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Mudcat Grant began the 1969 season as the top starting pitcher for the Expos and ended it as the top right-handed relief pitcher for the Cardinals.

Fifty years ago, on June 3, 1969, the Expos traded Grant to the Cardinals for pitcher Gary Waslewski.

Grant, 33, preferred to start but the Cardinals needed bullpen help.

As a reliever, Grant appeared in 27 games for the 1969 Cardinals and was 6-3 with seven saves and a 3.22 ERA. He also made three starts and was 1-2 with a 7.62 ERA. Overall, in 30 appearances for the 1969 Cardinals, Grant was 7-5 with a 4.12 ERA.

“Our bullpen did OK once we got Mudcat Grant,” Cardinals pitching coach Billy Muffett said to The Sporting News.

Pointing to his forehead, Muffett added, “He has it up here.”

Name game

James Timothy Grant was at a Cleveland Indians minor-league camp in Daytona Beach when a colleague, mistakenly assuming the Florida native was from Mississippi, began calling him Mudcat, according to the Society for American Baseball Research.

The nickname stuck like Mississippi mud on a catfish’s whiskers.

Grant made his major-league debut with the Indians in 1958 and got traded to the Twins in 1964. He had his best season in 1965, posting a 21-7 record, and made three starts in the World Series against the Dodgers. Grant won Games 1 and 6 and lost Game 4.

In November 1967, the Twins traded Grant to the Dodgers and they converted him from a starter to a reliever. Grant did well in the role, posting ERAs of 0.98 in August and 0.77 in September. As a reliever, Grant appeared in 33 games for the 1968 Dodgers and was 5-2 with three saves and a 1.80 ERA. He also made four starts. Overall, in 37 appearances for the 1968 Dodgers, Grant was 6-4 with a 2.08 ERA.

Playing our song

The Expos selected Grant in the National League expansion draft and wanted him to be a starter. “Mudcat will win more games than any pitcher ever on a first-year expansion team,” Expos manager Gene Mauch predicted to the Montreal Gazette.

Grant impressed by yielding one earned run in spring training and was chosen to start the Expos’ first regular-season game on April 8, 1969, against the Mets at New York. Matched against Tom Seaver, Grant lasted 1.1 innings, surrendering three runs, but the Expos won, 11-10. Boxscore

Grant, a professional singer who toured with the group, “Mudcat and the Kittens,” said he planned to open a discotheque in downtown Montreal. “I’ve been in a lot of countries and a lot of states, but I’ve never felt as free as I feel right here in Montreal,” he said.

Though his record for the Expos was 1-6 with a 4.80 ERA, Grant “made a big impression” with Cardinals scout Bob Kennedy, who recommended the club acquire him to bolster the bullpen, The Sporting News reported.

Initially, Grant was displeased with the trade. “I’ll have to go back to the bullpen and I don’t dig that,” he said to the Montreal Gazette.

Grant told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “All pitchers prefer to start. Man, that’s where the action is.”

Action man

Grant got decisions in his first three relief appearances for the Cardinals.

In his Cardinals debut, on June 7, 1969, at Houston, Grant relieved Ray Washburn in the seventh inning with the score tied at 2-2, yielded a two-run single to former Cardinal Johnny Edwards and was the losing pitcher in a 4-2 Astros victory. Boxscore

On June 11, 1969, Grant pitched seven innings in relief of starter Mike Torrez and was the winning pitcher in the Cardinals’ 10-5 triumph over the Reds at Cincinnati. Boxscore

Grant’s third Cardinals appearance was June 19, 1969, versus the Expos at St. Louis and he got the win with 5.1 scoreless innings in relief of Washburn again in a 5-3 Cardinals victory. Boxscore

Six days later, Grant started the second game of a doubleheader against the Expos at Montreal, pitched a complete game and got the win in an 8-3 Cardinals triumph.

Grant was “loudly booed” by the crowd of 28,819 at Jarry Park, the Post-Dispatch reported. After the game, as Grant walked near the stands, a spectator threw a cup of beer in his face and Grant retaliated

“I let him have a Joe Frazier right cross right on the back of the ear,” Grant said. “I buckled him.” Boxscore

After losing each of his next two starts, to the Cubs and Mets, Grant returned to a relief role.

