1987 National League Championship Series

The 1987 National League Championship Series took place between October 6 and 14 at Busch Memorial Stadium (Games 1, 2, 6, and 7) and Candlestick Park (Games 3, 4, and 5). It matched the East division champion St. Louis Cardinals (95–67) against the West division champion San Francisco Giants (90–72), with the Cardinals winning in seven games. The Cardinals would go on to lose the 1987 World Series to the Minnesota Twins, also in seven games.

San Francisco's Jeffrey Leonard was named the Series MVP despite the fact that his Giants lost the series. Oddly enough, this was the second consecutive year that the NLCS MVP came from the losing team, as Mike Scott had won the award with the Houston Astros the previous year. However, to date, Leonard is the last MVP of any postseason series (League Championship Series or World Series) to have played for the losing team. There is no MVP awarded for the wildcard round or division series.

1987 National League Championship Series
Teams
Team (Wins) Manager Season
St. Louis Cardinals (4) Whitey Herzog 95–67, .586, GA: 3
San Francisco Giants (3) Roger Craig 90–72, .556, GA: 6
DatesOctober 6–14
MVPJeffrey Leonard (San Francisco)
UmpiresJohn Kibler, Ed Montague, Dave Pallone, Eric Gregg, Jim Quick, Bob Engel
Broadcast
TelevisionNBC
TV announcersVin Scully and Joe Garagiola
RadioCBS
Radio announcersDick Stockton and Johnny Bench

Summary

St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Francisco Giants

St. Louis won the series, 4–3.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 6 San Francisco Giants – 3, St. Louis Cardinals – 5 Busch Stadium (II) 2:34 55,331[1] 
2 October 7 San Francisco Giants – 5, St. Louis Cardinals – 0 Busch Stadium (II) 2:33 55,331[2] 
3 October 9 St. Louis Cardinals – 6, San Francisco Giants – 5 Candlestick Park 3:27 57,913[3] 
4 October 10 St. Louis Cardinals – 2, San Francisco Giants – 4 Candlestick Park 2:23 57,997[4] 
5 October 11 St. Louis Cardinals – 3, San Francisco Giants – 6 Candlestick Park 2:48 59,363[5] 
6 October 13 San Francisco Giants – 0, St. Louis Cardinals – 1 Busch Stadium (II) 3:09 55,331[6] 
7 October 14 San Francisco Giants – 0, St. Louis Cardinals – 6 Busch Stadium (II) 2:59 55,331[7]

Game summaries

Game 1

Tuesday, October 6, 1987, at Busch Stadium (II) in St. Louis, Missouri

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Francisco 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 3 7 0
St. Louis 0 0 1 1 0 3 0 0 X 5 10 1
WP: Greg Mathews (1–0)   LP: Rick Reuschel (0–1)   Sv: Ken Dayley (1)
Home runs:
SF: Jeffrey Leonard (1)
STL: None

The Giants struck first on an RBI groundout by Candy Maldonado, but the Cardinals tied it in the third on Vince Coleman's RBI single. Jeffrey Leonard gave the Giants a short-lived lead in the fourth on a homer, as the Cards quickly re-tied it when Ozzie Smith tripled and Willie McGee drove him home with a single.

The Cardinals took control of the game in the sixth by plating three runs off Giants starter Rick Reuschel. Terry Pendleton, Curt Ford, and pitcher Greg Mathews all had RBI singles in the rally. Ken Dayley pitched the ninth and got the save.

Game 2

Wednesday, October 7, 1987, at Busch Stadium (II) in St. Louis, Missouri

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Francisco 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 5 10 0
St. Louis 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
WP: Dave Dravecky (1–0)   LP: John Tudor (0–1)
Home runs:
SF: Will Clark (1), Jeffrey Leonard (2)
STL: None

The Giants pulled even in the series on the strength of a complete-game shutout by Dave Dravecky. Dravecky got all the runs he needed in the second on a Will Clark two-run homer. Jeffrey Leonard added a homer in the fourth, his second in two NLCS games. Two more runs came across in the eighth for the Giants on a rare Ozzie Smith throwing error.

