Tag Archive | "Atlee Hammaker"

Time Capsule: Cardinals Videos From The 1980s

Spring Training games are in full effect with all 30 teams,  including the St. Louis Cardinals, took to the field to start getting ready for the season.  Meanwhile, Major League Baseball has opened the vaults and given the world access to video clips that were previously locked away.

The Cardinals were a powerhouse team in the National League in the 1980’s.  Three appearances in the World Series, including winning the championship in 1982, as well as some key moments throughout the decade had many people watching the team very closely.

Today, i70baseball brings you nine classic moments from the Cardinals in the 1980’s, courtesy of Major League Baseball.

Use the navigation controls below to take a look at each of the videos.  Leave us some comments and tell us the moments you most remember from the 1980’s in St. Louis.

<b>Bruce Sutter Closes Out 1982 World Series</b>

Picture 1 of 9

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball
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August 22, 1982 – Grand Theft Brummer

There is an old adage in baseball: it doesn’t take speed to steal a base, just the courage to run combined with the wisdom of when not to. Sometimes, it just takes a little bit of luck.

The 1982 season was somewhat of a mirror image of 1964. It was the Cardinals, under new manager and general manager, Whitey Herzog, that jumped out to an early lead, and the Phillies playing catch up. Catch up they did, and Herzog’s retooled Redbirds spent some time looking up at Philadelphia in the standings. Since the end of June, these two teams had played cat and mouse, with neither getting a substantial lead over the other.

That brings us to August 22, and the finale of a three game series with the San Francisco Giants. The teams had split the previous two. The Cardinals had gotten out to a big lead in the opener, but a huge 7 run inning by the Giants turned things around very quickly. Five different pitchers were used in the inning, and none of them were effective, including Bruce Sutter, who would eventually take the loss. The second game would be much like the first, with the Cardinals running out to another early lead, and hanging on by a thread in the late innings. This time Sutter was good, and the Cardinals squeaked out a win.

The finale would feature two of the best young pitchers in the game, Joaquin Andujar for the Cardinals and Atlee Hammaker for the Giants.

Joaquin Andujar in the Powder Blues

For the third time in the series, the Cardinals would jump out to an early lead. Back to back doubles by George Hendrick and Gene Tenace in the second inning lead to the first Cardinals run. Silent George would be part of the next scoring opportunity when he singled ahead of a Willie McGee 2 run homer.

Meanwhile Andujar was crusing, and heading into the sixth inning. On his way to the mound, he must have picked up the wrong ball, stepped on a base line or violated some other pitching taboo, because he was just shelled. It came out of nowhere, totally unexpected. For the third time in the series, Whitey Herzog had to make an early call to his bullpen. John Martin managed to get out of trouble, but the damage had been done. What was once a 3-0 lead had been turned into a 4-3 deficit. Not again.

Both Martin and Doug Bair were great in relief of Andujar, and kept the score at 4-3, hoping for a late inning comeback. Before we get to that, there was one play in the 8th inning that on any other night would have gone by without notice. Steve Braun, pinch hitting for Gene Tenace, delivers a 2 out single. Herzog decides to pinch run for Braun, and uses a backup catcher by the name of Glenn Brummer.

Yes, you know what’s coming, don’t you ? Patience. We’re not there yet.


Facing the Giants closer in the ninth inning and trailing by a run, Ozzie Smith starts things off by striking out. Greg Minton then hits David Green with a pitch. That would turn out to be a big mistake because Green was one of the fastest men on the Cardinals roster. Don’t let that giant frame fool you – Green could fly. And he did, stealing second base and putting the tying run in scoring position. Tommy Herr would fail to drive in Green.

That brought the pitcher’s spot up to the plate. Whitey Herzog goes to his bench for Ken Oberkfell, and Obie comes through big. He rips a line drive that splits the outfielders and the ball goes all the way to the wall. Green scores easily, and Oberkfell ends up at second base with a double. He was stranded there, but now his team had another chance.

