’90s

February 12, 1993: Cardinals trade Felix Jose to the Royals for Gregg Jefferies

After Pedro Guerrero retired and Andres Galarraga signed with the Rockies, the Cardinals needed to think outside the box to fill their first base vacancy. On February 12, 1993, the Cardinals announced that they had traded outfielder Felix Jose and utility infielder Craig Wilson to the Royals for infielder Gregg Jefferies and minor-league outfielder Ed …

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February 13, 1996: A’s trade Dennis Eckersley to the Cardinals

Tony La Russa had yet to manage a game for the St. Louis Cardinals, but his Oakland connections were already paying dividends. On February 13, 1996, the A’s traded Dennis Eckersley to St. Louis for minor-league reliever Steve Montgomery, making Eckersley the fourth former Athletics player alongside Mike Gallego, Rick Honeycutt, and Todd Stottlemyre to …

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December 12, 1994: Tom Henke signs deal to play his final season in St. Louis

Just a couple weeks shy of his 37th birthday, baseball had taken Tom Henke from Texas to Toronto and back again. Now the 6-foot-5 right-hander was ready to return to his roots. On December 12, 1994, Henke signed a one-year, $2-million contract to serve as the Cardinals’ closer in 1995. The 13-year major-league veteran had …

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December 20, 1999: Cardinals finally get their man in trade for Fernando Vina

After more than a year, the Cardinals finally had their leadoff hitter. On December 20, 1999, the Cardinals finalized a trade to send pitcher Juan Acevedo and two minor league players to be named later to the Brewers for Fernando Vina. On June 13, 2000, they completed the trade by sending catcher Eliezer Alfonzo and …

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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 the …

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December 14, 1998: Cardinals fill their shortstop need with trade for Edgar Renteria

In December 1998, the Cardinals’ winding quest for a shortstop led them to Miami. On December 14, the Cardinals traded pitchers Braden Looper and Armando Almanza and shortstop prospect Pablo Ozuna to the Marlins for Edgar Renteria. Just 13 months earlier, Renteria’s 11th-inning RBI single off Charles Nagy won Game 7 of the World Series. …

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September 8, 1998: McGwire breaks Maris’s home run record with No. 62

One day after he hit his 61st home run of the season on his father’s 61st birthday, Mark McGwire’s shortest home run of the season launched him into the record books. On September 8, 1998, McGwire hit his 62nd home run of the season, breaking Roger Maris’s 1961 record with a 341-foot homer off Cubs …

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August 21, 1990: Ray Lankford provides spark in his big-league debut

It didn’t take long for Ray Lankford to demonstrate the blend of speed and power that made him a cornerstone of the Cardinals’ lineup throughout the 1990s. Batting sixth in his major league debut, Lankford doubled, stole a base, and scored a run in a 7-2 loss to the Braves on August 21, 1990. Lankford’s …

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August 8, 1997: Mark McGwire hits his first Cardinals home run in his Busch Stadium debut

Cardinals fans welcomed Mark McGwire with a standing ovation prior to his first at-bat at Busch Stadium. In his second at-bat, McGwire returned the favor, blasting a 441-foot home run for his first home run wearing the birds on the bat. McGwire’s was the second of back-to-back home runs as the Cardinals defeated the Phillies …

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July 31, 1997: Cardinals trade for Mark McGwire

On July 31, 1997, the Cardinals made the deadline deal of deadline deals, acquiring first baseman Mark McGwire from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for pitchers Eric Ludwick, T.J. Mathews, and Blake Stein. Heading into the final day before the trade deadline, Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that there was …

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