That’s entertainment

Grant made as big a splash in St. Louis with his singing as he did his pitching. On July 12, 1969, Grant performed at an event sponsored by the St. Louis Pinch-Hitters, wives and friends of Cardinals players, before more than 1,200 people at the Stouffer’s Riverfront Inn.

Under the headline, “Mudcat Grant Steals Show At Ball-B-Que,” the Post-Dispatch reported Grant performed solo and did numbers such as “I’m Going To Sit Right Down and Write Myself A Letter,” and “If I Had A Hammer.”

Four nights later, on Teen Night at Busch Stadium, Grant sang with the Bob Kuban band before a July 16 game.

Grant’s best month with the 1969 Cardinals was August when he was 2-1 with a save and a 2.19 ERA. In September, he had five saves.

“Mudcat is sneaky out there,” said Cardinals catcher Tim McCarver. “He showed me he knows the hitters and he showed me he likes to pitch.”

On Dec. 5, 1969, the Cardinals sold Grant’s contract to the Athletics for what The Sporting News described as “considerably in excess of” the $25,000 waiver price.

Grant played 14 seasons in the big leagues for the Indians, Twins, Dodgers, Expos, Cardinals, Athletics and Pirates, producing a 145-119 record and 3.63 ERA.

Tom Underwood began his major-league career with Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, but nothing prepared him for the challenge he and his sibling faced.

Forty years ago, on May 31, 1979, Tom and his younger brother, Pat Underwood, opposed one another as starting pitchers in Pat’s major-league debut.

Brothers have faced one another as starting pitchers in big-league games before and since, but the matchup of the Underwoods was the only time a pitcher made his major-league debut against his brother.

The family affair occurred at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, with Tom, 25, starting for the Blue Jays against Pat, 22, starting for the Tigers.

Both left-handers rose to the challenge and pitched superbly. Pat prevailed, getting the win in a 1-0 Tigers victory.

Major talents

Tom and Pat were born and raised in Kokomo, Ind.

Tom debuted in the major leagues with the Phillies in 1974 and made his first big-league start on April 13, 1975, with a shutout against the Cardinals at Philadelphia. Boxscore

On June 15, 1977, the Phillies traded Tom and outfielders Dane Iorg and Rick Bosetti to the Cardinals for outfielder Bake McBride and pitcher Steve Waterbury.

Tom was 6-9 with a 4.95 ERA for the 1977 Cardinals. After the season, on Dec. 6, 1977, the Cardinals dealt Tom and pitcher Victor Cruz to the Blue Jays for pitcher Pete Vuckovich and a player to be named, outfielder John Scott.

Pat was selected by the Tigers in the first round of the 1976 June amateur draft. He was the second overall choice after the Astros took pitcher Floyd Bannister with the top pick.

The Tigers promoted Pat to the big leagues in May 1979 after he pitched for manager Jim Leyland at their Evansville farm club.

All in the family

When Tigers manager Les Moss chose to have Pat start against his brother, Tom was not pleased.

“I think it’s stupid,” Tom said to the Detroit Free Press. “It will be the first game of his major-league career and they’re making him start against his brother.

“I’m not sure it’s really fair to Pat. There’s enough pressure on you when you’re pitching your first game in the big leagues without worrying about your brother.”

Helen Marie Underwood, the mother of Tom and Pat, said, “I prayed for rain.”

The skies were all clear, though, in Toronto for the Thursday night game. Helen Marie told the Free Press, “Now I’m just hoping for a shutout _ on both sides.”

Tom and Pat got together the day of the game and Tom said to his brother, “Pat, let’s put on a show. We’ve got center stage tonight and we may never have it again. Let’s make the most of it.”

Mirror image

Pat retired the first 12 Blue Jays batters in a row before yielding a leadoff double to 39-year-old Rico Carty in the fifth inning.

Tom was equally effective and the game was scoreless until the eighth when Jerry Morales, a former Cardinal, led off with a home run over the left-field wall for the Tigers.

In the bottom of the ninth, after Alfredo Griffin doubled with one out, Moss went to the mound and Pat said, “I told him I was feeling really good even before he had a chance to say anything.”