Extra innings – free baseball.

Jim Kaat takes over in the tenth inning, and struggles. The huge crowd all exhale in unison when Kaat induces an inning ending double play, stranding a runner in scoring position. That was close! The veteran lefty looks better in the eleventh inning when he gets two quick outs, but a double by Milt May causes Herzog to go to his bullpen again, this time for the hard throwing Jeff Lahti. Lahti is shaky at first, but gets out of trouble, preventing May from scoring. That too was close. Too close.

Meanwhile the Cardinals are getting absolutely nowhere with the new Giants reliever, Gary Lavelle. Guys would get on base, steal their way into scoring position, but nobody was able to get that key hit.

All of this comes into play as the Cardinals head into the bottom of the 12th inning. It is a brutally hot August afternoon, and Jeff Lahti is now spent. Not only that, the Redbirds bullpen looks terribly empty. It is now or never.

The Man of the Hour

With one out, Glenn Brummer singles. Willie McGee follows that with a single. Brummer stops at second base on the play. Julio Gonzalez pops out for the second out of the inning. That brings Ozzie Smith to the plate. If this were 1987, we might expect a big hit from the Wizard, but this is still 1982 and Ozzie was not much of a threat. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be productive, and he is. He hits a slow roller and there is no play on the speeding Smith.

The bases are loaded, but there are two outs.

David Green is the next batter, but he’s not the focus of our story. Glenn Brummer, now standing on third base is. He notices something about Lavelle, something only a catcher might see. When working from the stretch, Lavelle has a very high leg kick, and that slows down his delivery to the plate. He’s also a left hander, which means a runner on third base can take a huge lead. Brummer tells Chuck Hiller, the Cardinals third base coach, of his plan. Those were the only two people on the planet that knew what was coming, and neither man tipped their hand.

Brummer waits until an 0-2 delivery. Being a catcher, he knew the pitch would would be something away, probably off-speed. A waste pitch. That increased his odds of success. A straight steal of home plate in that situation would be the last thing anybody would expect. With a giant lead, Brummer breaks when Lavelle goes into the stretch. Thanks to that high leg kick, and a ton of luck, Brummer beats the pitch and slides safely into home with the game winner. Brummer is lucky David Green caught him out of the corner of his eye because the big man stepped aside just as Brummer hit the batters box in his slide.

The huge crowd erupts, and shouting can be heard in houses throughout the Gateway City. The Cardinals win, 5-4 on a walk-off straight steal of home plate. Even now, 29 years later, we still look back at that Sunday afternoon game and smile as if we are listening to it on the radio for the first time.

But let’s not forget the importance of that game. Philadelphia had already won their game, and the Cardinals needed this win badly to stay two ahead of the Phillies. This was not a fluke, or one off entertaining win. Brummer knew that they needed to win, that his reliever was on fumes, and there was little help left in the bullpen. It was a heady play, and we would see many such plays throughout the tenure of Whitey Herzog. We would not see Brummer steal many more bases, and certainly none as exciting or as important as this one.

Bob Netherton covers Cardinals history for i70baseball.com and writes at On the Outside Corner. You may follow Bob on Twitter here or on Facebook here.

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July 18, 1984 – Terry Pendleton’s Big Day

On May 24, 2011, Tony Cruz made his major league debut in San Diego. It was a most memorable debut with the young catcher collecting three hits, including a double. Even though Cruz had gotten off to a slow start with the Memphis Redbirds (AAA), he had hit for a good average at every level. But three hits in his debut – how rare is that, really ?

It turns out that it is quite rare. Before Cruz, only 11 players have done that in their Cardinals debut. When you shorten that list to those players who were also making their major league debut, only three names remain: Creepy Crespi (1938), Ernie White (1940), and a young third baseman who would make his debut in this game. Before getting to him, it should be noted that Ernie White was a pitcher who also threw 7 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win, to go along with those three hits.

