Thursday, December 31, 2015

Card of the Day: 12/31/15

2001 Fleer Focus #23 Ray Lankford

     Lankford may go down in history as the most underrated Cardinals player. Most of that is due to the team not having much success in the 1990s. In Tony LaRussa's first season as manager (1996), the Cardinals made the postseason, but Lankford injured his rotator cuff late in the season and was limited in the playoffs. However, Ray ranks in the Top 10 of many statistical categories within the Cardinals organization. Let's have a look at some:

       WAR: 40.4, 10th In comparison, Lou Brock's career WAR is 41.6 and the Cardinals have 37 members in the Hall of Fame.
HR: 228, 5th
Extra-Base Hits: 619, 7th
RBI: 829, 9th
Runs: 928, 9th
Doubles: 339, 9th
Total Bases: 10th

Ray is also the only Cardinals player to hit 200 home runs and steal 200 bases. Only 46 Major League players share that distinction.

     To say the least, Ray arrived in St. Louis at a bad time. He couldn't carry a bad team, but he would have been a welcome addition to any Cardinals team preceding or proceeding the decade in which he played.  

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Card of the Day: 12/30/15

1981 Topps #334 Dane Iorg

     Dane was a bench player for the Cardinals from 1977-1984. He was a member of the 1982 World Champion Cardinals. Oddly enough, Dane was also a member of the controversial 1985 World Champion Royals that beat the Cardinals.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Card of the Day: 12/29/15

1957 Topps #359 Tom Cheney

     Cheney pitched eight seasons in the Major Leagues. His two seasons (1956 and 1958) with the Cardinals were unspectacular. We did uncover an interesting statistic achieved by Tom. In 1961, he appeared in one game for the Pirates before being traded to the Senators. In that game, Tom gave up four runs while recording no outs, giving him an ERA of infinity while with the Pirates in 1961. Perhaps Tom was the real-life inspiration for Buzz Lightyear.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Card of the Day: 12/28/15

2006 Upper Deck UD Game Materials Jim Edmonds GU Jersey

There's a new stadium, but it's the fans who make this place special. It's hard to describe. Day in, day out they come here and people are cheering. You get used to playing on the field, but you never get tired of hearing them in the stands.            -Jim Edmonds

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Card of the Day: 12/27/15

2006 Upper Deck F/X Special Endorsements Adam Wainwright

To be in the World Series as a closer is every kid's dream. -Adam Wainwright

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Card of the Day: 12/26/15

1992 McDonald's/Pacific #39 Joe Torre

Competing at the highest level is not about winning. It's about preparation, courage, understanding and nurturing your people, and heart. Winning is the result. -Joe Torre

Card of the Day: 12/25/15

2002 Donruss Studio Spirit of the Game Albert Pujols

It's so obvious and evident, if you watch him closely, from his rookie year to today, he has played the game to win. That means when he's on base, he's trying to do something to win a game as a base-runner. It's the same on defense, at bat. If he needs to start a rally, he'll stroke an opposite-field hit. The biggest compliment I can give Albert is he's never changed. He's a perfect player. In all categories of the game -- hitting, running, defense, cheerleading, being a mentor -- you see Hall of Fame greatness. -Tony LaRussa

Card of the Day: 12/24/15

2001 Bowman #304 Jim Journell RC

         The Cardinals drafted, University of Illinois graduate, Jimmy Journell in the 4th round of the 1999 free-agent draft. He appeared in a total of 12 games during the 2003 and 2005 seasons, posting a career 7.43 ERA in 13.1 Innings Pitched. Jim was granted free agency by the Cardinals on October 15, 2005. No other Major League teams signed him, but he played the 2006 season in an Independent League before hanging up his cleats.

