Wednesday, June 18, 2014

June 18, 1987: Jack The Ripper Walks Off In The Tenth

     On June 18, 1987, Jack Clark's two run home run off of Pirates reliever Don Robinson in the bottom of the tenth inning at Busch propelled the Cardinals to a dramatic 8-6 win. It was Clark's second big blast of the day, and his 20th of the season. Clark was on an MVP caliber tear in '87. He ended up with 35 homers, with his last coming on the 6th of September. Three days after his 35th big fly, Clark severely injured his ankle. After the club edged out the Mets for the Eastern Division Crown, Clark had hopes of being able to contribute in a playoff run. Unfortunately, he could not overcome his injury, and only made one plate appearance in the NLCS, before missing the entire World Series. The injury not only stole the National League MVP award out of Clark's grasp, it removed the club's most powerful bat from the lineup. Had it not happened there might just be another championship flag waving at the ballpark With that said, the key word to that last sentence is "might", as one man does not make a team, and each and every club has to fight through injuries. The '87 squad did not lie down and die after watching their power slugging first baseman hit the shelf. They fought their way to the seventh game of the World Series before watching the Twins celebrate a World Championship.

    Clark hit 340 home runs over 18 years in the big leagues, with 66 of those coming while wearing the Birds on the Bat. He hit more home runs against the Pirates than any other club he faced with 38 big flies while facing the Buccos. The Atlanta Braves came in a close second, as they watched "The Ripper" park 34 in the seats. Don Robinson was his number one victim, as he sent seven over the wall while facing him. The seventh was the walk off shot in the tenth that came On This Day In Cardinal Nation.

Check out the box score here:

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