Moss had two relievers ready and opted to replace Pat with Dave Tobik. After Tobik retired Bob Bailor on a fly out, John Hiller relieved and struck out Roy Howell, preserving the win for Pat.

After Pat congratulated Hiller with a handshake, he went across the field, put his arm around Tom and together they walked over to where their family was seated.

“I feel awfully happy for Pat,” Tom told the Free Press. “I’m just sorry it was at my expense.”

In remarks to the Associated Press, Tom said, “I taught him how to throw a slider and changeup while he was in high school. When I looked out, I felt like I was watching myself.”

Pat’s line: 8.1 innings, three hits, no runs, one walk and four strikeouts.

Tom’s line: nine innings, six hits, one run, two walks, six strikeouts. The loss dropped Tom’s record for the season to 0-7. Boxscore

Sibling rivalries

According to Baseball Almanac, other brothers who started a game against one another in the big leagues were Virgil and Jesse Barnes, Phil and Joe Niekro, Gaylord and Jim Perry, Greg and Mike Maddux, Pedro and Ramon Martinez, Andy and Alan Benes, and Jered and Jeff Weaver.

The Benes brothers, Andy for the Cardinals and Alan for the Cubs, started against one another on Sept. 6, 2002. Andy got a complete-game win in the Cardinals’ 11-2 victory. Boxscore

Bob Forsch of the Cardinals and his brother, Ken Forsch of the Astros, pitched against one another but didn’t start against one another.

Tom Underwood pitched in the major leagues for 11 seasons with six teams, Phillies, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Yankees, Athletics and Orioles, and had a career record of 86-87 with 18 saves and a 3.89 ERA.

Pat Underwood pitched in the major leagues for four seasons, all with the Tigers, and had a career record of 13-18 with eight saves and a 4.43 ERA.

An encounter with St. Louis Cardinals defensive back Jimmy Hill put Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr out of action.

Starr, who led the Packers to five NFL championships and twice was named winner of the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award, died on May 26, 2019, at 85. A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Starr played in 10 postseason games and the Packers won nine of those.

On Oct. 20, 1963, the Packers played the Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis and Starr started at quarterback for the 44th consecutive game.

In the third quarter, Starr was flushed out of the pocket by the Cardinals’ pass rush and took off running. After a gain of 15 yards, Starr was headed out of bounds when Hill swung a forearm into him. The force of the blow knocked both Starr and Hill off their feet.

As Starr fell, he used his right hand to try to soften the impact with the ground and a bone snapped. He suffered a hairline fracture to his throwing hand.

Entangled with Hill on the ground, Starr kicked his leg and struck Hill in the mouth. Hill punched Starr in the face.

“I know he didn’t mean it and I know I shouldn’t have hit him,” Hill said to the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Hill was ejected by the officiating crew and Starr, unable to continue, was replaced by a former Cardinal, John Roach.

“I apologized to him after the game and we shook hands, but it still makes me feel badly,” Hill said. “It was a refex action, I guess.”

Said a dazed Starr: “I don’t remember what happened out there.”

According to the book “Bart Starr: America’s Quarterback,” when Starr leaned down to retrieve his helmet, he couldn’t lift it. “That’s when I realized my hand was hurt,” he said.

Using a ground game to gain 225 yards rushing, the Packers (5-1) went on to a 30-7 victory over the Cardinals (4-2). The Packers’ top rushers were Elijah Pitts (77 yards), Jim Taylor (63 yards and two touchdowns) and Tom Moore (60 yards and a touchdown). Game stats

Starr was sidelined for four games and the Packers were 3-1 in his absence. He returned for the last four games of the season and though the Packers were 3-0-1 in those games, they finished in second place, behind the Chicago Bears, in the West Division. They missed the playoffs despite an 11-2-1 mark.

Two decades later, Starr was part of a group trying to bring a NFL expansion team, the Phoenix Firebirds, to Arizona, but the effort ended when Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill moved his franchise from St. Louis to Phoenix for the 1988 season.

The Cardinals were involved in the first unofficial use of video replay to review an umpire’s call and it resulted in a favorable ruling for them.

