Tuesday, September 8, 2015

One Tough Dominican

Growing up in St. Louis during the 1980s meant that I had the opportunity to watch some great baseball teams that were based on speed, defense, and pitching during the decade long run of manager Whitey Herzog.  One of the most colorful figures on those teams was right-handed pitcher Joaquin Andujar.  The Cardinals picked up the front line pitcher from the Astros in exchange for outfielder Tony Scott.  Andujar was not much of a pitcher for the Astros, but helped the Cardinals win the 1982 World Series and the 1985 National League Pennant.  He won both of the games he started in the 1982 World Series against the Brewers including the Game 7 clincher.  He was not as effective against the Royals in the 1985 World Series and famously blew a gasket during the 7th Game of that series.  

Andujar won 20 games twice for the Cardinals, in 1984 and 1985, but was traded to the A's for Tim Conroy and Mike Heath.  Neither player really panned out for the Cardinals, but Andujar only lasted three more years pitching two seasons for the A's and his finale with the Astros in 1988.  He was out of baseball by age 35.  

Sadly today while I was eating lunch at work I opened my phone to check the news and saw the tweet from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  

I probably do not do enough for my collection of 1980s Cardinals, they were not too many stars on those teams outside of Ozzie Smith, but I have always loved the Andujar autographed card I scanned at the top of the post.  It's not the easiest autograph to find, but it's hard to say you have a collection of Cardinals player cards from the 1980s without a few good Andujars.  It's hard to see a favorite from my childhood gone.  He was "One Tough Dominican" RIP

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