It was in this game that Leonard aroused the ire of the Cardinal fans by going into his "Cadillac home run trot" around the bases. Leonard spread out his arms, airplane-style, but kept his left arm pinned to his side ("flap-down"). To further irritate the fans, Leonard slowed to a walk between third and home.

Game 3

Friday, October 9, 1987, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 0 0 6 11 1
San Francisco 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 7 1
WP: Bob Forsch (1–0)   LP: Don Robinson (0–1)   Sv: Todd Worrell (1)
Home runs:
STL: Jim Lindeman (1)
SF: Jeffrey Leonard (3), Harry Spilman (1)

In Game 3, Joe Magrane (STL) and Atlee Hammaker (SF) were set to face off. The matchup was not expected to be quite as low scoring as the series had been to date. The predictions were correct, as San Francisco broke first with four runs in the first three innings, looking to take the series lead. In the second inning, consecutive hits from Chili Davis, Will Clark and Bob Brenly put the Giants on the board. Yet another home run from Leonard tacked on a fourth run in the third.

On Leonard's next at-bat, however, Bob Forsch, who had relieved starter Magrane, plunked Leonard in the left shoulder with his first pitch, presumably in retaliation for his home-run trot antics. The Giants would load the bases in the inning with one out, but Forsch pitched out of it.

The Cardinals heated things up in the sixth with a two-run home run from Jim Lindeman, who replaced the injured Jack Clark, and then a triple by Willie McGee. But, in the seventh is when they really made their attack, not only tying the game, but scoring four to take the lead, 6–4. The four runs came on a large rally, highlighted by a two-run single by left fielder Vince Coleman.

With right-handed Todd Worrell pitching for the Cards, manager Roger Craig pinch hit left-handed batter Harry Spilman for Robby Thompson. Spilman homered to right field, putting new life back in the Giants, even with two down. However, third baseman Kevin Mitchell flew out to center field, and the Cards had completed a stunning comeback.

Cardinals slugger Jack Clark made his only appearance in the Series in Game 3. Nursing a sprained ankle, he came up as a pinch-hitter and struck out looking. His injury caused him to be left off the roster for the World Series, so the Cardinals could add another pitcher.

Game 4

Saturday, October 10, 1987, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 9 0
San Francisco 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 1 X 4 9 2
WP: Mike Krukow (1–0)   LP: Danny Cox (0–1)
Home runs:
STL: None
SF: Robby Thompson (1), Jeffrey Leonard (4), Bob Brenly (1)

The Giants knotted the series at 2–2 by the longball and another complete-game pitching performance, this time by Mike Krukow. Krukow was touched for two runs in the second on RBI singles by opposing pitcher Danny Cox and Vince Coleman, but then pitched shutout ball the rest of the way. Robby Thompson hit a homer in the fourth, Jeffrey Leonard put the Giants ahead 3–2 in the fifth with his fourth homer in the NLCS, and Bob Brenly closed out the scoring with a shot in the eighth.

Game 5

Sunday, October 11, 1987, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 7 0
San Francisco 1 0 1 4 0 0 0 0 X 6 7 1
WP: Joe Price (1–0)   LP: Bob Forsch (1–1)
Home runs:
STL: None
SF: Kevin Mitchell (1)

Tom Herr put the Cardinals up 1–0 in the first off Rick Reuschel with a sacrifice fly, then the Giants tied it in their half of the first on a Kevin Mitchell RBI single.

The Cardinals looked on the verge of breaking it open against Reuschel in the third. Tony Peña and pitcher Bob Forsch led off the inning with consecutive singles, and then Vince Coleman beat out a bunt, loading the bases with none out. Ozzie Smith could only produce a sacrifice fly, however, and Herr bounced into a double play to end the threat. Mitchell tied it at 2–2 for the Giants in the third on a homer.

Terry Pendleton then gave the Cards back the lead in the fourth in this nip-and-tuck game by smashing a two-out triple and scoring when Reuschel mishandled a throw by Will Clark on a ground ball hit by John Morris.

The Giants answered back in the bottom of the fourth when Jose Uribe drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single for a 4–3 Giants lead. Mike Aldrete then pinch-hit for Reuschel and hit a sacrifice fly and Robby Thompson drove in the last run with a triple. Joe Price then relieved Reuschel and pitched five innings of one-hit, shutout relief.

