History of St. Louis Cardinals
2001 - The Cardinals, having posted 17-8 and 13-14 records the first two months of the 2000 season, juxtaposed that early-season pattern and sat in second place at the 2001 season's one-third mark. This time they went 12-12 in April, dropping into fifth place, before winning 10 consecutive games May 7-17 and vaulting briefly into first. A 1-8 road trip in early June was the primary cause of that month's 11-16 record, and by the All-Star break, the Cardinals were 43-43 and eight games behind division-leading Houston. That was still their situation, but with a 57-55 record, as they opened play August 9, before going on an 11-game win streak that triggered the club's postseason drive. The pair of double-figure win streaks were the first for a Cardinal ballclub in the same season since 1941. And the Cardinals' fans continued showing their support, as 3,113,091 paid their way into Busch Stadium, marking the fourth consecutive season, and sixth in club history, of three-million-plus attendance.
1976 - John Denny wins the National League ERA title at age 23, tying youngest right-hander to win ERA title in N.L. Lou Brock gets 2700th hit of his career and closes to within 27 of tying Ty Cobb's stolen base record.
1977 - Lou Brock breaks Ty Cobb's career stolen base mark with number 893 in San Diego, August 29. Garry Templeton becomes youngest M.L. shortstop ever to gather 200 hits in a season. Templeton leads majors with 18 triples, highest number since 1957. Ted Simmons sets club record for home runs by a catcher with 21. Ken Reitz sets new fielding record with N.L. third baseman by committing only 9 errors. Bob Forsch wins 20 games.
1978 - Bob Forsch no hits Phillies 5-0, April 16 at Busch Stadium. Manager, Vern Rapp dismissed April 24. Ken Boyer becomes Cardinal manager April 29. Ted Simmons sets club season record and career high with 22 homers for a catcher. George Hendrick has 7 RBI's at Atlanta, August 25. Busch Memorial Stadium gets new astroturf.
1979 - Lou Brock collected his 3000th career hit (single off Dennis Lamp) in the 4th inning against the Cubs on August 13 at Busch Stadium. On September 23, Brock stole his 938th base making him baseball's all-time stolen base leader surpassing William (Sliding Billy) Hamilton. Keith Hernandez wins batting title with .344 average and is co-winner of National League M.V.P. award with Pittsburgh's Willie Stargell. Garry Templeton led N.L. with 211 hits. Templeton also led the league in triples with 19, for the third year in a row, setting a new N.L. record and tying the major league mark. His 19 triples are highest number since 1957. He became the first switch-hitter in major league history to collect 100 hits, both right and left-handed, in one season. Garry finished with 100 hits RH and 111 hits LH. Ted Simmons hit a career high 26 home runs, which also set a club record for homers by a catcher.
1980 - Ken Reitz sets new fielding record for N.L. third baseman by committing only 8 errors. Dane Iorg has 7 RBI's, August 28 vs. Atlanta. Manager Ken Boyer dismissed June 8. Whitey Herzog becomes Cardinal manager June 9. On August 18, John Claiborne fired as G.M. and Herzog named G.M. on August 29. Red Schoendienst served as interim manager for balance of season. On October 24, Herzog assumed dual role of general manager and field manager.
1981 - The Cardinals finished the season with the best winning percentage in the Eastern Division, but missed the playoffs because they finished second in each of the two sections of the schedule, revised due to the mid-summer players' strike. The Philadelphia Phillies, leaders when the strike began, were voted the first-half championship (however, the Phillies, Cardinals, and Cincinnati Reds voted against it), while Montreal won the second half. In each half, the Cardinals played fewer games than the winners, and could have tied or won either half with the opportunity to play the same number of games. Bruce Sutter, one of several players obtained in winter trades by Whitey Herzog, won the Rolaids Relief Man award.
