Who am I? Name that Cardinal

By Editorial Staff
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The St. Louis Cardinals have always had fiery competitors on their rosters.  It is the way that Cardinal baseball is played.  The fans have come to expect that style of play from the birds throughout the history of the team.  The hurlers throughout the team history have provided us with some of the most intimidating as well as colorful players to ever toe the rubber.

Bob Gibson’s ferocious glare and absolute no nonsense approach to competing is legendary not only here in St. Louis, but all of baseball.  We have also enjoyed the colorful characters of the likes of Dizzy and Daffy Dean.  Who can forget the ritualistic show of the “Mad Hungarian” Al Hrabosky when he would take the mound and then go into the baseball version of Hulk Hogan “hulking up” to face the next hitter.  The relentless fire that Chris Carpenter takes to the mound every time his spot in the rotation comes is a throwback to the Gibson like era of yester year.  It is guys like this that have highlighted the rotations.

This edition of the “Who am I? Name that Cardinal” takes a look at one of the most colorful pitchers the Cardinals have ever had.  He was and still is a fan favorite of the true lovers of Cardinal baseball.  He is one those “characters” that kids all over Cardinal Nation imitated playing wiffle ball in their back yards.  Here are the clues, let’s see how you do this week:

I was signed with the Cincinnati Reds as an amateur free agent in 1969 at the age of 17.

I didn’t make debut until April 8, 1976 with the Houston Astros.

I became a Cardinal on June 7, 1981.  I was traded from the Astros to St. Louis for Tony Scott.  I was awarded free agency later that year and resigned with the Birds.

I stayed with the Cardinals until I was traded to the Oakland Athletics for Mike Heath and Tim Conroy in December of 1985.

In 1982 I had a 7 game winning streak, the 2nd lowest ERA in the National League with 2.47.  I was lights out in August of that year with a 1.68 ERA and the Cards won 13 of my last 14 starts.

I won games 3 and 7 of the 1982 World Series.  That same year Bruce Sutter and I were named the Sporting News St. Louis Baseball Men of the Year.  I won 20 games in 1984 and 21 in 1985.  I was the Sporting News Comeback Player of the year in 1984 and won a Gold Glove.

I was “One tough Dominican” and I used to shoot down batters after I struck them out.

I was kind of the Yogi Berra of the Cardinals with some of my quotes.  Such as: “It’s great to be alive because when you’re dead you can’t drink beer” and “You know I am proud to stand here and talk to you in English, a language I don’t even know” and “Youneverknow. That’s my favorite word in English, youneverknow.”

I really thought I was a great hitter.  In 1984, I hit a grand slam off of Jeff Dedmon of Atlanta.  He had walked the bases full to get to me. Before I walked to the plate, I pointed to the outfield wall in Babe Ruth style.  That grand slam made me the only Cardinal pitcher to ever hit a homeruns from both sides of the plate.

My temper was legendary.  My final appearance as a Cardinal came in game 7 of the 1985 World Series.  I had ran the count to 2-2 on the batter.  I thought the next pitch should have been a strike.  Well, the most hated umpire in Cardinal history was behind the plate, Don Denkinger.  He called it a ball and I charged him.  Whitey Herzog intervened and was thrown out of the game.  The next pitch I threw high and inside and Denkinger called ball 4.  I completely lost all control of my temper and had to be restrained before I was ejected.

Even with the temper I was loved while in Cardinal Red.

Who am I? Click here for the answer.

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