving him more hits than he allowed.

The Brewers had three base runners. In the third, Keon Broxton struck out swinging on a wild pitch and reached first. In the sixth, Domingo Santana singled. Martin Maldonado walked, leading off the eighth.

Big starts

Garcia started twice against the Brewers in the 2011 National League Championship Series and had one rough outing. In Game 1, he allowed six runs in four innings and was the losing pitcher. He gave up one run in 4.2 innings in Game 5, but didn’t get a decision in a game the Cardinals won, 7-1.

Garcia, selected by the Cardinals in the 22nd round of the 2005 amateur draft, had his best seasons in 2010 and 2011.

His 2.70 ERA was the best of any National League left-hander in 2010 and produced a 13-8 record. Garcia was 13-7 in 2011 and started two games in the World Series against the Rangers, including Game 2 when he pitched seven scoreless innings but didn’t get a decision. He also started Game 6 and pitched three innings before the Cardinals rallied for a 10-9 victory in 11.

On Dec. 1, 2016, the Cardinals traded Garcia to the Braves for pitchers John Gant and Chris Ellis and infielder Luke Dykstra. Garcia pitched for the Braves, Twins and Yankees in 2017 and for the Blue Jays and Cubs in 2018.