The first pitch has been thrown and the first Cardinal victory has been recorded for the 2012 season. I apologize to the Marlins I know they had grand plans on how they would come out and win the first game in their new home. That is the way it is supposed to be right? I guess so, unless you are playing the defending World Champion Cardinals. Ok, I know it is a little early in the season to be gloating over a victory. However, I have been waiting for what seems like an eternity for this season. To top it off, it was on my daughter Madison’s birthday. She wanted to cut her birthday dinner short because the Cardinals were on! She likes her Birds as well.
Excuse the side bar there, I know this is supposed to be the Who am I? Name that Cardinal segment. But, I had to get the other out of my system. It was great to see Rafael Furcal come out swinging. Equally great was to see Carlos Beltran get a hit in his first official at bat as a Cardinal. Yadier Molina going 2 for 4 and running the infield ground ball all the way out was nice as well. It was also fantastic to see the home town buy/hero David Freese lead another offensive charge for the Birds. He was 3 for 5 with 2 RBI’s in the opener, not too bad. I would be happy with that each game.
There is no doubt his late inning heroics in the 2011 World Series will make him a solid portion in Cardinal baseball history. I think we will see many more feats by this young man. However his not the first local boy to play third base and collect a World Series ring for the Cardinals. There is another. He played during a very loved era of Cardinal baseball. Can you name who this player was? Here are the clues:
I was born May 4, 1956 just across the river in Highland, Illinios
I was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as an amateur free agent in 1975.
I made my major league debut for the Cardinals on August 22, 1977.
Though, I could play second base and both corner outfield positions, I was known for being a third baseman.
In 1981, I officially became the full time 3rd baseman. I replaced Ken Reitz at third.
I was the third baseman for the beloved 1982 World Champion Cardinals
1982 was a great year for me. I led all N.L. third baseman in fielding percentages (.972) turning 23 double plays & making just 11 errors in 393 chances.
I hit .289 during the regular season
I was a key offensive contributor during the 1982 WS. I hit .292 (7-24) in the World Series against the Brewers. I scored four runs and swiped two bases & two RBIs.
In 1983 I once again led the league in fielding (.960 %) turning 27 double plays.
While in Atlanta I was one of the Bearded Braves with Glenn Hubbard and Bruce Sutter. A reporter asked me about our beards and I told him, “the beards make us stand out from the clean cut Dale Murphy types. Consider us a modern era House of David team.”
I retired from playing on October 4, 1992. During my career I played for the Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Giants, Angels.
During the 2011 season I was the bench coach for the New York Mets.
Who am I? Click here for the answer.