January 8, 2002: Ozzie Smith is elected to the Hall of Fame

On the day the Baseball Writers Association of America was set to announce the Hall of Fame class of 2002, Ozzie Smith had a backup plan ready. If the phone rang with the news that he had not been inducted in his first year of eligibility, Smith and his family were all set to driveContinue reading “January 8, 2002: Ozzie Smith is elected to the Hall of Fame”

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] Though theContinue reading “December 15, 1995: Willie McGee returns to St. Louis”

November 18, 1985: Willie McGee is named National League MVP

In the midst of his remarkable 1985 season, Willie McGee was invited to a Kiwanis luncheon where he was going to be honored for his humility. When the Cardinals outfielder arrived, there was a line at the door, so instead of stepping in front of those awaiting tickets, he joined the line. When he gotContinue reading “November 18, 1985: Willie McGee is named National League MVP”

July 26, 1998: McGwire’s 44th home run breaks Johnny Mize’s 1940 record

Mark McGwire’s pursuit of Babe Ruth and Roger Maris took him past Johnny Mize before the 1998 calendar turned to August. On July 26, McGwire’s 44th home run of the season of the season broke the franchise record set by Johnny Mize in 1940. The blast, which came in the Cardinals’ 104th game of theContinue reading “July 26, 1998: McGwire’s 44th home run breaks Johnny Mize’s 1940 record”

June 19, 1996: Ozzie Smith announces he will retire at season’s end

With his 9-year-old son Dustin standing beside him on June 19, 1996, Ozzie Smith tearfully announced that the current campaign would mark the end of a legendary 19-year career that included a World Series championship, NLCS MVP Award, 13 Gold Glove Awards, and, with his upcoming appearance in the midsummer classic, 15 all-star appearances. “It’sContinue reading “June 19, 1996: Ozzie Smith announces he will retire at season’s end”