July 18, 1984 San Francisco at St. Louis

Atlee Hammaker

When the Giants came into Busch Stadium for this mid-season matchup, neither team figured to be in a playoff race. The two would meet in post-season in 1987, and do battle over seven exciting games with the Cardinals prevailing in the decisive game.

The starter for the Giants would be the same pitcher who took the loss in that 1987 NLCS Game Seven, Atlee Hammaker. Hammaker was a tall lefty that had dazzled the National League the previous season, leading the league with a 2.25 ERA. He was a control specialist, and when he was on his game, he was invincible. In his second start in 1983, he retired the first 21 Cincinnati Reds batters before Johnny Bench led off the 8th inning with a single. In his next start, he would hold the Chicago Cubs hitless until the sixth inning.

A sore shoulder would cut short his 1983 season. Off season surgery to repair his rotator cuff and elbow would cost him most of 1984 too. After recovering from those surgeries, he did manage to get in a few starts, and this game in St. Louis would be one of them.

Rick Horton

On the mound for the Cardinals is the young rookie left-hander, Rick Horton. Horton had been working out of the bullpen for most of the season, but in June he was moved into the rotation. Two weeks earlier, Horton had thrown a gem of a game, earning the win in San Francisco. Cardinals fans hoped there would be a repeat in St. Louis.

Things started very quietly, until Jeffrey Leonard led off the second inning with a home run. This was not the first time he had done that to Horton. The first batter that Horton faced in the majors leagues was Leonard, and the result was the same. Leonard would only manage four hits against Horton in his career, but three of them were home runs. The other was a double. This was the 1980’s version of Albert Pujols and Ian Snell.

Horton limited the damage to just the “One Flap Down” home run. The Giants led, 1-0.

In the bottom of the second inning, a young third baseman named Terry Pendleton stepped up to the plate for the first time in his major league career. He would hit a single off the tough Giants lefty. Obviously, there is more to this story. Much, much more.

Terry Pendleton

In the third inning, Horton got into a bit of trouble, but this time it was small ball that led to the Giants second run. Brad Wellman would lead off the inning with a single. He would be thrown out trying to steal second base, which turns out to be one of the key plays in this game. After a Hammaker ground out, three consecutive singles by Dan Gladden, Manny Trillo and Dusty Baker (yes, that Dusty Baker) led that another run. As he did in the previous inning, Horton limited the damage to just the one run, striking out Jeffrey Leonard to end the inning.

The Cardinals would get one of those runs back in the bottom of the third inning as Lonnie Smith doubles to left field. Jeffrey Leonard, while a juggernaut at the plate, could make left field somewhat entertaining to watch. He would boot the ball, allowing Skates to take third on the play. That extra base turned out to be important as Hammaker retired the next two batters, but the Tommy Herr groundout allowed Smith to score.

In the fifth inning, the Giants had the makings of a major rally. Two walks and a single would load the bases with just one out. As Jeffrey Leonard stepped up to the plate, Whitey Herzog went to his bullpen for the fidgety hard throwing Jeff Lahti. Lahti retired both Leonard and Bob Brenley to end the threat. The Giants still led 2-1.

The Giants threatened to break the game open in the sixth inning. With one out, they would again load the bases. This time Jeff Lahti would not be as fortunate as a Dan Gladden single drove in two runs, making the score 4-1.

If there was a bright spot for the Cardinals, it would be that Atlee Hammaker is out of the game, being lifted for a pinch hitter the previous inning. Hammaker had been very good in his short outing. In five innings of work, he allowed just one run (unearned on the Jeffrey Leonard error) on three hits. He struck out seven while walking nobody. This was the Hammaker that we had seen in 1983, and if he could keep pitching like this, teams in the NL West were going to be in for a few long summers.