1982 - In order to concentrate more on managing, Whitey Herzog stepped down as General Manager on Opening Day, turning the reins over to Joe McDonald. The move paid off as the Cardinals stayed in first place for only 48 days of the season and claimed their first ever National League East Championship. A 3-0 sweep of the Atlanta Braves put the Cards in their 13th World Series against the Milwaukee Brewers who fell 4-3 to St. Louis in the 'Fall Classic.' The 1982 team was characterized by an aggressive running style of baseball; seven players stole bases in double figures, led by team catalyst Lonnie Smith, who swiped 68. The team hit only 67 home runs, the fewest in the major leagues. Strong and consistent pitching performances were the rule; prior to clinching the title the Cardinals never lost more than three games in a row. Bruce Sutter had a hand in almost half of the team's victories.
1983 - Despite the fact that the 1983 Cardinals finished in fourth place, eleven games out, the team was competitive and exciting, although inconsistent, throughout much of the season. The team climbed to within a half-game of the division lead on September 5 before embarking on a thirteen-day road during which the starting rotation struggled. The running Redbirds set a new club record with 207 stolen bases. Danny Cox made his way from extended spring training to make the rotation. Bob Forsch pitched the second no-hitter of his career. George Hendrick moved to first base after Keith Hernandez was traded to the Mets; he earned a spot on the Silver Slugger and All-Star Teams. Ozzie Smith won his fourth straight Gold Glove and Willie McGee won his first.
1984 - The Cardinals got off to a bad start in 1984 and dwelled in fifth place for much of the first half of the season before turning things around after the All-Star break to finish with a winning record (84-78). Following the mid-summer classic the Cards posted a 42-33 record, second in the N.L. That surge lifted the Cards into a third-place finish in the division at year's end despite contending with many injuries. The team's 220 stolen bases broke the club record of 207 in 1983. They were the first major league team since the 1916 St. Louis Browns to steal 200 or more bases three years in a row. Bruce Sutter set a National League record and tied the major league record for saves in a season (45) and was Fireman of the Year. Joaquin Andujar (20-14, 12 CG, 4 SHO) became the club's first 20-game winner in seven seasons and won a Gold Glove. Rookie Terry Pendleton hit .324 after joining the club in July, sparking the team to a 41-29 record. The Cards drew over 2,000,000 fans for the third consecutive year.
1985 - The Cardinals lost their first four games, bounced back to 7-7, only to lose the next four. The next time they reached .500 was at 20-20, before turning it on. They finally made it to first-place on June 21, where they remained for most of the season. Five defeats in six games early in September left the Cardinals a game behind the New York Mets with 25 to play. But the Redbirds then won 14 of their next 15 and took the division title by three games with 101 victories. Willie McGee was the batting champion (at .353, a new high for a N.L. switch-hitter) and league Most Valuable Player; Vince Coleman was Rookie of the Year; and John Tudor and Joaquin Andujar each won 21 games while Danny Cox took 18. Willie McGee and Ozzie Smith won Gold Gloves again, and great starts by Tommy Herr (110 RBI) and Jack Clark (22 homers) contributed. Closer Todd Worrell was called up on August 28. In a great NLCS, the Cards dropped the first two games and then won four straight. Ozzie won Game 5 with a dramatic bottom-of-the-ninth home run off Tom Niedenfuer, his first ever homer batting left-handed. Down 5-4 with two out in the top of the ninth of Game 6, Jack Clark tagged Niedenfuer for a three-run homer to take the game and the series. In the World Series, Bret Saberhagen's Kansas City Royals defeated the Redbirds in seven games. The most memorable event of the series was Don Denkinger's blown call in the top of the ninth inning in Game 6, on Jorge Orta's leadoff grounder Don Denkinger call in the Game 6.