Thompson's RBI would be the last Giants run of the series.

Game 6

Tuesday, October 13, 1987, at Busch Stadium (II) in St. Louis, Missouri

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Francisco 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
St. Louis 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 1 5 0
WP: John Tudor (1–1)   LP: Dave Dravecky (1–1)   Sv: Ken Dayley (2)

Facing elimination, the Cardinals rolled out their ace, John Tudor, to face Dave Dravecky once again. Tudor was injured for most of the first half of 1987, but rebounded to go 10–2 in the second half of the season. And, like his great 1985 season, Tudor was golden in the postseason. He scattered six hits in seven innings and struck out six before giving way to Todd Worrell.

Tudor got the only run he needed in the second inning when Tony Peña hit what appeared to be a routine fly ball to right, but Candy Maldonado misplayed it and it fell for a triple. José Oquendo then drove Pena home with a sacrifice fly.

Ken Dayley pitched the ninth for his second save of the series.

Game 7

Wednesday, October 14, 1987, at Busch Stadium (II) in St. Louis, Missouri

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Francisco 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 1
St. Louis 0 4 0 0 0 2 0 0 X 6 12 0
WP: Danny Cox (1–1)   LP: Atlee Hammaker (0–1)
Home runs:
SF: None
STL: José Oquendo (1)

The Cardinals gave starter Danny Cox a quick 4–0 lead by jumping on Giants starter Atlee Hammaker in the second. Singles by Terry Pendleton, Tony Peña and Willie McGee produced the first run and José Oquendo, who had hit only one home run during the regular season, drilled a three-run shot to left. St. Louis added two more runs in the sixth on a two-run single by Tommy Herr. Cox went the distance, scattering eight hits and striking out five. The victory gave the Cardinals their third pennant in six years and fifteenth overall. The only downside in the victory was Pendleton suffering a strained ribcage while running the bases, which limited his availability in the World Series.

Composite box

1987 NLCS (4–3): St. Louis Cardinals over San Francisco Giants

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis Cardinals 1 7 2 2 0 7 4 0 0 23 56 3
San Francisco Giants 2 5 2 7 2 0 0 4 1 23 54 5
Total attendance: 396,597   Average attendance: 56,657

Series stats & information

Cardinals Hitting Bests:

Giants Hitting Bests:

  • Series AB'S: Mitchell (30)
  • Series Runs: Thompson (4)
  • Series Hits: Leonard (10)
  • Series Doubles: Clark (2)
  • Series Triples: Thompson (1)
  • Series HR's: Leonard (4)
  • Series RBIs: Leonard (5)
  • Series Base on Balls: Thompson (5)
  • Series Batting average (at least 10 at bats): Leonard (.417)

Cardinals Pitching Bests:

  • Series Wins: Cox, Tudor, Mathews, Forsch (1)
  • Series Saves: Dayley (2)
  • Series Complete Games: Cox (2)
  • Series IP: Cox (17)
  • Series SO's: Tudor (12)
  • Series ERA (at least 4 innings pitched): Dayley, Worrell (2.66)

Giants Pitching Bests:

  • Series Wins: Dravecky, Krukow, Price (1)
  • Series Saves: None
  • Series Complete Games: Dravecky, Krukow (1)
  • Series IP: Dravecky (15)
  • Series SO's: Dravecky (14)
  • Series ERA (at least 4 innings pitched): Dravecky (0.60)

References

  1. ^ "1987 NLCS Game 1 – San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  2. ^ "1987 NLCS Game 2 – San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  3. ^ "1987 NLCS Game 3 – St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Francisco Giants". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  4. ^ "1987 NLCS Game 4 – St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Francisco Giants". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "1987 NLCS Game 5 – St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Francisco Giants". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  6. ^ "1987 NLCS Game 6 – San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  7. ^ "1987 NLCS Game 7 – San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.