Twenty years ago, on May 31, 1999, National League umpire Frank Pulli used a television replay to determine whether a ball hit by Cliff Floyd of the Marlins was a home run.

At the time, video replay wasn’t permitted to be used by umpires to review calls made on the field. Pulli made the decision to use the technology available because the umpires disagreed on the call and were confused about the ground rules at Pro Player Stadium in Miami.

After seeing the replays on a television camera viewfinder near the Marlins’ dugout, Pulli reversed his call and ruled the ball hit by Floyd didn’t clear the wall. Floyd was given a double, not a home run.

The next day, National League president Leonard Coleman reiterated baseball’s policy against the use of video replays to review calls.

Nearly a decade later, in 2008, big-league baseball reversed its stance and started using video replays to review certain calls.

Varied opinions

The Cardinals-Marlins game was played on Memorial Day afternoon and featured shortstop Edgar Renteria in his first game at Miami since being traded by the Marlins to the Cardinals.

Renteria hit two home runs and scored three runs, leading the Cardinals to a 5-2 victory, but his performance was overshadowed by the replay controversy.

In the fifth inning, with the Cardinals ahead, 4-1, the Marlins had a runner, Alex Gonzalez, on second, with two outs, when Floyd drove a pitch from Kent Bottenfield deep to left-center.

The ball hit near the top of the wall and caromed back onto the field. The wall, extending from left to left-center and topped by a scoreboard, was 33 feet high and nicknamed the teal monster.

Second base umpire Greg Gibson correctly ruled the ball was in play because it hadn’t cleared the wall. Floyd, seeing Gibson’s signal, stopped at second base with a RBI-double, but he and the Marlins argued for a home run, saying the ball hit against a black canvas above the scoreboard.

After hearing their case, crew chief Pulli, umpiring at third, overruled Gibson’s call and declared a home run for Floyd. Pulli’s decision prompted an argument from manager Tony La Russa and the Cardinals.

“It wasn’t even close to going out of the park,” Cardinals left fielder Ray Lankford said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Cliff put on a good act. He’s a damn good salesman.”

Getting it right

The Cardinals made a compelling case and Pulli began to doubt his decision.

“When I first saw the ball, I thought it hit the scoreboard and came back,” Pulli said. “It was called in play. After further discussion with a few of the Marlins, they said something about hitting the black. I got confused with the ground rules.”

After Pulli and home plate umpire Greg Bonin watched a replay, they were convinced Floyd’s ball didn’t clear the wall.

“I sure don’t want to make a habit of it, but at that moment I thought it was the proper thing to do,” Pulli said. “I’m glad we did. We got the call right.”

Said Floyd: “Most guys make history by hitting two grand slams in one inning. I make history by being the first instant replay.” Boxscore

Marlins interim manager Fredi Gonzalez, filling in for an ailing John Boles, protested the game, saying Pulli violated baseball policy by relying on video replay. “You can’t use any electronic devices to determine the outcome of a game,” Gonzalez said.

Palm Beach Post columnist Dave George wrote, “The call was the right one. The way in which it was verified, however, was goofy considering baseball umpires have been conditioned for more than a century to consider any outside second opinion, up to and including a Supreme Court ruling, as the pathetic meddling of an inferior intelligence.”

The Cardinals, of course, supported Pulli.

“There’s a sentence in the rule book that says, ‘Get the play right.’ That’s the rule _ the golden rule of umpiring,” said La Russa.

“If the play had gone against us and was called right, I wouldn’t have complained.”

Knowing right from wrong

Coleman rejected the Marlins’ protest but made it clear umpires shouldn’t use video replay again.

“Use of the video replay is not an acceptable practice,” Coleman said.

Coleman suggested “part of the beauty of baseball is that it is imperfect,” and added, “The integrity of the game requires that judgments be left to on-field personnel. In the course of play, instant replay has no role in Major League Baseball.”

In explaining why he didn’t uphold the Marlins’ protest, Coleman said Pulli’s decision to use video replay was a judgment call that violated a policy, not a rule.

Pulli, 64, was in his 28th season as a major-league umpire. The 1999 season would be his last.

