Once Edgar Renteria left in the 2004 offseason, the Cardinals had to find someone to take his place. They did a pretty good job in finding one alright, Eckstein in four seasons in Anaheim had a .279 career average, 94 doubles, and 82 stolen bases. He was an easy choice to come in and become the Cardinals’ new shortstop and leadoff hitter.
Eckstein performed well over the three seasons completed in St. Louis. He had the best years of his career in 2005-2007 with the Cardinals. He had a slash of .297/.357/.375 with more walks than strikeouts (113-107). However, what we remember best of Eck, was his postseason performances. My most memorable memory? The walk off grand slam off of the Braves closer Chris Reitsma in 2005. One of the most improbable outcomes for one of the most likable players in Cardinals’ history.
In 2005, he had a slash of .385/.429/.615 in the NLDS against San Diego. Like most of the Cardinals hitters, he struggled with a .200/.346/.200 in the 2005 NLCS. However, he made up for it in 2006 big time. Despite going 8-31 in the NLDS/NLCS, Eckstein went 8-22 in the 2006 World Series, with 3 doubles and 4 RBI. Because of his great performance, Eckstein left with the MVP trophy after Game 5.
Next: Ryan Ludwick