Ray Lankford

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 12, 1996: Gant, Gaetti pace Cardinals’ seven home runs in win over the Cubs

With 142 home runs in 162 games, the 1996 Cardinals weren’t exactly known for their power. But on July 12, the friendly confines of Wrigley Field couldn’t contain the St. Louis lineup as the Redbirds tied a 56-year-old team record with seven home runs in a 13-3 win over the Cubs. Ron Gant and Gary …

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April 6, 2001: Pujols hits his first career homer in breakout game

Albert Pujols chose an ideal moment for his first career home run. The 2001 Cardinals had lost their first three games, allowing 32 runs during a winless season-opening series against the Rockies. The series hadn’t gone any better for Pujols, who went just 1-for-9 in Colorado, including an 0-for-5 performance in the second game of …

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April 3, 1996: Todd Stottlemyre, Dennis Eckersley earn Cardinals firsts in win vs. Mets

On April 3, 1996, the St. Louis Cardinals got their first glimpse of what their offseason additions had bought them. With a new ownership group following Anheuser-Busch’s sale of the team, the Cardinals had retooled following a disappointing 62-81 season in 1995. Joe Torre had been replaced by Tony La Russa; Andy Benes, Ron Gant, …

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