1986 - The defending National League Champions stumbled at the beginning of the season. After the first two months of the season the Cardinals had the worst record in the League. But the team righted itself posting winning records in each of the next four months to finish third in the National League's Eastern Division. Individually Vince Coleman stole 107 bases to become the first player ever to steal over 100 bases in each of his first two seasons and the first N.L. player to steal 100 bases twice; rookie left-hander Greg Mathews, who was promoted from Louisville, won 11 games in little more than half a season; Ozzie Smith won his seventh straight Gold Glove and Todd Worrell was named N.L. Rookie of the Year. Worrell blazed his way to a major league rookie record 36 saves, becoming the first rookie pitcher ever to lead the league in saves and the first rookie to earn N.L. Relief Pitcher of the Year honor...Three attendance milestones were hit and surpassed during the course of the season. The Cardinals reached the two million mark for the fifth consecutive year, drew the 75 millionth fan in the history of the franchise since 1900 and drew the 50 millionth fan to see the Redbirds play under Anheuser-Busch ownership.
1987 - Sparked by a potent offense, the Cardinals slipped no further than two games back in the N.L. East standings and claimed sole possession of first place on May 22. Beset by injuries to several key players throughout the season, manager Whitey Herzog made use of a mixture of experienced veterans and eager rookies to fill the voids created by injuries. The Cardinals extended their lead to 9-1/2 games on July 23 but saw the lead shrink to 1 game as late as Sept. 19. A come-from-behind win a New York on Sept. 11 followed by a doubleheader sweep of the Expos on Sept. 29, set the stage for the pennant clinching win over Montreal on Oct. 1. Several Cards enjoyed banner seasons offensively, including Vince Coleman (third straight season with 100 SB), Jack Clark (35 HR and 106 RBI), Ozzie Smith (.300 BA for first time in his career), Terry Pendleton (.286 BA and 96 RBI), Willie McGee (105 RBI). The Redbirds had four starters with 10 or more victories (John Tudor, Bob Forsch, Greg Mathews and Danny Cox) while rookie Joe Magrane showed much promise in his initial season. In the bullpen, Todd Worrell followed up his impressive rookie season with 33 saves and Ken Dayley overcame serious elbow surgery to post nine wins in relief. 1987 was a fantastic year at the gate as well, as the Cardinals drew a Major League leading 3,072,122 fans, becoming just the third club in M.L. history to surpass the three million mark in attendance.
1988 - After acquiring Tom Brunansky from Minnesota in April, the defending N.L. champions climbed within six games of first on June 12, but injuries to Bob Horner and Terry Pendleton crippled the offense. By the end of July, the Cardinals were 19 games out of first. Newcomer Jose DeLeon became the first Cards pitcher since 1972 to record 200 strikeouts. Sophomore hurler Joe Magrane won the N.L. ERA title with a 2.18 mark, despite winning just five games. Todd Worrell posted his third-straight 30-save season, and Vince Coleman led the league in stolen bases for the fourth consecutive year. Jose Oquendo became the first N.L. player since 1918 to play all nine positions in a season. Trades that brought Pedro Guerrero, Denny Walling and Brunansky to St. Louis also ended long-time affiliations with departing players Tom Herr, Bob Forsch and John Tudor. Despite finishing fifth, the club drew nearly 2.9 million fans to Busch.
1989 - Although the outlook was bleak when injuries crippled the pitching staff in spring training, the Cardinals remained in the race until the final week of the season. The Redbirds pulled within a half-game of the division-leading Chicago Cubs with a dramatic come-from-behind win on Sept. 9, but a six-game losing streak followed and the Cards sunk to third place on the final day of the season. Pedro Guerrero was spectacular in the clutch, batting .406 with runners in scoring position and leading the club with 117 RBI and a .311 batting average. Vince Coleman again led the league in stolen bases and set a major league record by stealing 50 consecutive bases without being caught, a streak begun in 1988. Despite the early concern over the pitching staff, Joe Magrane (18 wins) and Jose DeLeon (16) spearheaded the patched-up starting unit. The Cardinals set a club attendance record, attracting 3,080,980 fans during a season that ended on a sad note when long-time club president August A. Busch Jr. died at age 90.
