1980s

February 9, 1988: Cardinals trade Horton and Johnson for DeLeon

For years, Cardinals scouts had believed in Jose DeLeon’s potential. On February 9, 1988, the team gambled on that potential, trading center fielder Lance Johnson, left-handed pitcher Ricky Horton, and an estimated $100,000 to the White Sox to obtain the 27-year-old right-hander. Negotiations for the right-hander had begun back in back in November, but Cardinals …

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February 28, 1989: Red Schoendienst is elected to the Hall of Fame

After 33 years, Red Schoendienst and Stan Musial were roommates once again – this time in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. On February 28, 1989, Hall of Fame president Ed Stack called Schoendienst to share the good news that the 10-time all-star had been elected to the Hall of Fame by the veterans committee. …

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January 15, 1981: Bob Gibson is elected to the Hall of Fame

The 1981 Hall of Fame ballot was stacked with stars who would one day receive their day in Cooperstown. Joining Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson among the candidates were future Hall of Famers Don Drysdale, Gil Hodges, Harmon Killebrew, Juan Marichal, and Hoyt Wilhelm. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch even ran a story noting that all six …

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Whitey Herzog: "We'd never have won the 1985 and 1987 pennants without him. He was one of the scariest fastball hitters I ever saw. Some of his shots to the opposite field didn't just scatter the fans, they left the seats in splinters."

January 6, 1988: Jack Clark signs with the Yankees

With the holidays in the rearview mirror and spring training just a few weeks away, Jack Clark finally lost patience. On January 6, 1988, the Cardinals’ leading home-run hitter during their National League pennant-winning seasons in 1985 and 1987 signed a two-year, $3 million contract with the Yankees. Since the Cardinals acquired Clark from the …

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January 14, 1988: Cardinals sign Bob Horner despite Herzog’s initial concerns

When the idea of signing Bob Horner to replace Jack Clark was first broached, Whitey Herzog didn’t pull any punches. “I don’t like Horner,” the Cardinals manager said. “Of his lifetime homers, about 70% were hit in Atlanta. He never could hit in St. Louis. He can’t hit and he can’t field, and he wants …

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December 16, 1988: Cardinals get Milt Thompson in trade with Phillies

 From the moment he arrived in St. Louis, the Cardinals saw Milt Thompson as a Whitey Herzog type of player. On December 16, 1988, the Cardinals traded outfielder Curt Ford and catcher Steve Lake to the Phillies for Thompson. A former second-round pick of the Braves in 1979, Thompson was expected to serve as a …

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December 12, 1984: Cardinals trade George Hendrick to the Pirates for John Tudor

As Whitey Herzog looked ahead to the 1985 season, he knew he had plenty of outfield talent in the pipeline, but he desperately needed pitching. The Pirates, meanwhile, had plenty of pitching but needed to add punch to their offense. So on December 12, 1984, the Cardinals traded outfielder George Hendrick and utility man Steve …

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December 9, 1980: Cubs trade Bruce Sutter to the Cardinals

In October 1982, Bruce Sutter closed the door on the Cardinals’ first world championship since 1967. His path to that moment began almost three years earlier, shortly after he was named the 1979 National League Cy Young Award winner. Sutter had a contract with the Cubs for the 1980 season, but the agreement included a …

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December 7, 1980: Whitey Herzog’s roster rebuild begins with Darrell Porter

The first time Darrell Porter met Whitey Herzog, he asked the Royals manager what was expected of him. Porter had just arrived in Kansas City in a trade from the Brewers, while Herzog was coming off his second season with the Royals, a 90-win campaign that resulted in an American League West championship. “I expect …

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