Cardinals coach and former Marlins manager Rene Lachemann said, “A lot of people should look at the intestinal fortitude Frank Pulli had by doing that. I don’t know how many other umpires would do it. Here’s a guy with 28 years of service trying to do something that’s right for the game and now he gets slapped. That’s what bothers me about the game of baseball.”

A different role in a different league revived the playing career of outfielder Vic Davalillo.

Fifty years ago, on May 30, 1969, Davalillo was traded by the Angels to the Cardinals for outfielder Jim Hicks.

Davalillo had been a starter in the American League since making his major-league debut with the Indians in 1963. He won a Gold Glove Award in 1964 and was an all-star in 1965.

The Cardinals acquired him to be a pinch-hitter and backup outfielder and it was a role Davalillo, 32, embraced. A left-handed batter, he developed into a premier pinch-hitter and played in the major leagues until September 1980 when he was 44 years old.

Power arm

Davalillo, a native of Venezuela, followed in the footsteps of his older brother, Pompeyo “Yo-Yo” Davalillo, who was a shortstop in the American League for the 1953 Senators.

The Reds signed Vic as a left-handed pitcher and he began his professional career in their minor-league system in 1958. He had a 16-7 record and 2.45 ERA for Palatka of the Florida State League in 1959. He also batted .291.

After the 1961 season, the Reds sold Davalillo’s contract to the Indians, who converted him into an outfielder. Though Davalillo was slight at 5 feet 7 and 150 pounds, he had a powerful throwing arm and made consistent contact at the plate.

After batting .346 with 200 hits as an outfielder for Jacksonville of the International League in 1962, Davalillo became the starting center fielder for the American League Indians in 1963. His best big-league season was 1965 when he hit .301 with 26 stolen bases for the Indians.

On June 15, 1968, the Indians traded Davalillo to the Angels for power hitter Jimmie Hall. Davalillo led the 1968 Angels in batting average (.298) and stolen bases (17).

Health problems

Davalillo returned to Venezuela after the 1968 big-league season and played winter ball there until he was stricken with what was described as “nervous exhaustion and a stomach disorder,” The Sporting News reported. He spent two weeks in a hospital.

“Everything seemed to make me ill,” Davalillo said. “Then I began to worry and soon I was very nervous.”

When Davalillo got to spring training with the Angels in 1969, he struggled to perform at the level he was accustomed.

In March 1969, the Angels offered to deal Davalillo and others to the Senators for slugger Frank Howard, according to The Sporting News, but when the Senators countered by asking for a different package of players the Angels refused.

Davalillo opened the regular season by going hitless in his first 13 at-bats for the Angels. On May 2, Royals rookie Dick Drago threw a brushback pitch at Davalillo, who responded by going toward the mound while carrying the bat at his side. Royals catcher Jim Campanis grabbed Davalillo from behind and prevented an incident.

Versatile player

Davalillo was batting .155 in 33 games when the Angels dealt him to the Cardinals. The Los Angeles Times described him as “a major disappointment, a man beset with personal problems.”

Cardinals general manager Bing Devine made the deal because he projected Davalillo as “a qualified backup man for Curt Flood in center field” who provided the club “something it was sadly lacking _ a fleet pinch-hitter,” The Sporting News reported.

Cardinals manager Red Schoendienst told the St Louis Post-Dispatch, “You can do a lot of things with him because he can run well and play anywhere in the outfield and also do a good job of pinch-hitting.”

The Angels were happy to get Hicks, 28, in exchange for Davalillo because he gave them a potential power bat. Though Hicks batted .182 in 19 games for the 1969 Cardinals, he led the Pacific Coast League in hitting (.366) in 1968 when he played for Tulsa.

Both Davalillo and Hicks got off to storybook starts with their new teams.

On June 1, 1969, in his first at-bat as a Cardinal, Davalillo hit a three-run home run against Reds left-hander Gerry Arrigo at St. Louis. “I’ll say one thing about the little guy _ he takes a good cut and hits the ball hard,” said Schoendienst. Boxscore

Two days later, playing in his second game as an Angel, Hicks delivered his first hit for them _ a two-run home run against John Hiller of the Tigers at Anaheim. Boxscore

Hit man

The deal worked out much better for the Cardinals than it did the Angels.

