Sunday, August 21, 2016

August 21, 1977: Lord, I was Born a Cardinals Fan

     So, this is what I am going to call an On This Day In Cardinal Nation Birthmas Special. It began with a baby boy being born at St. John's Hospital just outside of St. Louis on August 21, 1977. This baby was a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals before he was even born, as he had listened to ballgames through his mom's belly every chance he got. Then came that day, the 21st of August, and he was on his way to meet the world. It was a Sunday, and the baby's momma was catchin' a Sunday service when suddenly, she was like "POW!!! I THINK I'M HAVIN' A BABY!!!", and off to St. John's she went.

     So, I was born at 11:03 a.m. and weighed 10 1/2 pounds and named Wade Forrester. The Cardinals played at 1:20 that day, so I got one of the nurses to bring me a transistor radio to listen to the ballgame. It turned out to be a rough day at the ole ballpark. The Padres were in town and they had brought the big bat of Dave Kingman, who hit a first inning grand slam en route to a 7-0 beatdown of the Cards. I was pissed. I tried to get my Mom to drive me down to the stadium to give the team a pep talk, but you know how it is when you're born... The whole family was there talkin' about how handsome I was and I got to eatin' it up, so I just chilled and grabbed a sports the page while they doted.

     After realizing that the team had took 2 of 3 from the Friars I thought it wasn't all that bad they would just have to get things going the next day with the Dodgers in town. It turned out to be an instant classic that I will never forget. However, it looked bleak for the Cards early, as they fell behind 5-1 after three. I would have pulled my hair out, but  had a little problem... I was bald. Anyway, the Cardinals offense was held in check by Burt Hooton who looked to be poised to toss a complete game, as he rolled into the ninth with a 6-1 cushion. However, Hooton gave up a leadoff single to Jerry Mumphrey, then surrendered a triple to Garry Templeton to make it 6-2. There was life.

     As soon as the run scored a phone rang in the Dodgers bullpen, and Lance Rautzahn made his way to the bump to relieve Hotton. Rautzahn gave up a single to Ted Simmons, which brought Templeton trotting in, and moments later Keith Hernandez smacked a double and Simmons scored on a botched relay. 6-4. Rutzahn had faced just two batters, before being told to hit the showers. The Dodgers skipper, Tommy Lasorda then called on Charlie Hough to put the fire out, as it looked like it may just become an inferno. Right out the gate Hough added fuel to the fire with a passed ball that brought Hernandez into score to make it 6-5. Hough finally recorded the first out of the inning by retiring Mike Anderson, but followed it up with back-to-back singles by Kenny Reitz and Mike Tyson. With electric flowing through the air, Roger Freed came up to the plate with a chance to win it and that he did, as he fell behind 1-2 before taking the fourth pitch for a ride over the wall at Busch. The walk off blast gave the Cardinals an 8-6 win and it also taught me about the rollercoaster ride I would endure as a baseball fan. Enjoy the highs and get past the lows quickly. For something great is on the horizon.

Have a great day, folks. Go Cards!!!

Box scores for both contests

August 21, 1977:

August 22, 1977:

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