December 12, 1994: Tom Henke signs deal to play his final season in St. Louis

Just a couple weeks shy of his 37th birthday, baseball had taken Tom Henke from Texas to Toronto and back again. Now the 6-foot-5 right-hander was ready to return to his roots. On December 12, 1994, Henke signed a one-year, $2-million contract to serve as the Cardinals’ closer in 1995. The 13-year major-league veteran hadContinue reading “December 12, 1994: Tom Henke signs deal to play his final season in St. Louis”

December 20, 1999: Cardinals finally get their man in trade for Fernando Vina

After more than a year, the Cardinals finally had their leadoff hitter. On December 20, 1999, the Cardinals finalized a trade to send pitcher Juan Acevedo and two minor league players to be named later to the Brewers for Fernando Vina. On June 13, 2000, they completed the trade by sending catcher Eliezer Alfonzo andContinue reading “December 20, 1999: Cardinals finally get their man in trade for Fernando Vina”

December 15, 1995: Willie McGee returns to St. Louis

  On the same day the Cardinals announced that shortstop Ozzie Smith had been medically cleared to play in the upcoming 1996 season, the team reunited with another star from its pennant-winning 1980s teams. On December 15, 1995, the Cardinals signed Willie McGee to a minor-league contract worth $500,000 if he made the team.[1] ThoughContinue reading “December 15, 1995: Willie McGee returns to St. Louis”

December 14, 1998: Cardinals fill their shortstop need with trade for Edgar Renteria

In December 1998, the Cardinals’ winding quest for a shortstop led them to Miami. On December 14, the Cardinals traded pitchers Braden Looper and Armando Almanza and shortstop prospect Pablo Ozuna to the Marlins for Edgar Renteria. Just 13 months earlier, Renteria’s 11th-inning RBI single off Charles Nagy won Game 7 of the World Series.Continue reading “December 14, 1998: Cardinals fill their shortstop need with trade for Edgar Renteria”

September 8, 1998: McGwire breaks Maris’s home run record with No. 62

One day after he hit his 61st home run of the season on his father’s 61st birthday, Mark McGwire’s shortest home run of the season launched him into the record books. On September 8, 1998, McGwire hit his 62nd home run of the season, breaking Roger Maris’s 1961 record with a 341-foot homer off CubsContinue reading “September 8, 1998: McGwire breaks Maris’s home run record with No. 62”