The St. Louis Cardinals' 1985 season was the team's 104th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 94th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 101-61 during the season and finished in first place in the National League East division by three games over the New York Mets. After defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games in the NLCS, they lost in seven games in the World Series to their cross-state rivals, the Kansas City Royals in the I-70 Series. The World Series is known for the infamous "safe" call on the Royals' Jorge Orta by umpire Don Denkinger.
The Cardinals switched back to their traditional gray road uniforms for the first time in ten seasons.
Outfielder Willie McGee won the National League MVP Award this year, batting .353 with 10 home runs and 82 RBIs. Outfielder Vince Coleman won the National League Rookie of the Year Award this year, batting .267 with 107 runs scored and 110 stolen bases. Shortstop Ozzie Smith and McGee both won Gold Gloves this year.
During the 1985 playoffs, the Cardinals used the slogan The Heat Is On, in reference to the song that was released earlier that year.
|1985 St. Louis Cardinals|
NL East Champions
|Major League affiliations|
|Owner(s)||August "Gussie" Busch|
|General manager(s)||Dal Maxvill|
|Local television||KSDK |
(Jack Buck, Mike Shannon, Jay Randolph, Al Hrabosky)
|Local radio||KMOX |
(Jack Buck, Mike Shannon)
|< Previous season Next season >|
|St. Louis Cardinals||101||61||0.623||—||54–27||47–34|
|New York Mets||98||64||0.605||3||51–30||47–34|
1985 National League Records
Sources:            
|1985 St. Louis Cardinals|
|= Indicates team leader|
Note: Pos = position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
|RF||Andy Van Slyke||146||424||110||.259||13||55|
The NLCS against the Dodgers featured two game-winning home runs by shortstop Ozzie Smith in Game 5 and first baseman Jack Clark in Game 6, both off Dodgers reliever Tom Niedenfuer. In a rare display of power-hitting, Smith hit his in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the ninth inning, prompting the famous call of "Go crazy, folks! Go crazy!" by Jack Buck. This play is considered one of the key highlights in all of Cardinals' history.
|W: Fernando Valenzuela (1-0) L: John Tudor (0-1) SV: Tom Niedenfuer (1)|
|HRs: LAD – None STL – None|
|W: Orel Hershiser (1-0) L: Joaquín Andújar (0-1) SV: None|
|HRs: LAD – Greg Brock (1) STL – None|
|W: Danny Cox (1-0) L: Bob Welch (0-1) SV: Ken Dayley (1)|
|HRs: LAD – None STL – Tom Herr (1)|
|W: John Tudor (1-0) L: Jerry Reuss (0-1) SV: None|
|HRs: LAD – Bill Madlock (1) STL – None|
|W: Jeff Lahti (1-0) L: Tom Niedenfuer (0-1) SV: None|
|HRs: LAD – Bill Madlock (2) STL – Ozzie Smith (1)|
|W: Todd Worrell (1-0) L: Tom Niedenfuer (0-2) SV: Ken Dayley (2)|
|HRs: LAD – Bill Madlock (3) Mike Marshall (1) STL – Jack Clark (1)|
The 1985 World Series was christened the "I-70 Series" and the "Show-Me Series" because it featured the in-state rival Kansas City Royals, the first time the two teams met in a non-exhibition setting. It also featured some of the most controversial series of events in Cardinals history. Coleman was unable to play in this Series due to an injury sustained in the NLCS after being rolled up in the mechanical tarpaulin at Busch Stadium. Scribes remarked about the "killer tarp", but it proved metaphorical.
After St. Louis gained a 3–2 series advantage, Game 6 tipped off the controversy with "The Call". With the Cardinals leading 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth inning, umpire Don Denkinger called Royals batter Jorge Orta safe at first base — a call refuted by broadcast television's instant replay. Several batters later, they lost Game 6 by the score of 2–1. After "The Call", St. Louis proceeded to lose Game 7 by a score of 11-0, and thus, the Series, due to an error and passed ball. Despite both of their pitching aces participating in this game, they failed to come through — starter John Tudor, who had won his two prior starts in the Series, punched a mechanical fan when removed from the game. His severely cut pitching hand required stitching at a Kansas City hospital while the game was ongoing. Joaquín Andújar, the other ace pressed into relief, was ejected by home plate umpire Denkinger for arguing balls and strikes.
|Game||Score||Date||Location||Attendance||Time of Game|
|1||Cardinals – 3, Royals – 1||October 19||Royals Stadium (Kansas City)||41,650||2:48|
|2||Cardinals – 4, Royals – 2||October 20||Royals Stadium (Kansas City)||41,656||2:44|
|3||Royals – 6, Cardinals – 1||October 22||Busch Stadium (St. Louis)||53,634||3:00|
|4||Royals – 0, Cardinals – 3||October 23||Busch Stadium (St. Louis)||53,634||2:19|
|5||Royals – 6, Cardinals – 1||October 24||Busch Stadium (St. Louis)||53,634||2:52|
|6||Cardinals – 1, Royals – 2||October 26||Royals Stadium (Kansas City)||41,628||2:48|
|7||Cardinals – 0, Royals – 11||October 27||Royals Stadium (Kansas City)||41,658||2:46|
|AAA||Louisville Redbirds||American Association||Jim Fregosi|
|AA||Arkansas Travelers||Texas League||Jim Riggleman|
|A||St. Petersburg Cardinals||Florida State League||Dave Bialas|
|A||Springfield Cardinals||Midwest League||Lloyd Merritt|
|A||Savannah Cardinals||South Atlantic League||Gaylen Pitts|
|A-Short Season||Erie Cardinals||New York–Penn League||Fred Koenig|
|Rookie||Johnson City Cardinals||Appalachian League||Rich Hacker|
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Louisville
The 1985 St. Louis Cardinals season was the sixty-sixth season the franchise was in the league. The team failed to improve on their previous output of 9–7, winning only five games. This was the third straight season in which the team did not reach the playoffs. The Cardinals fired head coach Jim Hanifan after the season that saw the Cardinals finish in last place after a 3-1 start.Don Denkinger
Donald Anton Denkinger (; born August 28, 1936) is a former Major League Baseball umpire who worked in the American League from 1969 to 1998. Denkinger wore uniform number 11, when the AL adopted uniform numbers in 1980. He is best remembered for an incorrect safe call he made at first base in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series, which came to be known as The Call.Terry Pendleton
Terry Lee Pendleton (born July 16, 1960) is a former third baseman in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played primarily for the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves, but he also spent time with the Florida Marlins, Cincinnati Reds, and Kansas City Royals. During his fifteen-year career, he went to the World Series five times, yet his team never won a championship. After his playing career, he became a coach for the Braves.