1997 St. Louis Cardinals
St Louis Cardinals Cap Insignia.svg
Major League affiliations
Location
Results
Record73–89 (.451)
Divisional place4th
Other information
Owner(s)William DeWitt, Jr.
General manager(s)Walt Jocketty
Manager(s)Tony La Russa
Local televisionFox Sports Midwest
KPLR
(Al Hrabosky, Bob Carpenter, Joe Buck, Bob Ramsey, Ozzie Smith, Rich Gould)
Local radioKMOX
(Jack Buck, Mike Shannon, Joe Buck)
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The St. Louis Cardinals 1997 season was the team's 116th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 106th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 73-89 during the season and finished 4th in the National League Central division, 11 games behind the Houston Astros.

Offseason

Regular season

Season standings

NL Central W L Pct. GB Home Road
Houston Astros 84 78 0.519 46–35 38–43
Pittsburgh Pirates 79 83 0.488 5 43–38 36–45
Cincinnati Reds 76 86 0.469 8 40–41 36–45
St. Louis Cardinals 73 89 0.451 11 41–40 32–49
Chicago Cubs 68 94 0.420 16 42–39 26–55

Record vs. opponents


Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]
Team ATL CHC CIN COL FLA HOU LA MTL NYM PHI PIT SD SF STL AL
Atlanta 9–2 9–2 5–6 4–8 7–4 6–5 10–2 5–7 10–2 5–6 8–3 7–4 8–3 7–5
Chicago 2–9 7–5 2–9 2–9 3–9 5–6 4–7 6–5 6–5 7–5 6–5 5–6 4–8 9–6
Cincinnati 2–9 5–7 5–6 5–6 5–7 6–5 6–5 2–9 8–3 8–4 5–6 4–7 6–6 9–6
Colorado 6–5 9–2 6–5 7–4 5–6 5–7 7–4 6–5 4–7 4–7 4–8 4–8 7–4 9–7
Florida 8–4 9–2 6–5 4–7 7–4 7–4 7–5 4–8 6–6 7–4 5–6 5–6 5–6 12–3
Houston 4–7 9–3 7–5 6–5 4–7 7–4 8–3 7–4 4–7 6–6 6–5 3–8 9–3 4–11
Los Angeles 5–6 6–5 5–6 7–5 4–7 4–7 7–4 6–5 10–1 9–2 5–7 6–6 5–6 9–7
Montreal 2–10 7–4 5–6 4–7 5–7 3–8 4–7 5–7 6–6 5–6 8–3 6–5 6–5 12–3
New York 7–5 5–6 9–2 5–6 8–4 4–7 5–6 7–5 7–5 7–4 5–6 3–8 9–2 7–8
Philadelphia 2-10 5–6 3–8 7–4 6–6 7–4 1–10 6–6 5–7 5–6 7–4 3–8 6–5 5–10
Pittsburgh 6–5 5–7 4–8 7–4 4–7 6–6 2–9 6–5 4–7 6–5 5–6 8–3 9–3 7–8
San Diego 3–8 5–6 6–5 8–4 6–5 5–6 7–5 3–8 6–5 4–7 6–5 4–8 5–6 8–8
San Francisco 4–7 6–5 7–4 8–4 6–5 8–3 6–6 5–6 8–3 8–3 3–8 8–4 3–8 10–6
St. Louis 3–8 8–4 6–6 4–7 6–5 3-9 6–5 5–6 2–9 5–6 3–9 6–5 8–3 8–7


Roster

1997 St. Louis Cardinals
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

Transactions

The Trade

The beginning came on July 31, when the Cardinals acquired Mark McGwire from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for relief pitcher T.J. Mathews and minor league pitchers Eric Ludwick and Blake Stein. McGwire could have been a free agent at the end of the season.

McGwire had 34 home runs and 81 RBIs with Oakland at the time of the trade, which reunited him with former Athletics manager Tony La Russa. The Cardinals were considered to have little chance of keeping him with the club beyond the final two months of the season. But general manager Walt Jocketty's deal figured to inject some excitement into a dull close to the season, since the Cardinals were far out of the race. They had begun their free fall in early July when left fielder Ron Gant had failed to make a routine catch which would have given the Cardinals a victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Not only did the Pirates rally for that victory, but they also ended up sweeping the four-game series, knocking the Cardinals out of first place, and sending them reeling.

McGwire hadn't expected to stay with Oakland, but he also didn't think he would end up with the Cardinals.

McGwire's Impact

The team was in the throes of a slump when their new first baseman arrived. On August 10, the Cardinals had lost 11 of their last 14 games. They had scored a total of 58 runs scored in their 21 previous games at that point.

McGwire struggled to hit anything at first but had four home runs with his new team in less than two weeks, including two in an August 13 game that featured a 455-foot dinger, one of the longest in Busch Stadium history.

September Booms

On September 3, the same day pitcher Alan Benes underwent rotate cuff surgery, McGwire hit the first Busch Stadium home run that was measured at more than 500 feet-504 feet, to be exact-hit on a pitch from Jaime Navarro of the Chicago White Sox.

