November 14, 2011: Cardinals name Mike Matheny manager

Just 15 days after Tony La Russa announced his retirement, the St. Louis Cardinals named Mike Matheny the 49th manager in franchise history. The hire represented a stark shift for the Cardinals less than a month after they won their 11th World Series championship. La Russa had retired with 2,728 career wins, just 35 behindContinue reading “November 14, 2011: Cardinals name Mike Matheny manager”

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”

October 3, 2000: Rick Ankiel develops the yips

Heading into the game that came to define his career, 21-year-old rookie left-hander Rick Ankiel wasn’t nervous. “I was not hurt. I was not afraid. I was not sick or distracted or particularly anxious,” he wrote 17 years later. “In game one of the National League Division Series, on a warm and sunny afternoon withContinue reading “October 3, 2000: Rick Ankiel develops the yips”

May 31, 2014: Oscar Taveras homers in his major-league debut

By the time Oscar Taveras made his major-league debut for the St. Louis Cardinals on May 31, 2014, it was almost impossible for expectations to get much higher. More than a year earlier, St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak compared Taveras to Albert Pujols, prompting Sports Illustrated to write prior to the 2013 season thatContinue reading “May 31, 2014: Oscar Taveras homers in his major-league debut”