External links

2012 National League Championship Series

The 2012 National League Championship Series was a best-of-seven playoff pitting the San Francisco Giants against the St. Louis Cardinals for the National League pennant and the right to play in the 2012 World Series. The series, the 43rd in league history, began Sunday, October 14, and ended Monday, October 22, with Fox airing all games in the United States. The Giants came back from 3–1 deficit and outscored the Cardinals, 20–1, over the final three games to win the series, 4–3.

This was the third postseason meeting between the Giants and the Cardinals, and also marked the first time in MLB history since the creation of the League Championship Series in 1969 that the last two World Series champions faced off against each other for the pennant. The Giants won in 2010 while the Cardinals won in 2011. Coincidentally, the last two postseason meetings between the two teams occurred in the NLCS, which both ended on October 14, the day of Game 1. The Cardinals won Game 7 of the 1987 NLCS, while the Giants triumphed in the pennant-clinching Game 5 of the 2002 NLCS.

The Giants would go on to sweep the Detroit Tigers in the World Series in four games.

Bob Brenly

Robert Earl Brenly (born February 25, 1954) is an American baseball sportscaster and a former professional baseball player, coach and manager. He played the majority of his Major League Baseball career as a catcher with the San Francisco Giants. After retiring as a player, he worked as a broadcaster with the Chicago Cubs, then as a coach with the Giants, then as a broadcaster for Fox. He was hired to manage the Arizona Diamondbacks for the 2001 season, and won the franchise's only championship his first year. In 2004, he was released by the Diamondbacks and again became a broadcaster with the Cubs until 2012. He now serves as a color commentator for Diamondbacks broadcasts.

Bob Forsch

Robert Herbert Forsch (January 13, 1950 – November 3, 2011) was an American right-handed starting pitcher who spent most of his sixteen years in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the St. Louis Cardinals (1974–1988) before finishing his playing career with the Houston Astros (1988–1989). He was a member of the 1982 World Series Champions and National League (NL) pennant winners in 1985 and 1987.

A twenty-game winner in 1977, he is third amongst all Cardinals pitcher in victories with 163. He is also the only player in team history to pitch more than one no-hitter, achieving it twice in 1978 and 1983. He and Ken Forsch are the only brothers to have each performed the feat in the majors.

Candy Maldonado

Candido Maldonado Guadarrama (born September 5, 1960) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder who played from 1981 to 1995 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians, Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs, and Texas Rangers. Chris Berman, a fellow ESPN analyst, nicknamed him the "Candyman". Maldonado holds the distinction of having struck the first game-winning hit outside the United States in World Series play, and was the only Giant to hit a triple in the 1989 World Series.

Danny Cox (baseball)

Danny Bradford Cox (born September 21, 1959) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1983 to 1988, the Philadelphia Phillies from 1991 to 1992, the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1992, and the Toronto Blue Jays from 1993 to 1995, when he retired. Over his eleven-year career, Cox won 74, lost 75, recorded a 3.64 ERA, 21 complete games, 5 shutouts and 8 saves. He won Game 3 of the 1985 National League Championship Series with the Cardinals trailing 2 games to none. Cox pitched well in the 1985 World Series, but earned two no-decisions. He pitched a shutout in Game 7 of the 1987 National League Championship Series, and was the winning pitcher in Game 5 of the 1987 World Series, making Cox only the third European born pitcher to start a World Series game. After being removed in Game 7, Cox argued with umpire Dave Phillips and got ejected as he left the field. Cox is the most recent player to be ejected in a World Series game.He managed the Gateway Grizzlies, a Frontier League team based in Sauget, Illinois from 2003–2006, compiling a record of 197-175 and one league championship. In 2008, he coached the New Athens, Illinois High School baseball team, however he resigned mid-season. Cox currently frequents clinics in the St. Louis area, and offers pitching lessons to young players near his Freeburg, Illinois home.

In February 2009, he was named pitching coach for the Springfield Sliders of the Prospect League.

On December 17, 2009, the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball named him pitching coach for the 2010 season.

Dave Henderson

David Lee Henderson (July 21, 1958 – December 27, 2015), nicknamed "Hendu", was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, and Kansas City Royals during his 14-year career, primarily as an outfielder.