Fortunately, the Giants bullpen was not as good as their starter, and the Cardinals jumped all over Jeff Cornell in their half of the sixth inning. Back to back doubles by Lonnie Smith and Tommy Herr would cut the Giants lead in half. With Tommy Herr still at second base with two outs, up steps Terry Pendleton and he would deliver with a single, driving in the first run of his major league career. The Giants lead was down to a single run at 4-3.

Neil Allen would pitch a scoreless seventh inning for the Cardinals, and Bruce Sutter would contribute two more scoreless innings, setting up a ninth inning thriller.

It would be up to Greg Minton to preserve the win for Atlee Hammaker. Minton had been shaky in the eighth inning, and would be so again in the ninth. With one out, Lonnie Smith would single and steal second base. He would take third on the wild throw, giving Tommy Herr a chance to tie the game. Herr delivers with a single, tying the game at 4.

Extra Innings

Ralph Citerella would pitch a quick tenth inning for the Cardinals, retiring the bottom of the Giants order, 1-2-3.

Greg Minton was still in the game for the Giants. The first batter he would face in the tenth inning was Terry Pendleton. And for the third time, Pendleton would single, earning him a place in Cardinals history, now shared with Tony Cruz. Nothing would come from Pendleton’s single, so off to the 11th inning we go.

John Rabb, pinch hitting for Greg Minton, starts things off for the Giants in the eleventh inning with a single. He would be bunted into scoring position, with just one out. Manny Trillo would follow that with a single, and Rabb decided to test Andy van Slyke. That turned out to be a bad decision, and the rest of the league would soon learn of van Slyke’s arm. Rabb would be thrown out at the plate. Momentum had just shifted sides to the home team with that pivotal play.

Tommy Herr would lead off the Cardinals half of the eleventh inning with a double. Andy van Slyke would follow that with a grounder for a sure out, but the Giants spent too much time worrying about Herr. Both runners were safe. George Hendrick would follow that with a rocket of a single. With nobody out, the Cardinals played it safely, holding Herr at third base.

After a David Green pop out, Terry Pendleton would step up to the plate. If this were a fictional tale, Pendleton would drive in the winning run, cementing his major league debut as one of the greatest in Cardinals history. But it is not, and Pendleton grounded out, forcing Herr at home plate.

Walk Off in Grand Style

What happens next is one of those things that stays with you for a couple of decades. Walk-off hits are great, but they happen frequently enough that they all sort of blur together. Walk-off home runs are more precious and tend to stay with you a bit longer. But they too begin to fade into all of the other baseball memories after some time.

But walk-off grand slams ? Now, those stay with you for a long long time. And this would be one of them. As Darrell Porter steps to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs, he is thinking only one thing – hit it hard, and some place where they can’t catch it. He did exactly that by hitting the ball over the outfield wall for a walk-off grand slam. The Cardinals fans went home deliriously happy with a most improbable 8-4 win. Dave Von Ohlen would earn the victory with one inning of relief. Darrell Porter was the immediate hero, somewhat overshadowing van Slyke’s heroic outfield assist in the top of the inning.

When you look back at this game, it is Terry Pendleton’s three hits in his major league debut that really make you smile. The smile gets a bit bigger when you think of all the players who made their debut in the 27 years between Pendleton and Tony Cruz, and none of them accomplished what these two did.

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Top Ten October Memories

Some of the obvious perks associated with being a St. Louis Cardinals fan include the lifetime of wonderful memories the team has produced in the month of October. Everyone has their favorite Redbird memories from that championship month; some of us are old enough to remember the glorious season of 1964, when the Cardinals surprised the world with their amazing championship run; others were just tykes when the first edition of “Whitey Ball” thrilled Cardinal Nation with the World Championship in 1982.

No matter where your personal recollection of St Louis Cardinals heroics begins, one thing is certain; Cardinal Nation has been blessed with many thrilling October highlights.