1990 - Considered by many to be a contender following the spring training "lockout," the Cardinals never lived up to expectations and finished in last place for the first time since 1918. On July 5, Manager Whitey Herzog resigned after more than 10 years as the Cards' skipper. Interim manager Red Schoendienst took over until Aug. 2, when Joe Torre was named manager. Willie McGee won the league batting title (.335), despite being traded to Oakland in late August as the team made room for younger players. One of those was rookie catcher Todd Zeile, who led the team with 15 homers. John Tudor returned to the club and posted a team-high 12 wins but announced his retirement following the season. Vince Coleman led the league in steals for the sixth straight year, tying Maury Wills' N.L. record, and batted a career-high .292. Starting pitchers Jose DeLeon (a league-high 19 losses) and Joe Magrane (17 losses) were disappointments. Reliever Lee Smith was a steady closer following his acquisition in May, saving 27 games. Jose Oquendo set a major league record for fewest errors by a second baseman (three).
1991 - Coming off a last-place finish, the Cardinals were one of baseball's biggest surprises in 1991, moving up to second place in the N.L. East. Manager Joe Torre, in his first full season at the Cardinals' helm, opened the year with several unproven players at key positions. Among the young standouts were outfielders Ray Lankford and Felix Jose. Lankford led the majors with 15 triples and had a team-high 44 steals. Nine Cardinals stole 10 or more bases, the first time since 1917 that a team had done so. Former Athletic Jose, playing his first full season in the National League, led the Cardinals in batting (.305) and plugged Busch Stadium's spacious gaps with 40 doubles. Sophomore Todd Zeile made a fine transition from catcher to third base, leading the club with 11 homers and 81 RBI. Catcher Tom Pagnozzi, seeing his first full-time duty, earned a Gold Glove award. The season also was a good one for Cardinals named Smith. Lee Smith set an N.L. record with 47 saves and became only the fifth pitcher to record 300 career saves. Ozzie Smith set an N.L. record for fewest errors by a shortstop (eight) en route to winning his 12th Gold Glove. Bryn Smith's 12 wins paced the pitching staff, which was without Joe Magrane, Frank DiPino and Todd Worrell due to injuries. Young starters Ken Hill (11 wins) and Omar Olivares (11 wins), and reliever Cris Carpenter (10 wins) helped fill the void.
1992 - Though injuries took a toll in the Cardinals' centennial season, the team actually led the N.L. East by one game on June 1, despite losing three players in the first week of the season. Injuries or illnesses continued to mount, however, as the team lost shortstop Ozzie Smith to chicken pox for two weeks in late June and Omar Olivares and Rheal Cormier from the starting rotation. At second base, seven players were used. Ray Lankford, moved from first to third in the order, became the first Cardinal since Lou Brock in 1967 to hit 20 homers and steal 20 bases. Ozzie Smith tied Felix Jose for the club lead in batting (.295) and stole a team-high 43 bases. The "Wizard" also collected his 2,000th career hit and 500th stolen base, besides earning his 12th All-Star Game berth and 13th Gold Glove. Bob Tewksbury emerged as the No. 1 starter, winning 16 games and ranking second in the majors with a 2.16 ERA. He joined Smith on the N.L. All-Star squad, as did catcher Tom Pagnozzi, who tied a league mark with a .999 fielding average, and reliever Lee Smith, who led the league in saves (43) for the second straight season. Smith received help in the bullpen from Todd Worrell, who, after missing the last two seasons to injury, moved into the top spot on the Cards' all-time saves list. The team's major league record 16-game errorless streak in August helped establish a club record for fielding (.985). On the down side, the Redbirds set records for most strikeouts and caught stealing in a season. Moving the fences in proved beneficial. The Cards set a Busch Stadium season high while out-homering opponents, 55-52.
