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”

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”

October 21, 1981: Yankees’ outfield logjam allows Cardinals to trade for Willie McGee

On the same day that Tommy John threw seven shutout innings to lead the Yankees to a 3-0 win over the Dodgers in Game 2 of the 1981 World Series, the Cardinals and Yankees quietly made a deal that would help the Cardinals capture the 1982 world championship. The trade, which sent Yankees minor leagueContinue reading “October 21, 1981: Yankees’ outfield logjam allows Cardinals to trade for Willie McGee”

April 15, 1985: Ozzie Smith announces new contract, homers in Cardinals’ home opener

Headed into the 1985 season, the St. Louis Cardinals were an enigma. After trading Keith Hernandez to the New York Mets in 1984 and allowing Bruce Sutter to leave for Atlanta via free agency, Cardinals fans feared that star shortstop Ozzie Smith, entering the last year of his contract, would be the next Redbird outContinue reading “April 15, 1985: Ozzie Smith announces new contract, homers in Cardinals’ home opener”