Here are my top ten favorite October memories:

10 – October 7, 1982 – Game 1 NLCS – Bob Forsch pitches a three-hit complete game shutout against the Atlanta Braves, as the Cards cruise to a 7-0 win in front of 50,000+ fans at Busch Memorial Stadium. The highlight of this game occurs when Willie McGee stops at third base “for no apparent reason” (Jack Buck’s call), settling for a triple instead of an easy inside the park home run; poor Willie didn’t see third base coach Chuck Hiller’s “green light” to head home on the play. Ozzie Smith, took care of his pal, driving him in with a sacrifice fly, and the Cards were never slowed down.

9 – October 21, 2004 – Jim Edmonds’ two-out, two-run, walk-off home run in the 12th inning, lifts the Cards to a thrilling 6-4 win over the Houston Astros, forcing Game 7 in the NLCS…

8 – Setting up the thrilling 5-2 win the very next night, over Roger Clemens, of all people; the win sends the Cards to the World Series, where they would be swept by the Boston Red Sox, and none of those games made this top ten list; okay?

7 – October 14, 1987 – The Cards win Game 7 of the NLCS against the San Francisco Giants, 6-0; highlighted by Jose Oquendo’s three-run home run off Atlee Hammaker, which broke the game open in the second inning. Prior to this at-bat, Oquendo had two career home runs in 903 regular season at bats.

6 – Then there was the three-run home run light-hitting Tom Lawless hit off Frank Viola, on October 21, 1987, in Game 4 of the 1987 World Series; temporarily giving Cards fans hope for a World Championship over the Minnesota Twins. Unfortunately, the Cards had to play four of those games in the Homer Dome. Forget about it!

5 – The home run Albert Pujols cracked on October 17, 2005, off Brad Lidge, staved off elimination in that year’s NLCS; turning a 4-2 Cardinals deficit into a thrilling 5-4 win. Unfortunately, they lost the next game at home at old Busch Stadium; the last game ever played there.

4 – October 15, 1964 – The Cards win Game 7 of the World Series over the Yankees at the older version of Busch Stadium (aka “Sportsman’s Park”), 7-5. Bob Gibson becomes every Cardinals fan’s biggest hero in that Series.

3 – October 12, 1967 – The same Bob Gibson does it again; this time with a thrilling Game 7 World Series clincher over the Boston Red Sox, at Fenway Park. He even hits a home run in that contest, as the Cards cruise to a 7-2 victory, and Gibby becomes an even bigger hero throughout Cardinal Nation.

2 – October 16, 1985 – Jack Clark’s 450 foot home run off Tom Niedenfuer, gives the Cards a thrilling 7-5 win over the Dodgers in LA, and has many baseball experts wondering to this day, why they pitched to Jack the Ripper with first base open and Andy Van Slyke on deck?

1 – October 14, 1985 – To this day, this was the most memorable date in Cardinals history; Ozzie Smith’s impossible game winning home run off that same Tom Niedenfuer, with one out in the bottom of the ninth of a tie game; 2-2. Who could forget Jack Buck’s legendary play-by-play call of that unforgettable blast? It went something like this: “Smith corks one into right down the line; it may go! Go crazy folks! Go crazy! It’s a home run, and the Cardinals have won the game by the score of 3-2 on a home run by…the Wizard!”

There they are; my personal top ten memories from October baseball. Certainly, Gibson’s 17 strikeout classic in Game 1 of the ’68 World Series deserves an honorable mention; or the thrilling Game 7 win over the New York Mets in 2006; that was definitely a very cool moment, as well. That’s the beauty of memories; especially Cardinals memories; there are plenty of them to last a lifetime.

As we try to cope with the failure of 2010, it is heartening to reflect back on some of the glory of seasons gone by; then we realize how lucky we are to be fans of the most successful franchise in National League history.

That is not such a bad thing, after all. Thanks, Gibby, Ozzie, Lou, Tim, Orlando, and Albert. You have provided one Cards fan a lifetime of great moments to cherish; nothing can dimminish those wonderful memories.

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