March 31, 1998: Mark McGwire grand slam lifts Cardinals to season-opening win

Mark McGwire had a grand time in his first opening day with the St. Louis Cardinals. Eight months earlier, McGwire arrived in St. Louis in a trade that sent Erick Ludwick, T.J. Mathews, and Blake Stein to the Oakland Athletics. In his final 51 games of the 1997 season, McGwire hit 24 home runs forContinue reading “March 31, 1998: Mark McGwire grand slam lifts Cardinals to season-opening win”

April 3, 1996: Stottlemyre, Eckersley earn Cardinals firsts in win vs. Mets

On April 3, 1996, the St. Louis Cardinals got their first glimpse of what their offseason additions had bought them. With a new ownership group following Anheuser-Busch’s sale of the team, the Cardinals had retooled following a disappointing 62-81 season in 1995. Joe Torre had been replaced by Tony La Russa; Andy Benes, Ron Gant,Continue reading “April 3, 1996: Stottlemyre, Eckersley earn Cardinals firsts in win vs. Mets”

April 23, 1999: Fernando Tatis hits two grand slams in the same inning

Less than seven months after Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs to set a single-season home run record, Fernando Tatis set a home run mark that may never be broken. A third-year player from San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, Tatis hit two grand slams off Chan Ho Park in the third inning of aContinue reading “April 23, 1999: Fernando Tatis hits two grand slams in the same inning”

January 9, 1996: Cardinals acquire Todd Stottlemyre in trade with Athletics

It turned out that the Cardinals weren’t quite done with their Christmas shopping. Having already obtained Royce Clayton, Ron Gant, Andy Benes, Willie McGee, and Gary Gaetti ahead of the 1996 season, the Cardinals added yet another newcomer when they traded outfielder Allen Battle and pitchers Jay Witasick, Carl Dale, and Bret Wagner to theContinue reading “January 9, 1996: Cardinals acquire Todd Stottlemyre in trade with Athletics”

December 23, 1995: Cardinals sign Ron Gant and Andy Benes

When the ownership group led by Bill DeWitt Jr., Andrew Baur, and Frederick O. Hanser announced just before Christmas 1995 that they had purchased the St. Louis Cardinals for $150 million, they were under no illusions – the Redbirds weren’t very good. The team had just completed a 62-81 strike-shortened season in which Joe TorreContinue reading “December 23, 1995: Cardinals sign Ron Gant and Andy Benes”