Looking back at 5 Cardinals-Dodgers postseason series

LOS ANGELES - OCTOBER 16: Andy Van Slyke #18 of the St. Louis Cardinals reaches for the catch against the Los Angeles Dodgers during Game 6 of the National League Championship Series on October 16, 1985 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - OCTOBER 16: Andy Van Slyke #18 of the St. Louis Cardinals reaches for the catch against the Los Angeles Dodgers during Game 6 of the National League Championship Series on October 16, 1985 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images) /
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St. Louis Cardinals
Ozzie Smith looks on during the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game at Busch Stadium on July 12, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

1985 National League Championship Series

The 1985 NLCS is the most memorable of all the Cardinals/Dodgers postseason series. In fact, Game 5 could arguably had been the most memorable postseason game until Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.

The 1985 Cardinals were probably Whitey Herzog’s best during his tenure as the Cardinals skipper. They finished 101-61 and won the National League East by three games over the then-hated New York Mets.

The Dodgers were the winners of the National League East with a 95-67 record and outpaced the Cincinnati Reds by 5.5 games.

The Cardinals roster 1985 was filled with names such as Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee, Tommy Herr, Jack Clark, Vince Coleman and Andy Van Slyke. Their pitching staff included John Tudor, Joaquin Andujar, Danny Cox and closer Jeff Lahti.

The Dodgers roster included Mike Scioscia, Steve Sax and Pedro Guerrero. The pitching staff was impressive and the strength of the team, featuring Fernando Valenzuela, Oriel Hershiser, Jerry Reus, Bob Welch, Rick Honeycutt, and closer Tom Niedenfuer.

The Dodgers jumped up two games behind Valenzuela and Hershiser. However, the Cardinals came back in game three behind Danny Cox and scoring 4 runs in the first two innings in a 4-2 win. Game 4 was an easy Cardinals victory 12-2 behind the pitching of John Tudor. The most memorable event about this game was actually before the game when the field tarp trapped Vince Coleman and ended his season with a broken ankle.

Then came Game 5. The Cardinals and the Dodgers had played to a 2-2 tie going into the ninth. Tom Niedenfuer came in to hold the Cardinals and get the game to the tenth. But with one out, Ozzie Smith hit a home run to win the game 3-2. What was remarkable, is as many Cardinal fans of the day knew, the switch-hitting Ozzie Smith had never hit a home run in his career from the left side.

Of course this next led to the famous Jack Buck call of “Go crazy folks! Go crazy!” I can’t believe what I just saw!”

Ozzie’s home run and Jack Buck’s call have gone down into Cardinal lore as one of the most memorable events in the history of Cardinals baseball.

Of course, Game 6 still had to be played and the Cardinals won it behind Jack Clark’s three run homer in the ninth off Niedenfuer. With the 4-2 series win, the Cardinals advanced to the World Series.

Unfortunately, the Cardinals lost the 1985 World Series to the Kansas City Royals, four games to three. (Thank you, Don Denkinger)

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