1993 - Helped by a 20-7 mark in June (a club record for the month) and a potent offense, the Cardinals closed to within three games of the front-running Philadelphia Phillies in mid-July, only to fall 10 games back by the end of August. Midseason injuries to relievers Mike Perez, Les Lancaster and Paul Kilgus put the pitching staff on the skids. Offensively, several players enjoyed banner seasons, reflected by the team's 118 home runs, the most in 30 years. Newcomer Gregg Jefferies finished third in the N.L. batting race at .342 and swiped 46 bases, the most ever by a Cardinal first baseman. Mark Whiten cracked a team-high 25 home runs, including four in the second game of a September 7 double-header at Cincinnati, thus becoming only the 12th player to accomplish the feat. His 12 RBI in the game tied former Cardinal Jim Bottomley's major league record. For the season, Whiten finished with 99 RBI. Todd Zeile drove in 60 after the All-Star break, finishing with a team-high 103 RBI as he settled into the cleanup spot. Bernard Gilkey enjoyed a breakthrough season, leading the club in hits, extra-base hits and runs scored. Ozzie Smith recorded his 16th-straight 20-steal season and passed Larry Bowa to become the all-time N.L. leader in games played at shortstop. Gerald Perry tied a club record with 24 pinch-hits. Though the pitching was largely inconsistent, Bob Tewksbury led the staff with a career-best 17 wins and walked only 20 batters for the second straight season. Cuban rookie Rene Arocha ranked second on the staff with 11 wins, despite missing nearly a month with a broken finger. Reliever Lee Smith became the majors' career saves leader in April and set a club record for career saves (160) before being traded to the New York Yankees in late August. The Cards slipped defensively, committing 159 errors and failing to place a member on the Rawlings' Gold Glove team for the first time since 1977.
1994 - The season started with a bang when Ray Lankford homered in the first at-bat of the schedule, but a players' strike in mid-August forced the cancellation of the remainder of the season and the World Series, ending the year in tragic fashion. When play was suspended on August 12, the Redbirds were 53-61 and tied with Pittsburgh for third place in the newly formed N.L. Central Division. The club's 5.14 ERA was its worst since 1897, and the opposition outscored the Cards by nearly 100 runs. A seven-game winning streak by Bob Tewksbury and a consecutive-game homer streak of 12 games highlighted the early portion of the schedule, helping the club stay within five games of first place through July 2. The Cardinals were involved in 14 shutouts and, despite inconsistent pitching, won seven of them. They tied an N.L. record by using six pitchers in a shutout (2-0) win at Pittsburgh on May 17. On May 24 against Philadelphia, they established a record for most runners left on base (16) in a shutout loss. The Cardinals blasted 108 home runs, exceeding the 100-homer plateau for just the second time since 1980, and were on pace to hit their most round-trippers since 1963. They hit a Busch Stadium-record five home runs in a July 1 win vs. Colorado. An 8-20 record in July included two of the team's lowest moments: On July 16 at Colorado, Cardinal pitchers walked a team-record 16 batters, one short of the N.L. record, and on July 18, the team tied an N.L. mark by losing an 11-run lead in its 15-12 loss at Houston. Ozzie Smith passed Luis Aparicio on July 14 to become baseball's all-time assist leader at shortstop. On September 1, Mark Lamping was appointed president, replacing the retiring Stuart Meyer. Lamping named Walt Jocketty general manager in October, replacing Dal Maxvill, who had held the title since 1985. Hall of Famers Bob Gibson and Lou Brock were named to manager Joe Torre's coaching staff for 1995.
