The wait is over. The 2012 baseball season has started, sort of. I officially relate the beginning of Spring Training as the start of the season. I can evolve from watching highlight videos of the past year to the constant updates coming from the training camps of all of the Major League teams. The crack of the bats is here to drive away the cold days of winter. In engross myself with watching what new things my beloved Birds are doing in camp. It in a way is the “big reveal” that we as baseball fans have been waiting on all winter.
We get to see what our favorite players have been working on all winter when they are out of the watchful eye of the fans. We get a peek into how players are going to rebound from previous season injuries. This year we are treated to see how the new skipper is going to handle the ball club. It is an exciting time to be a Cardinal fan. It’s the beginning of a new era in Baseball Heaven. Another great aspect of Spring Training is that we get see the rookies. They are the fresh faces that are playing for their lives, trying to make the cut. Who will be the one that catches the eye of the manager? Who will be the one that stands out with the potential to be that young impact player?
The Rookies, that is the focus of this week’s “Who am I? Name that Cardinal”. The Cardinals have been an organization that has always had that strong minor league system. As a lifelong Cardinal fan it seems there has always been that “player” who is waiting to step onto the main stage of the big leagues. Players, which we anxiously await for, to see if they are going to be that next big thing in St. Louis.
The Birds have put together a nice lineage of Rookies of the Year throughout the past decades. The family tree hosts such names as Wally Moon who earned the first title in 1954. There is Bill Virdon, Vince Coleman, Todd Worrell and player by the name of Albert Pujols. Who will be the next one?
There was also another Rookie of the Year for the Birds that was eventually traded and became a big time player for another organization. Do you know who it was? Here are the clues:
I was born in Fulton, Missouri on February 3, 1949
I attended Westminster College in Missouri
I was drafted in the 37th round in the amateur draft of 1970
I made my major league debut with the Cardinals on July 26, 1973 against the New York Mets
I would play seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals
In 1974, I played 150 games I ended the season with a .309 batting average, 56 RBI’s, 173 hits and 30 stolen bases.
The stats of my 1974 season were good enough to earn me the National League Rookie of the Year award. I finished 21st in the overall MVP voting.
I was the first Cardinal to win this award since 1955 when Billy Virdon won it.
I made the All Star team in 1976
I would play five years in Philly and then finish my career in Cleveland
I was always known for being a fast, good defensive outfielder
I was also very well known for my large afro hairstyle
My nick name was “Shake and Bake”
Who am I? Click here for the answer.