Card of the Day: 12/23/15

1981 Topps #705 Ted Simmons

As far as I'm concerned, there is no greater pleasure in the world than walking up to the plate with men on base and knowing that you are feared. -Ted Simmons

Card of the Day: 12/22/15

1957 Topps #206 Willard Schmidt

     Willard Schmidt pitched 5 seasons (1952, 1953, and 1955-1957) for the St. Louis Cardinals, but never won more than 10 games in a season. He finished his 7-year career by playing in Cincinnati during his final 2 years when he was traded for Curt Flood. You could say the Cardinals did pretty well in that deal.

Card of the Day: 12/21/15

2015 Topps 1st Home Run Gold Medallion Yadier Molina

September 23, 2004
Miller Park. Milwaukee, WI

     Molina hit his first career home run on September 23, 2004 at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was a solo shot in the top of the 8th that gave the Cardinals a 3-2 lead over the Brewers. Hector Luna took Yadier's lead and hit another solo shot for back-to-back home runs, giving the Cardinals a 4-2 lead. The Cardinals won the game, 4-2.

Card of the Day: 12/20/15

1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated Autograph Collection Bob Gibson

Don't dig in against Bob Gibson, he'll knock you down. He'd knock down his grandmother if she dared to challenge him. Don't stare at him, don't smile at him, don't talk to him. He doesn't like it. If you happen to hit a home run, don't run too slow, don't run too fast. If you happen to want to celebrate, get in the tunnel first. And if he hits you, don't charge the mound, because he's a Gold Glove boxer.          -Hank Aaron to Dusty Baker 

Card of the Day: 12/19/15

1992 McDonald's/Pacific #35 Ted Simmons

There are things about some professional athletes that I cannot stand -- the pretense, the egos, the pomposity, the greed. -Ted Simmons

Card of the Day: 12/18/15

1999 Upper Deck HoloGrFX Launchers Mark McGwire

Performance-enhancing drugs are an illusion. I wish I had never gotten involved with steroids. It was wrong. It was stupid. -Mark McGwire

Card of the Day: 12/17/15

2001 Bowman #262 Esix Snead RC

     Snead was drafted by the Cardinals in the 18th round of the 1998 free-agent draft. He never played a big league game in a Cardinals uniform and was claimed on waivers by the New York Mets on November 20, 2001. Snead played 18 games for the Mets between 2002 and 2004. He posted a .308 career batting average before being released to free agency in 2004. Both Atlanta (2004) and Baltimore (2006) took a chance on him, but never promoted Esix to a big league roster.

Card of the Day: 12/16/15

1981 Topps #420 Keith Hernandez

I won't say that women belong in the kitchen, but they don't belong in the dugout.  -Keith Hernandez

Card of the Day: 12/15/15

1957 Topps #196 Larry Jackson

      Lawrence Curtis Jackson was born in Nampa, Idaho on June 2, 1931. He won 101 games through 8 seasons with the Cardinals, earning 3 All-Star nods while with the team. Larry passed away at the age of 59 in Boise, Idaho on August 28, 1990.

Card of the Day: 12/13/15

2012 Topps Archives Fan-Favorites Autographs Tommy Herr

     There can be no question as to Tommy's reputation in the minds and hearts of Cardinals fans. When thinking of Tommy, gritty and hard-working are terms that come to mind. Winner is another one. He was a member of all Cardinals World Series teams in the 1980s and is often revered in the same manner as Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee when fans speak of the greatest teams in Cardinals history.

Card of the Day: 12/14/15

2001 Fleer Greats of the Game Lou Brock GU Jeresey

     We at Cardinal Sauce have been big fans of the Fleer Greats of the Game brand since its inception in 2000. Fleer combined classic photos with simple yet stunning designs to produce some of the most eye-appealing cards in the history of the hobby.

Card of the Day: 12/12/15

1992 McDonald's/Pacific #28 Dick Groat

          Groat played three seasons with the Cardinals. In 1963, Dick posted 201 hits, the only time he hit more than 200 in a season, and posted a career-high batting average of .319. Despite Dick's contributions, the Cardinals didn't make postseason play in '63. They did, however. make it to the World Series in his second season with the team (1964) and beat the Yankees, winning it in 7 games. 

