Sunday, October 20, 2013

October 20, 1982: The Cardinals Win The World Series

On October 20, 1982, in front 53,723 fans at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, the Cardinals captured their first World Series title since 1967, with a thrilling come from behind 6-3 victory over the Brewers in Game 7 of the Fall Classic. The Birds found themselves down 3 games to 2  after 5 games then came back in Game 6 and smoked the Brew Crew 13-1 to force a Game 7. The Birds got on the board first with an RBI single off the bat of Lonnie Smith in the fourth. The 1-0 lead disappeared in the top of the fifth when Ben Oglivie tied it up with a solo shot to right off of the Cardinals starter Joaquin Andujar to leadoff the inning. Things got worse for the Birds before they got better, the Brewers tacked on two more runs in the top of the sixth. Joe Gantner led that inning off with a double then one batter later, Paul Molitor knocked him in with what should have been a single. Molitor ended up at second base when Andjuar aired one out trying to gun him down at first, the error came back to haunt Andujar, a single by Robin Yount followed that moved Molitor to third, then Cecil Cooper knocked him in with a sacrifice fly. The Brewers came out of the top of the sixth with a 3-1 lead but it didn't take long for the Cardinals to answer right back. In the bottom of that sixth inning Ozzie Smith picked up a one out single and it was followed with a double by Lonnie Smith. The double by Lonnie ended the day for the Brewers starter Pete Vuckovich, he had given up 10 hits but still kept his team in the game before handing the ball over to Bob McClure who walked pinch hitter Gene Tenace load the bases. Keith Hernandez came to the dish with the sacks jammed and promptly brought both of the Smiths into score by knocking a single into right. The score was now tied and the Birds weren't done just yet. George Hendrick gave the Cardinals the lead with another single that brought Mike Ramsey into score, Ramsey had been called into pinch run for Tenace following his walk. McClure retired Darryl Porter before being replaced by Moose Haas who was able to get the last out of the inning. The game did have some drama. In the seventh inning second baseman Jim Gantner hit a ball right to Andujar, the Cardinals hurler held onto the ball until the last possible second then fired the ball to first for the force out. Ganter responded by calling Andujar a blankety blank hot dog and the fiery Andujar responded with a few choice words of his own. After words were exchanged the two players nearly had a fisticuffs moment before the umpires were able to restore order. That proved to be the last inning of work for Andujar, he handed the ball over to Bruce Sutter in the eighth with the 4-3 lead intact. After a 1-2-3 top of the eighth by Sutter, the Cardinals hitters gave him a little breathing room when Darryl Porter and Steve Braun added an RBI apiece to open the lead up to 6-3. With the team just three outs away from a championship Sutter didn't even give the Brewers hope, he retired the first two men he faced in the bottom of the ninth with groundouts, then put an exclamation on the win with a strikeout of Gorman Thomas. As the fireworks went off  in the background, the crowd came storming onto the field. The St. Louis Cardinals were World Champions.

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