February 19, 2004: Albert Pujols signs a team-record $100 million extension with the Cardinals

Just one day before the Cardinals and their 24-year-old star, Albert Pujols, were set to meet in Phoenix, Arizona, for an arbitration hearing, the two sides agreed to the richest contract in team history. On February 19, 2004, Pujols signed a contract for at least seven years and $100 million, making him just the ninthContinue reading “February 19, 2004: Albert Pujols signs a team-record $100 million extension with the Cardinals”

December 23, 2004: David Eckstein signs with the Cardinals

When David Eckstein signed with the Cardinals on December 23, 2004, he couldn’t help but think of his last visit to St. Louis almost 2 ½ years earlier. The second-year major-league shortstop was leading off for the Angels on June 18, 2002, the same day the Cardinals were hosting a pregame memorial service in honorContinue reading “December 23, 2004: David Eckstein signs with the Cardinals”

December 18, 2004: Cardinals trade for Mark Mulder

On the heels of the Cardinals’ loss to the Red Sox in the 2004 World Series, their offseason began with the departure of several prominent players. Shortstop Edgar Renteria signed with Boston. Catcher Mike Matheny went to the Giants, second baseman Tony Womack signed with the Yankees, and pitcher Woody Williams returned to the PadresContinue reading “December 18, 2004: Cardinals trade for Mark Mulder”

August 6, 2004: Cardinals trade for Larry Walker as they make World Series push

One week after the 2004 trade deadline, the Cardinals added future Hall of Famer Larry Walker to a lineup that already included Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, and Jim Edmonds. The Cardinals received Walker and cash considerations in exchange for minor league pitcher Jason Burch and two players to be named later. In August, the CardinalsContinue reading “August 6, 2004: Cardinals trade for Larry Walker as they make World Series push”

June 3, 2004: Molina gets two hits, throws out first baserunner in his debut game

A muscle strain that literally took Cardinals catcher Mike Matheny’s breath away opened the door for 21-year-old Yadier Molina to make his major league debut and – as the third member of the catching Molina brothers to reach the majors – make a little history as well. On June 2, 2004, Matheny was removed inContinue reading “June 3, 2004: Molina gets two hits, throws out first baserunner in his debut game”