May 18, 1996: John Mabry hits for the cycle

Despite his prior success at Coors Field, John Mabry was an unlikely candidate to hit for the cycle heading into the Cardinals’ May 19, 1996, game against the Rockies. In his rookie campaign in 1995, Mabry tied for fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting after batting .307 with five homers and 41 RBIs.Continue reading “May 18, 1996: John Mabry hits for the cycle”

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 Joe Torre had been replaced by Tony La Russa; Andy Benes, Ron Gant,Continue reading “April 3, 1996: Stottlemyre, Eckersley earn Cardinals firsts in win vs. Mets”

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”

September 2, 1996: Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee spark Cardinals’ comeback

For the first time since the Whitey Herzog days of the 1980s, the Cardinals were in the thick of a pennant race. So it was fitting that two stars of the 1980s, Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee, led the Cardinals to an extra-inning victory over the Astros on September 2, 1996. The Cardinals entered theContinue reading “September 2, 1996: Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee spark Cardinals’ comeback”