Card of the Day: 12/11/15

2009 Upper Deck Legendary Icons Ozzie Smith

          St. Louis has no shortage of icons especially when it comes to baseball. Rogers, Dizzy, and Frankie. Stan, Red, Enos, and Ducky. Gibby and Lou. But if you were a kid growing up in the 1980s, Ozzie is the one you remember most fondly and he will always be your favorite.

Card of the Day: 12/10/15

2000 Upper Deck MVP #56 Fernando Tatis

     In 1999, Fernando had his best season for the Cardinals and for his career. It was the season he became the only Major League player to hit two grand slams in one inning. During 1999, Tatis posted a .298 batting average while belting 34 home runs, knocking in 107 runs, and scoring 104 runs. Overshadowed by the contributions of Mark McGwire (finished 5th in MVP voting), Fernando didn't even crack the Top 30 in NL MVP voting while players with worse numbers (Jeff Kent, Barry Larkin) finished with more votes.

Card of the Day: 12/9/15

1987 Topps #520 Jack Clark

     Jack Clark played only three seasons in St. Louis, but remains a fan favorite. Most of that is due to his inclusion on the 1985 and 1987 NL Championship teams. He was an All-Star in both '85 and '87 and won Silver Slugger Awards in both those seasons, solidifying his reputation in St. Louis. While with the team, Jack belted 66 home runs while driving in over 200 runs and scoring more than 300 runs. 

Card of the Day: 12/8/15

1957 Topps #111 Hal Smith

     Harold Raymond Smith was born in Barling, Arkansas on June 1, 1931. Hal played in the Major Leagues for seven seasons, 1956-1961 with the Cardinals and 1965 with the Pirates. In 1959, Hal was selected for the NL All-Star Team. One can only wonder how Smith made the squad, batting only .270 for the season and posting 50 RBI and 35 R. It isn't a case where he was the only selection from the Cardinals. Five teammates (Ken Boyer, Stan Musial, Joe Cunningham, Wilmer Mizell and Bill White) joined him in the All-Star Game festivities. It must have been a down year for catchers in the National League. Hal passed away on April 12, 2014 in Fort Smith, Arkansas at the age of 82.

Card of the Day: 12/7/15

2003 Flair Greats Classic Numbers Ozzie Smith GU Jersey

     Smith corks one into right, down the line. It may go. Go Crazy, folks! Go crazy! It's a home run and the Cardinals have won the game, by the score of three to two, on a home run by The Wizard! Go crazy! -Jack Buck

Card of the Day: 12/6/15

2014 Donruss Signatures Oscar Taveras

     We've mentioned a few times the tragedy of Oscar's death. With the young Cubs threatening to become the powerhouse of the National League Central Division, it causes us as fans to question what might have been. It is all too easy to get caught up in our fandom and overlook the real tragedy: a young man lost his life. Although Oscar had the potential to be a superstar, he was a human being not a comic book superhero. On October 26, 2014, many people lost a family member or a dear friend and, regardless of what the Cardinals win-loss record is in the years to come, the pain of the fans' struggles will never eclipse the pain of those who knew him.

Card of the Day: 12/5/15

1992 McDonald's/Pacific #32 Curt Flood

I'm a human being. I'm not a piece of property. I am not a consignment of goods.  -Curt Flood

Card of the Day: 12/4/15

2001 Bowman Heritage 1948 Reprints #11 Red Schoendienst

I managed Dal Maxville, and he's now our general manager. I managed Bob Gibson. He's a broadcaster. Tim McCarver. Bill White. Nellie Briles. He used to be a broadcaster. I tried to count them up one time. -Red Schoendienst

          Red has been involved with Major League Baseball for 70 years. It is no question that he has had a great influence on many players. We at Cardinal Sauce thought it would be fun to take a look at the list of Hall of Fame players that Red coached, managed, and played with.