1995 - The season was disappointing in most respects, with the Cardinals posting a 62-81 mark and their worst winning percentage (.434) since 1990. The schedule was reduced to 144 games due to the players' strike that continued into the first week of April. Once play began on April 26, the Cardinals never challenged for the NL Central lead. On June 16, Manager Joe Torre was fired and replaced by Mike Jorgensen. Although the team languished near the Central Division basement, there were a number of individual highlights. Reliever Tom Henke saved 36 of 38 opportunities, including a team-record 22 straight to begin the season, and won his first Rolaids Relief title. He also notched his 300th career save, becoming the seventh pitcher to reach that plateau. Henke headlined a bullpen that led the NL with a 2.71 ERA and a .225 opponents' batting mark. Rich DeLucia topped the team with eight wins (the lowest-ever total to lead the club), all in relief. While starters Danny Jackson and Ken Hill failed to fulfill expectations, Mike Morgan, who was acquired in a June trade for Todd Zeile, gave the Busch Stadium crowd a night to remember on July 3 when he held Montreal hitless for 8.1 innings.On offense, the Cardinals' outfield trio of Bernard Gilkey (a team-high .298 BA), Ray Lankford (25 HRs, 82 RBIs) and Brian Jordan (22 HRs, 81 RBIs) led the way. Lankford's team-high 25 homers were the most ever by a Cards center fielder, and he tied Jordan for the team lead with 24 steals, thus becoming only the fifth Cardinal and the first since 1948 to lead the team in both home runs and steals. Jordan and Lankford also formed the Redbirds' first 20-homer tandem since 1980. First baseman/outfielder John Mabry (.307) narrowly missed qualifying for the NL Top 10 in batting, but his average topped all NL rookies and earned him a spot on the Topps All-Rookie team. Ozzie Smith, who was slowed by a shoulder injury, added to his collection of fielding records on Sept. 15 when he turned his 1,554th double play, an all-time high among shortstops. He also became the first big-league shortstop since 1950 to play at the age of 40 and the first Cardinal shortstop to do so since 1918. Off the bench, veteran Gerald Perry became the club's all-time pinch-hit leader (70), rookie Mark Sweeney hit in seven straight pinch at-bats (one short of the major league record) and Danny Sheaffer hit the Cards' first pinch grand slam in nearly 10 years. The Cardinals took part in two bizarre games at Dodger Stadium: on May 12 they committed seven errors, their highest single-game total since 1940, and on Aug. 10 they recorded a 2-1 forfeit win, the first forfeited game in the majors since 1979. A busy off-season included the hiring of Tony La Russa as manager and the announced sale of the club to a group of long-time Cardinals fans led by Fred Hanser, William DeWitt Jr. and Andrew Baur. The Busch playing surface was changed from artificial turf to natural grass prior to the '96 season.
1996 - With new ownership, new Manager Tony LaRussa and a variety of new players in place, the Cardinals made their first postseaon appearance since 1987. The year also marked the end of an era, as shortstop Ozzie Smith completed his 19th, and final, major league campaign. The Cardinals began their climb to their first N.L. Central Division title after falling nine games below .500 following a series sweep by Colorado in mid-May. They rebounded with a sweep of the division-rival Astros in Houston, went on to record a 17-10 mark in June and reached the All-Star break tied for the division lead. The race remained close until Labor Day weekend, when the Redbirds swept three games from the first-place Astros to take over the division lead for good. Right fielder Brian Jordan led the league with a .422 batting average with runners in scoring position and teamed with center fielder Ray Lankford, the N.L. fielding leader, to provide dazzling outfield defense. New left fielder Ron Gant led the team with 30 homers despite missing over a month to injury. Brothers Andy (18-10) and Alan Benes (13-10) combined for 31 wins, and newcomer Todd Stottlemyre fashioned 14 victories in his first N.L. season. Lefthander Donovan Osborne won a career-high 13 games. The bullpen was anchored by former Oakland relief ace Dennis Eckersley, who saved 30 games in 34 tries. Fan-favorite Willie McGee returned to the club after five years with San Francisco and Boston and batted .307, including .350 in the pinch. The season also featured many record-setting achievements: The Cardinals tied a 56-year-old club record with a seven-homer game (July 12 at Chicago); the pitching staff recorded a team-record 1,050 strikeouts; and Willie McGee's five-RBI inning tied Chick Hafey's 1930 mark. The Cardinals retired the uniform numbers of Red Schoendienst (2), Enos Slaughter (9) and Ozzie Smith (1). In their first postseason appearance in nine years, the Cardinals swept a best-of-five Division Series from San Diego. After taking a 3-1 lead over defending World Series champion Atlanta in the NLCS, the Cardinals lost three straight.