Hicks batted .083 in 37 games for the 1969 Angels and ended his big-league career with four at-bats for the 1970 Angels.

Davalillo produced five hits in his first eight at-bats as a Cardinal. On July 2, 1969, pinch-hitting for Julian Javier, Davalillo hit a grand slam against Mets reliever Ron Taylor, a former Cardinal who was Davalillo’s teammate with Jacksonville in 1962. Boxscore

Davalillo batted .265 in 63 games for the 1969 Cardinals.

In 1970, Davalillo returned to the Cardinals and hit .311 in 111 games. He was amazing in the clutch, batting .393 with runners in scoring position and .727 (8-for-11) with the bases loaded. As a pinch-hitter in 1970, Davalillo batted .324, with 23 hits.

In his book, “Stranger to the Game,” Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson described Davalillo as “a skilled veteran, a popular teammate and in 1970 the best pinch-hitter in the National League.”

Gibson also told an anecdote about a day in Chicago when Davalillo’s friends “had to bring him directly to the ballpark after a long night of festivities.”

“When we saw the condition Davalillo was in, we dressed him, pulled him up the dugout steps and took him to the bullpen where we could cover him with warmup jackets,” Gibson said.

Davalillo quietly napped in the bullpen until late in the game when Schoendienst, unaware of Davalillo’s condition, told coach Dick Sisler he wanted Davalillo as a pinch-hitter. Sisler suggested Schoendienst try someone else, but the manager was insistent.

Davalillo “had a habit of picking up his right foot when he swung the bat,” Gibson recalled, “and when he picked up his foot to swing at the first pitch that day, a strong gust of wind came up and blew him right on his ass.”

As Davalillo lay sprawled across the batter’s box, Sisler said to Schoendienst, “I told you you didn’t want Davalillo.”

On Jan. 29, 1971, the Cardinals traded Davalillo and pitcher Nelson Briles to the Pirates for outfielder Matty Alou and pitcher George Brunet. Davalillo hit .285 for the 1971 Pirates and helped them win the World Series championship.

The 1971 World Series was the first of four in which Davalillo would play. He also played in the World Series in 1973 with the Athletics and in 1977 and 1978 with the Dodgers.

Davalillo finished his major-league career with a .279 batting average and 1,122 hits, including 95 as a pinch-hitter.

For one glorious season, St. Louis Cardinals running back MacArthur Lane rumbled through defenses like a heavy-duty Mack truck and rushed for more touchdowns than anyone else in the NFL.

Lane died May 4, 2019, at 77. He played in the NFL for 11 seasons with the Cardinals (1968-71), Green Bay Packers (1972-74) and Kansas City Chiefs (1975-78).

His most memorable year was 1970, his third Cardinals season, when his skills as a punishing rusher with a linebacker’s approach were in peak form. Lane, 6 feet 1 and 220 pounds, rushed for 977 yards and 11 touchdowns in 14 games that season. He also had 32 receptions, including two for touchdowns. Lane was the 1970 NFL leader in both rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns.

Born in Oakland in 1942 and named in honor of U.S. Army general Douglas MacArthur, Lane’s 1970 performance prompted Sports Illustrated to note, “MacArthur Lane gives St. Louis the most powerful ground attack since his namesake relieved Seoul.”

After spending most of his first two Cardinals seasons on the bench, Lane, like the famous general, said to Sports Illustrated, “I told everyone, ‘I shall return.’ Sure enough, I did.”

Pro potential

After graduating from high school, Lane worked as a machinist in Oakland for three years. When he earned enough income, he attended a junior college for a year and was a linebacker on the football team. Utah State took notice and granted Lane an athletic scholarship. He played linebacker as a sophomore at Utah State before converting to running back.

Lane averaged 6.9 yards per carry in his two seasons as a Utah State running back and was projected to be a pro prospect, even though he’d turn 26 two months after the 1968 NFL draft.

The Cardinals wanted to draft either offensive tackle Russ Washington of Missouri or linebacker Fred Carr of Texas-El Paso, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, but Washington went to the San Diego Chargers and Carr to the Packers before the Cardinals got to pick 13th in the first round.

