Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 31, 1993: The Cardinals Acquire Mark Whiten

     On March 31, 1993, the Cardinals sent pitcher Mark Clark, and a minor league shortstop by the name of Juan Andujar to Cleveland in exchange for an outfielder that became known as "Hard Hittin" Mark Whiten.

     The deal was not one that the Cleveland organization expected to be making, however, they found themselves in desperate need of pitching due to a tragic accident that took the life of two members of their bullpen. It was a trade of necessity. At 25, Whiten was still finding his way in the big leagues. He had to compete for playing time in Cleveland, but in St. Louis he was plugged into right field immediately. He enjoyed a power surge during that '93 campaign, as he parked a career high 25 big blasts in the seats.

     His greatest day with a Cardinals uniform on came on September 7th 1993, as he blasted four home runs, and drove in 12 ribbies at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. Both of the feats tied previously set records. To date, he is the only Cardinals player to accomplish hitting four big blasts in one game. The 12 runs batted in is a record that Whiten only shares with Cardinals legend "Sunny" Jim Bottomley who had knocked in 12 in 1924. Unfortunately, Whiten ran into injury issues in 1994, which led to him becoming expendable after the strike-shortened season came to a close. He was traded to the Red Sox in the Spring of '95. His days in Cardinal Nation were over, but they were not forgotten.

Following his departure, Whiten played briefly with the Red Sox, before being shipped to Philly. He also spent time with the Braves, Mariners, and Yankees, then returned to Cleveland where he spent the last three years of career. You can check out his stats here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/whitema01.shtml

Watch Whiten's four home run performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlZNCjURSWk

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