1997 - After beginning the season with a six-game losing streak, the Cardinals never climbed above .500 and finished in fourth place with a 73-89 record, 11 games behind division-winner Houston. The Redbirds did manage to take sole possession of first place for two days (July 2-3), and their high-water mark for the season was an even .500 (41-41). But after trailing first-place Pittsburgh by only two games at the All-Star break, the Cardinals dropped to 711/42 back by the end of July. During the course of the season, the Cardinals set several club records. They used a record 51 players (including 24 pitchers), swatted a franchise-record 144 round-trippers (one more than their 1955 total of 143), and established team highs in strikeouts - at the plate (1,191) and on the mound (1,130). Ray Lankford, who missed the first two weeks of the season while recovering from shoulder surgery, emerged as a star-caliber player, leading the team with a career-high 31 homers (the most ever by a Cards center fielder) and career-best 98 RBIs. He finished only percentage points behind team batting leader Delino DeShields (.2954 to .2946). Slugger Mark McGwire arrived July 31 and belted 24 home runs as a Cardinal, including 15 in September (a club record for one month). He finished with 58 homers, tying the major league record for righthanded hitters. McGwire became just the fifth player to hit as many as 58 home runs and only the second, next to Babe Ruth, to record 50 or more in consecutive seasons. "Big Mac's" total of 110 homers in 1996 and '97 are the most ever back-to-back by a righty. He finished the year by homering in 12 consecutive series, but none of those blasts matched the flair of the 517-foot shot he launched above the left-field scoreboard in his first at-bat on Sept. 16, the day he announced he'd signed a multiyear contract with the club. Pitcher Matt Morris displayed much promise in his first season, leading N.L. rookie pitchers in wins (12), ERA (3.19), complete games (three), strikeouts (149), opponents' batting average (.258) and innings pitched (217). He topped the staff in victories and starts (33). DeShields led the team in batting (.295), hits (169), triples (14), sacrifice flies (six) and stolen bases (55). He was the first Cardinal since Lankford in 1991 to lead the league in triples. The Cardinals posted an 8-7 record against A.L. opponents in their first year of interleague play. They swept a three-game series from Minnesota but lost three at Milwaukee. The team drew 2,634,014 fans, the fifth-highest total in club history. Before the season, the Cardinals added a hand-operated scoreboard in center field and moved the visitors' bullpen to right field.
1998 - While Mark McGwire slugged his way to a record-setting season, the Cardinals finished in third place for the fifth time in the last decade, 19 games behind Central Division champion Houston. The 83-79 Cardinals jumped out of the gate strong, as McGwire began his march toward 70 home runs by going deep in each of the first four games, helping the Redbirds to a 16-11 record through April. As injuries took their toll, the Cardinals labored into the All-Star recess in fourth place, 12 1/2 games out of first, with a 40-46 record. The team wound up closing the season with a 43-33 record after the break, including an 18-7 mark in September, the franchise's best record in that month since moving into Busch Stadium in 1966.
1999 - The Cardinals concluded the 1900s almost exactly the way they began them - their .466 winning percentage (75-86) in '99 was nearly identical to their .464 mark in 1900, and they finished 21 1/2 games out of first place, slightly off their 19-game deficit 99 years earlier. Mark McGwire followed his record-setting 70-homer season of 1998 with a 65-homer campaign in 1999 and led the league with 147 RBIs.
2000 - The 2000 squad opened the season with a 7-1 win over rival Chicago on Opening Day and remained in first place for all but three days. By the All-Star break, the club held an eight-game lead over the Cincinnati Reds and ended the season as National League Central Division Champions, 10 games ahead of their closest pursuer. With a 95-67 record, the team became the 23rd in franchise history, and first since 1987, to reach the 90-win mark