As a Player
1. Stan Musial
2. Enos Slaughter
3. Ducky Medwick
4. Hoyt Wilhelm
5. Willie Mays
6. Warren Spahn
7. Eddie Mathews
8. Hank Aaron
9. Joe Torre (inducted as a manager)
10. Bob Gibson
11. Tim McCarver (inducted as a broadcaster)

As a Manager
12. Lou Brock
13. Bob Uecker (inducted as a broadcaster)
14. Steve Carlton
15. Orlando Cepeda
16. Ozzie Smith

In addition, Red managed a few former teammates: Tim McCarver, Bob Gibson, and Joe Torre.

As a Coach
17. Bruce Sutter
18. Dennis Eckersley
19. John Smoltz

     That's 19 Hall of Famers that Red had an impact on as a manager, coach, and player. In addition, Red coached alongside Hall of Fame managers Whitey Herzog, Tony LaRussa, and Joe Torre. Plus, he had a hand in coaching future first-ballot Hall of Famers Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina. Thank you, Red, for your service to the great game of baseball and, especially, the St. Louis Cardinals.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Card of the Day: 12/3/15

2000 Upper Deck MVP #55 J.D. Drew

     Drew played 11 seasons in the Major Leagues and 2001 was his best as a Cardinal and a Major League ballplayer. During that season, J.D. batted .323 with 27 home runs, 73 runs batted in, and 80 runs scored. He even posted a .974 fielding percentage, but was overshadowed by a rookie named Albert Pujols who finished 4th in MVP voting that year. Only two other Cardinals players cracked the top 24 in MVP voting that year. Can you guess who they were? Nope. It wasn't McGwire or Edmonds, but a couple of pitchers named Morris and Kline.

Card of the Day: 12/2/15

1982 Fleer #129 Bruce Sutter

I'm certainly thankful what the Cubs did for me. I respect their organization. It's the same way with the Atlanta Braves, an awfully fine organization. I respect everybody who's down there, and that's still where I live today. But the Cardinals represent the best years of my career. -Bruce Sutter

Card of the Day: 12/1/15

1957 Topps #94 Bobby Del Greco

          Robert George Del Greco was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on April 7, 1933. He was signed as an amateur free agent by the Pirates in 1950. Bobby played 102 games with the Cardinals in 1956, posting a tepid .215 batting average. They traded him on April 20, 1957 to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Jim King. King proved to be an improvement  as a backup outfielder, batting .314 in 22 games during the 1957 season.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Card of the Day: 11/30/15

2004 Bowman Heritage Threads of Greatness Albert Pujols GU Bat

He caught my eye last season as a rookie when, against the Padres, he hit a home run on a three-ball, no-strike pitch -- to the opposite field. Now that was something. -Tony Gwynn

Card of the Day: 11/29/15

2012 Gypsy Queen Autographs Jon Jay

Jon Jay is a postseason veteran. In six seasons with the Cardinals, he played in five postseasons (2011-2015). During that time, he was a member of two NL Pennant winners and a World Series winner.

Card of the Day: 11/28/15

1989 Kenner Starting Lineup Baseball Greats #8 Bob Gibson

     Back in the day, Kenner produced a series of Starting Lineup figures featuring baseball's greatest players. They came with 2 figures in each pack along with a baseball card of each of the players. Although the figures didn't bare much resemblance to the actual players, we at Cardinals Sauce are pleased the cards are nicer than the figures.

Card of the Day: 11/27/15

2001 Topps Through the Years Reprint #6 Stan Musial '59

     2001 marked the 50th Anniversary for Topps Baseball Cards. To celebrate, they included a 50-card reprint set of some of their greatest hits. The '59 Topps is significant to us at Cardinal Sauce. It is rumored that this card was once in the Cardinal Sauce collection, but unwittingly traded to a card shark. We are still in search of this "lost" card and are offering a reward to anyone who finds it.