10/25/2004 9:02 PM ET
Top 10 St. Louis baseball moments
Where will 2004 Cardinals rate on this list?
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
|Mark McGwire hits home run No. 62 to break Roger Maris' record in 1998. (Bill Greenblatt/Getty Images)
There will be an addition to the top 10 moments in St. Louis baseball history, but the 2004 Cardinals are still working on that. Maybe fans will remember a highlight to come against Boston in this World Series. If not, then it will be either Scott Rolen's homer off Roger Clemens that got them there, or Jim Edmonds catch that made it possible.
For now, here are the 10 top moments in St. Louis baseball history:
1. Sept. 8, 1998: Mark McGwire lines a pitch from the Cubs' Steve Trachsel over the wall in left at Busch Stadium, breaking Roger Maris' single-season record of 61 home runs. On hand are the children of Maris as well as Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa, who was the other part of that fabled storyline in the Great Home Run Chase of '98.
2. Oct. 15, 1946: Enos "Country" Slaughter's "Mad Dash" around the bases scores the winning run in Game 7 as the Cardinals steal the World Series from Boston. Outside Busch today is a statue of Country scoring that famous run.
3. Oct. 14, 1985: Ozzie Smith, known for his glove more than his power, hits a home run off Dodgers reliever Tom Niedenfuer that wins Game 5 of the National League Championship Series. It is immortalized by Jack Buck's radio call: "Go crazy, folks, go crazy!"
4. Oct. 2, 1968: Bob Gibson strikes out 17 Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the World Series. The Tigers go on to win the series in seven, but Gibson, who had an unthinkable 1.12 ERA that season and pitched the Cards to the world championship a year earlier, would be one of the main reasons that the pitcher's mound is subsequently lowered by Major League Baseball to increase offense.
5. Oct. 10, 1926: Grover Cleveland Alexander takes over in relief for the Cardinals with a 3-2 lead, the bases loaded and two out in a World Series game at Yankee Stadium. Tony Lazzeri is batting for New York, and Cards manager Rogers Hornsby reminds Alexander that there is nowhere to put the batter. "I reckon I'd better strike him out," Alexander replies. He does.
6. October 1944: It's wartime, and travel is limited and frowned upon in America. The Streetcar Series makes it easier on everyone. St. Louis' two Major League clubs, the NL's Cardinals and the American League's Browns, square off and the Cards win it in six. Fittingly, it is the same year as the movie "Meet Me In St. Louis" is made.
7. Sept. 10, 1974: Lou Brock steals his 105th base, breaking Maury Wills' single-season record.
8. Oct. 11, 1964: NL MVP Ken Boyer hits a grand slam in Game 4 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium, the highlight of a seven-game victory for the Cardinals. How big is it in St. Louis? The presentation of headlines on the front of the Post-Dispatch read: "Cardinals Win Championship .... China Drops Its First H-Bomb ... Soviets Oust Khrushchev."
9. May 13, 1958: Stan Musial strokes an RBI double off Mo Drabowsky, becoming only the eighth player to reach 3,000 career hits. Stan the Man goes on to become a legend like no other in St. Louis history -- baseball or otherwise.
10. August 19, 1951: Bill Dewitt Jr. -- then the son of the Browns' owner and in 2004 the Cardinals' owner -- is 9 years old and asked to loan his customized Browns uniform so that it will fit a 3-foot-7, 65-pound man named Eddie Gaedel. The number "1/8" is stitched onto the uniform, and Gaedel is sent up for one at-bat in the greatest PR stunt of Bill Veeck's career. Detroit's Bob Cain walks Gaedel on four pitches. Ten years later, Cain is the only baseball person who attends Gaedel's funeral.
There are too many others to list like George Sisler's 257th hit in 1924 for the Browns (a record finally broken by Ichiro Suzuki in 2004) or Jack Clark's pennant-winning homer in '85 for the Redbirds, and surely they will be on someone else's top-10 list. That's the other thing about baseball in St. Louis. Everyone has his or her own opinion about the greatest players and stories that ever passed through this town, and the only thing they will agree on is that it's the best baseball town.
Mark Newman, the enterprise editor of MLB.com, compiled this list. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.