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”