Henderson is best remembered for the two-out, two-strike home run he hit in the top of the ninth inning in Game 5 of the 1986 American League Championship Series. He helped his teams reach the World Series four times during his career—Boston in 1986 and Oakland from 1988 to 1990, with Oakland winning the championship in 1989. His uncle Joe Henderson appeared in 16 MLB games as a pitcher during the mid-1970s.

Dave Pallone

David Michael Pallone (born October 5, 1951) is an American former Major League Baseball umpire who worked in the National League from 1979 to 1988. During Pallone's career, he wore uniform number 26.

Game seven

A game seven is the final game of a best of seven series. This game can occur in the postseasons for Major League Baseball (MLB) (League Championship Series and World Series), the National Basketball Association (NBA) (all rounds of the NBA playoffs), and the National Hockey League (NHL) (all rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs).

The game is generally played at the site of the team holding the home advantage across the series.

The nature of a best-of-seven series requires that the series be tied 3–3 going into game seven, such that either team can take the series (advancing further in the playoffs or winning the championship) by winning the game. Because of this decisive nature, game sevens add an element of drama to their sports.

Aside from North American sports leagues, game sevens are also a fixture in many other sports around the world, mostly in baseball, basketball, and ice hockey leagues. Most codes of football do not employ a best-of-seven series (or any best-of-x series in general), hence game sevens are not played in those leagues.

Some playoff rounds (such as MLB's current Division Series) are played in a best of five format, such that game 5 has similar qualities to those described above, though the suspense and drama have less time to build in a shorter series. Furthermore, the World Series of 1903, 1919, 1920, and 1921 were played in a best of nine format, though none of the four went to a decisive game 9.

The game seven is comparable to a final or to a single game in a single-elimination tournament or to a one-game playoff. A championship series' game seven is equivalent to the Super Bowl game in the National Football League in that the game's winner is the league's champion for the season.

Jeffrey Leonard

Jeffrey Leonard (born September 22, 1955) is an American former professional baseball left fielder. He played fourteen seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1977 to 1990 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants, Milwaukee Brewers, and Seattle Mariners.

Jimmy Cefalo

James Carmen Cefalo (born October 6, 1956) is an American journalist, news broadcaster and sports broadcaster, radio talk show host, Voice of the Miami Dolphins, businessman, wine enthusiast and former professional American football wide receiver and game show host.

Joe Morgan

Joe Leonard Morgan (born September 19, 1943) is an American former professional baseball second baseman who played Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Houston Astros, Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, and Oakland Athletics from 1963 to 1984. He won two World Series championships with the Reds in 1975 and 1976 and was also named the National League Most Valuable Player (MVP) in each of those years. Considered one of the greatest second basemen of all-time, Morgan was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990. After retiring as an active player, Morgan became a baseball broadcaster for the Reds, Giants, and ESPN. He currently hosts a weekly nationally-syndicated radio show on Sports USA, while serving as a special advisor to the Reds.

José Oquendo

José Manuel Roberto Guillermo Oquendo Contreras (born July 4, 1963), nicknamed The Secret Weapon, is a Puerto Rican former infielder and current coach in Major League Baseball (MLB). He currently serves as special assistant to the general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, an organization with whom he has been affiliated since 1985. He managed the Puerto Rico national team in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics. During his playing career, Oquendo proved highly versatile defensively: he played primarily second base and shortstop, but also frequently in the outfield, and made at least one appearance at every position during his MLB playing career. José Oquendo retired with the highest all-time career fielding percentage for second basemen at 99.19% which appears to be second overall today behind Plácido Polanco (99.27%).From Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, the New York Mets signed Oquendo as an amateur free agent in 1979 at age 15. He made his MLB debut with the Mets in 1983 and was traded to the Cardinals in 1985. In 1988, he made his catching debut, giving him an appearance at every position. From 1989–1991, he was the Cardinals' regular second baseman alongside shortstop Ozzie Smith. Oquendo's best season offensively came in 1989, when he batted .291, 28 doubles, .747 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) and a major-league leading 163 games played. In 1990, he produced his best season defensively, recording the fewest errors (three) for a second baseman in a season with at least 150 games played.

