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…

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…

August 2, 2001: Cardinals trade Ray Lankford for Woody Williams

As a veteran who had been with the club since making his debut in August 1990, Ray Lankford wasn’t ready to become the Cardinals’ fourth outfielder. Instead, following a reduction of playing time and a war of words between Lankford’s agent and manager Tony La Russa, the Cardinals sent the 34-year-old Lankford and $2.8 million…

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

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…

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

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 Joe Torre had been replaced by Tony La Russa; Andy Benes, Ron Gant,…

September 2, 1996: Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee spark Cardinals’ comeback

For the first time since the Whitey Herzog days of the 1980s, the Cardinals were in the thick of a pennant race. So it was fitting that two stars of the 1980s, Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee, led the Cardinals to an extra-inning victory over the Astros on September 2, 1996. The Cardinals entered the…