A week later, he hit his 16th homer since joining the Cardinals but his 50th overall for the season, making him only the second man in baseball history-Babe Ruth did it twice-to reach the 50-homer mark in successive seasons

McGwire's biggest blasts might have come on September 17. That afternoon, the Cardinals announced they had signed him to a three-year, $28.5 million contract with an option for a fourth season at $11 million. He announced at the news conference that part of the deal included the formation of a charitable foundation to fight sexual and physical abuse of children, a fight strengthened by his donation of $1 million a year. McGwire choked up and wiped away tears as he talked of that cause, something close to his heart because of a close friend who had suffered such abuse.

He had decided to stay in St. Louis, McGwire said, because of the overwhelming affection shown him by Cardinals fans. Never did he feel it so much as when he stepped to the plate for his first at bat after signing his contract that day. With Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ramón Hernández on the mound at Busch, the crowd of 27,157 fans stood for a standing ovation at the announcement of McGwire's name. No one stopped cheering as Martinez threw ball one, then ball two, strike one and ball three. They all remained on their feet and screaming as Martinez fired the fifth pitch of the at bat, which McGwire hit 517 feet for the then-longest home run in stadium history, an upper-deck shot over the left-field scoreboard. it was McGwire's fifth homer of more than 500 feet that season and his 18th home run since joining the Cardinals 48 days earlier.

With two homers on the second-to-last day of the season and one more in the season finale. McGwire ended with 24 homers in the Cardinals uniform and 58 overall for the season. That was a single-season for a right-handed batter and fueled a winter of speculation that he might be the chosen one to break Roger Maris's hallowed record.

Player stats

Batting

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Mike Difelice 93 260 62 .238 4 30
1B Dmitri Young 110 333 86 .258 5 34
2B Delino DeShields 150 572 169 .295 11 58
SS Royce Clayton 154 576 153 .266 9 61
3B Gary Gaetti 148 502 126 .251 17 69
LF Ron Gant 139 502 115 .229 17 62
CF Ray Lankford 133 465 137 .295 31 98
RF John Mabry 116 388 110 .284 5 36

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Willie McGee 122 300 90 .300 3 38
Tom Lampkin 108 229 56 .245 7 22
Mark McGwire 51 174 44 .253 24 42
Brian Jordan 47 145 34 .234 0 10
David Bell 66 142 30 .211 1 12
Danny Sheaffer 76 132 33 .250 0 11
Phil Plantier 42 113 29 .257 5 18
Mark Sweeney 44 61 13 .213 0 4
Tom Pagnozzi 25 50 11 .220 1 8
Eli Marrero 17 45 11 .244 2 7
Mike Gallego 27 43 7 .163 0 1
Scott Livingstone 42 41 7 .171 0 3
Micah Franklin 17 34 11 .324 2 2
Scarborough Green 20 31 3 .097 0 1
Luis Ordaz 12 22 6 .273 0 1
Roberto Mejía 7 14 1 .071 0 2
Steve Scarsone 5 10 1 .100 0 0
Mike Gulan 5 9 0 .000 0 1
Jeff Berblinger 7 5 0 .000 0 0

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Matt Morris 33 217.0 12 9 3.19 149
Todd Stottlemyre 28 181.0 12 9 3.88 160
Andy Benes 26 177.0 10 7 3.10 175
Alan Benes 23 161.2 9 9 2.89 160
Donovan Osborne 14 80.1 3 7 4.93 51
Manny Aybar 12 68.0 2 4 4.24 41
Fernando Valenzuela 5 22.2 0 4 5.56 10
Danny Jackson 4 18.2 1 2 7.71 13
Mike Busby 3 14.1 0 2 8.79 6

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Brady Raggio 15 31.1 1 2 6.89 21
Sean Lowe 6 17.1 0 2 9.35 8

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Tony Fossas 71 2 7 0 3.83 41
John Frascatore 59 5 2 0 2.48 58
Dennis Eckersley 57 1 5 36 3.91 45
Mark Petkovsek 55 4 7 2 5.06 51
T.J. Mathews 40 4 4 0 2.15 46
Rigo Beltrán 35 1 2 1 3.48 50
Curtis King 30 4 2 0 2.76 13
Lance Painter 14 1 1 0 4.76 11
José Bautista 11 0 0 0 6.57 4
Rich Batchelor 10 1 1 0 4.50 8
Eric Ludwick 5 0 1 0 9.45 7
Rick Honeycutt 2 0 0 0 13.50 2
Tom McGraw 2 0 0 0 0.00 0
Gary Gaetti 1 0 0 0 0.00 0

Awards and honors

Farm system

See also: Minor League Baseball

Level Team League Manager
AAA Louisville Redbirds American Association Gaylen Pitts
AA Arkansas Travelers Texas League Rick Mahler
A Prince William Cannons Carolina League Roy Silver
A Peoria Chiefs Midwest League Joe Cunningham, Jr.
A-Short Season New Jersey Cardinals New York–Penn League Jeff Shireman
Rookie Johnson City Cardinals Appalachian League Steve Turco

[9]

References

  1. ^ Willie McGee at Baseball-Reference
  2. ^ "Tom Pagnozzi Stats".
  3. ^ Rick Ankiel at Baseball-Reference
  4. ^ Xavier Nady at Baseball-Reference
  5. ^ José Rodríguez at Baseball-Reference
  6. ^ Mark Sweeney at Baseball-Reference
  7. ^ Mike Gallego at Baseball-Reference
  8. ^ Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Figures, 2008 Edition, p.372, David Nemec and Scott Flatow, A Signet Book, Penguin Group, New York, ISBN 978-0-451-22363-0
  9. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007