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…

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 Joe Torre had been replaced by Tony La Russa; Andy Benes, Ron Gant,…

December 23, 1995: Cardinals sign Ron Gant and Andy Benes

When the ownership group led by Bill DeWitt Jr., Andrew Baur, and Frederick O. Hanser announced just before Christmas 1995 that they had purchased the St. Louis Cardinals for $150 million, they were under no illusions – the Redbirds weren’t very good. The team had just completed a 62-81 strike-shortened season in which Joe Torre…