Following his playing career, Oquendo coached and managed in the Cardinals' Minor League Baseball system in 1997 and 1998, and became their bench coach at the major league level the following year. In 2000, he became the Cardinals' third base coach, remaining in that role until 2015, while helping lead the club to 11 playoff appearances, including World Series championships in 2006 and 2011 and four National League pennants. He missed the 2016 season after sustaining a knee injury that required surgery and rehabilitation; at the time, he was the longest-tenured coach in MLB. In 2017, he began serving as a special assistant to Cardinals general manager Mike Girsch, instructing at the Cardinals training facility in Jupiter, Florida. For the 2018 season, he returned to the Cardinals major league team to serve as third base coach once again.

José Uribe

José Altagracia González Uribe (January 21, 1959 – December 8, 2006) was a Dominican Major League Baseball shortstop from 1984 until 1993. Most of his ten-year career was spent with the San Francisco Giants. He played for the Giants in the 1989 World Series against the Oakland Athletics.

Mike Aldrete

Michael Peter Aldrete (born January 29, 1961) is a former first baseman/outfielder in Major League Baseball and is currently the first base coach for the Oakland Athletics.

Mike Krukow

Michael Edward Krukow (born January 21, 1952) is an American former professional baseball starting pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, and San Francisco Giants. He is currently a television color commentator for the Giants.

Ozzie Smith

Osborne Earl Smith (born December 26, 1954) is an American former baseball shortstop who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals from 1978 to 1996. Nicknamed "The Wizard" for his defensive brilliance, Smith set major league records for career assists (8,375) and double plays (1,590) by a shortstop (the latter since broken by Omar Vizquel), as well as the National League (NL) record with 2,511 career games at the position; Smith won the NL Gold Glove Award for play at shortstop for 13 consecutive seasons (1980–92). A 15-time All-Star, he accumulated 2,460 hits and 580 stolen bases during his career, and won the NL Silver Slugger Award as the best-hitting shortstop in 1987. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2002. He was also elected to the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame in the inaugural class of 2014.

Smith was born in Mobile, Alabama, but his family moved to Watts, Los Angeles, when he was six years old. While participating in childhood athletic activities, Smith developed quick reflexes; he went on to play baseball in high school and college, at Los Angeles' Locke High School and Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo respectively. Drafted as an amateur player by the Padres, Smith made his major league debut in 1978. He quickly established himself as an outstanding fielder, and later became known for performing backflips on special occasions while taking his position at the beginning of a game. Smith won his first Gold Glove Award in 1980, and made his first All-Star Game appearance in 1981. When conflict with Padres' ownership developed, he was traded to the Cardinals for shortstop Garry Templeton in 1982.

Upon joining the Cardinals, Smith helped the team win the 1982 World Series. Three years later, his game-winning home run during Game 5 of the 1985 National League Championship Series prompted broadcaster Jack Buck's "Go crazy, folks!" play-by-play call. Despite a rotator cuff injury during the 1985 season, Smith posted career highs in multiple offensive categories in 1987. Smith continued to earn Gold Gloves and All-Star appearances on an annual basis until 1993. During 1995 season, Smith had shoulder surgery and was out nearly three months. After tension with his new manager Tony La Russa developed in 1996, Smith retired at season's end, and his uniform number (No. 1) was subsequently retired by the Cardinals.

Smith served as host of the television show This Week in Baseball from 1997 to 1998.

Robby Thompson

Robert Randall Thompson (born May 10, 1962) is an American former professional baseball player and coach. He played his entire career in Major League Baseball (1986–1996) as the second baseman for the San Francisco Giants. During the Giants' resurgence in the late 1980s, he was known as a team leader who played the game with a gritty determination. Thompson most recently served as the bench coach for the Seattle Mariners, for the 2011 through 2013 seasons.

Tony Peña

Antonio Francisco Peña Padilla (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈtoni ˈpeɲa]; born June 4, 1957) is a Dominican former professional baseball player, manager and coach. He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball for the Pirates, Cardinals, Red Sox, Indians, White Sox, and Astros. After his playing career, Peña was the manager of the Kansas City Royals between 2002 and 2005. He was most recently the first base coach for the New York Yankees. A four-time Gold Glove Award winner, Peña was known for his defensive abilities as well as his unorthodox squat behind home plate.

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