Cardinals head coach Charley Winner and his staff were considering Lane or his Utah State teammate, defensive lineman Billy Staley. “Swaying their decision was advice from Utah State coach Chuck Mills,” who told the Cardinals he thought Lane had more potential, according to the Post-Dispatch.

Lane was the second running back selected in the 1968 draft, following the Miami Dolphins’ choice of Syracuse fullback Larry Csonka, who was the eighth player taken overall.

Emerging force

Lane was 28 when the Cardinals’ gave him a chance to be a starter in 1970. His breakout performance came in the second game of the season when he rushed for 146 yards and two touchdowns against the Washington Redskins.

In October, he dazzled in consecutives games against the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles. Lane had 132 yards rushing, 41 yards receiving and a touchdown versus the Saints on Oct. 11. The next week, he scored four touchdowns and rushed for 125 yards against the Eagles.

Lane and Cardinals fullback Cid Edwards “just might be the most formidable rushing combination in the country,” Post-Dispatch columnist Bob Broeg observed.

Lane appeared headed to a 1,000-yard rushing season, but in December he was limited to 10 carries against the Detroit Lions and nine versus the New York Giants. After averaging 17.5 rushing attempts per game in September, 14.8 in October and 15.2 in November, Lane got 12.0 carries per game in December.

According to the Post-Dispatch, Lane “ended the season angrier than ever after coaching strategy in the final games cost him his cherished goal of 1,000 yards rushing.”

Lane’s 977 yards rushing placed him third among 1970 NFL leaders, behind Larry Brown of the Redskins (1,125) and Ron Johnson of the Giants (1,027).

Money matters

The sour ending to Lane’s 1970 season carried over to training camp in 1971. Lane and the Cardinals couldn’t agree on contract terms and he was unsigned when President Nixon ordered a freeze on all prices and wages in the United States in August 1971 in response to increasing inflation.

According to the Post-Dispatch, “When the wage and price freeze went into effect, Lane and other unsigned players went into limbo. Lane had to play for his 1970 salary _ which was based on unproductive 1968-69 seasons _ minus a 10 percent cut he had to take to play out his option.”

Lane blamed Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill for not getting a contract done before the wage freeze occurred and he remained miffed at Bidwill throughout the season.

“I’ve been having my problems with him and we’ve been getting under each other’s skin,” Lane said.

Lane’s frustration boiled over on Dec. 12, 1971, after the Cardinals lost to the Eagles. Talking with writers when Bidwill entered the locker room, Lane pointed at the rotund owner and said, “All his money is in that money belt around his stomach.”

“He’s the cause of all this trouble,” Lane said.

Though Lane apologized to Bidwill, the Cardinals suspended him for the season finale against the Dallas Cowboys. The suspension “was a matter of principle,” Bidwill said.

“I just spoke before thinking,” Lane said. “I put my foot in my mouth. What I said was in a rage of anger. The whole damn season has been so frustrating.”

Lane finished the 1971 season with 592 yards rushing and three touchdowns for first-year head coach Bob Hollway.

Sent packing

In late January 1972, Lane and management had amicable contract discussions, but a month later the Cardinals traded him to the Packers for running back Donny Anderson.

“It was just a total surprise,” Lane told the Post-Dispatch. “I was baffled by it all because when I was in St. Louis recently we were very close to signing the contract … We had settled our disagreements when I was there and the Cardinals and I were both happy.”

Said Hollway: “As far as myself and management are concerned, we resolved any problems we had with Lane … The trade came about because we were able to get a more versatile running back.”

Lane and fullback John Brockington gave the Packers a powerful running attack. In 1972, with Lane rushing for 821 yards and three touchdowns, and Brockington rushing for 1,027 yards and eight touchdowns, the Packers were 10-4 in the regular season.

Lane also had success for Chiefs head coach Paul Wiggin in 1976, leading the NFL in receptions with 66. He gained 542 yards rushing and 686 yards receiving that season.

He finished his NFL career with 4,656 yards rushing, 2,786 yards receiving and 37 touchdowns _ 30 rushing and seven receiving.