April 8, 1997: Willie McGee hits his first career walk-off home run

April 8, 1997: Willie McGee hits his first career walk-off home run

After a winless six-game road trip to open the season, the 1997 Cardinals needed to turn their fortunes around. Willie McGee was all too happy to oblige with the first walk-off home run of his 16-year major-league career. “How beautiful was that?” outfielder Brian Jordan said. “Just the perfect ending.”[1] “You couldn’t write a better…

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…

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…

June 13, 1997: Cardinals get Fernando Valenzuela in trade with Padres

June 13, 1997: Cardinals get Fernando Valenzuela in trade with Padres

On June 13, 1997, Fernandomania came to St. Louis. On the same day that the Chicago Bulls won their fifth NBA championship in seven years, the Cardinals and Padres agreed to a trade that brought former Cy Young Award winner Fernando Valenzuela, infielder Scott Livingstone, and outfielder Phil Plantier to St. Louis in exchange for…