The year 1982 marked the first of three 1980′s appearances in the World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals. It also marks the one and only time that the Milwaukee Brewers reached the World Series.
With the two teams, now in the same league, prepared to face off for the National League Pennant, i70baseball brings you a look back to that series in 1982. A monumental series that took all seven games to decide a winner. A series that would see would see both teams win a game by a double digit margin as well as each team winning a game by two or fewer runs.
It was a series to remember for St. Louis fans. It was the series to forget for Brewers fans. It all began on October 12, 1982.
Game One: October 12, 1982
The Cardinals had finished the regular season with a 92-70 record and defeated the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series for the right to play for the World Title. The Brewers would finish with a 95-67 record and dispose of the (then) California Angels to earn their first trip to the World Series.
For you stat-heads out there, researching this article revealed that the Brewers played 163 games that season. One of which, the contest on June 16, was a tie with the Baltimore Orioles. It is explained that the Brewers were tied with the Orioles at the end of nine innings when the game became rained out. Because the game had passed the fifth inning, the stats were allowed to count, and the teams were required to make up the entire game at a later date.
If game one was to set the tone for the series, then Cardinal fans became concerned very quickly. Right hander Bob Forsch, who was 15-9 with a 3.48 earned run average, took the mound for the Cardinals in front of the home town crowd of 53,723 at 2:30 in the afternoon. As the Brewers stepped to the plate that first inning, Forsch would surrender a hit and a walk before first baseman Keith Hernandez would commit an error allowing Robin Yount to score the first run of the game. An infield hit by Gordon Thomas would drive in Cecil Cooper and the Brewers would have the only runs they would need to win this game.
When you are playing the game, however, you do not know just how many runs it will take to win and the Brewers were not going to settle for just two. In the top of the fourth inning, Brewers lead off hitter Paul Molitor would drive in Charlie Moore on a single that Molitor was thrown out trying to stretch into a double, making the score 3-0. It was later in the game, in the top of the fifth inning, when Ted Simmons would reach Bob Forsch for a fly ball into the left field seats. The bases were empty, but Milwaukee had opened a four run lead.
During this time in baseball history, home field advantage rotated every season. In even years, the National League had home field advantage. In addition to this rule, during those years when the National League had home field advantage, both teams were allowed to use the Designated Hitter in all seven games, regardless of the home stadium’s rules. This rule was changed in 1986 and the Designated Hitter is now only allowed to be used in American League parks and the All Star Game.
Robin Yount would bring an end to Forsch’s day in the sixth with two outs as he drove a double down the right field line scoring second baseman Jim Ganter and Molitor. The score was now 6-0 and the Cardinals turned to Jim Kaat to slow the bleeding. Kaat would pitch well, retiring four hitters and only surrendering one hit before turning the game over to Dave LaPoint. With two outs in the ninth inning, LaPoint would be reached for a run as Don Money would deliver a pinch hit single to score Ben Oglivie. LaPointe was then replaced by Jeff Lahti, who would surrender three straight hits: a single for Moore, a two-run triple to Gantner, and an RBI single for Molitor.
Brewers starter Mike Caldwell would be on his A game during the opening contest. Caldwell, who posted his second best record of his career in 1982 at 17-13, would throw a three-hit shutout that night for the Brewers. Of the three hits, two belonged to Darrel Porter. Porter would double in the second and reach second on Ken Oberkfell‘s base hit in the eighth inning, the only two times a Cardinal would end up in scoring position. Caldwell would finish the day having surrendered three hits and one walk while striking out three Cardinal batters.
Star(s) of the game: While Caldwell deserves mention for his performance from the mound, Molitor and Yount deserve recognition for their contributions. Molitor delivered with a 5-for-6 day at the plate, delivering five singles and driving in two runs. Yount was right behind him, going 4-for-6 with a double and driving in two runs.
The first game of the series belonged to the Brewers, 10-0.
Stay tuned as i70baseball brings you game recaps for all seven games of the 1982 World Series on game days of the 2011 National League Championship Series.
Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
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