Ray Lankford

Raymond Lewis Lankford (born June 5, 1967) is a former center fielder in Major League Baseball who played for the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres from 1990 to 2004. He was known for his combination of power, speed, and defensive prowess.

Ray Lankford
Ray Lankford - Springfield Cardinals - 1988
Lankford in 1988
Center fielder / Left fielder
Born: June 5, 1967 (age 52)
Los Angeles, California
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
August 21, 1990, for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 2004, for the St. Louis Cardinals
MLB statistics
Batting average.272
Home runs238
Runs batted in874
Career highlights and awards

Early years

Lankford was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Modesto, California, where he attended Grace M. Davis High School and played both baseball and football.[1] He later played baseball and football at Modesto Junior College.[1] Lankford's uncle, Carl Nichols, was a professional baseball player and spent parts of six seasons in the major leagues.[2]


Lankford made his major league debut with St. Louis in August 1990, and soon after took over the center field position previously occupied by former National League Most Valuable Player Willie McGee. He started his career as primarily a leadoff man, where his speed and plate discipline made him a potent force. In his first full season in 1991, he led the league with 15 triples, stole 44 bases, and scored 83 runs, earning him a third-place finish in the Rookie of the Year voting. On September 15, 1991, he accomplished the rare feat of hitting for the cycle,[3] becoming the first Cardinal rookie ever to do so.[4] In 1992, he began to hit for more power, and posted a breakout season with a .293 batting average, 20 home runs, and 42 stolen bases. This season established Lankford as one of the best all-around outfielders in the game. He eventually moved down in the batting order to take further advantage of his power hitting ability.

Lankford posted five seasons of 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases with the Cardinals (1992, 1995–1998), making him the only player in franchise history to accomplish the feat more than once. He also was an impressive fielder, posting a 2.90 range factor in 1992 and committing only one error in 1996. In the latter season, he led the league with a fielding percentage of .997 but was still not awarded a Gold Glove.

On April 3, 1994, Lankford achieved an unusual distinction: he hit a home run as the first batter of the season (it was the first day of the season, and only one game was played that day).[5]

He was selected as the starting center fielder for the National League in the 1997 All-Star Game after a dominating hitting performance in the first half of the season, and posted an offensive career year the following season. In 1998, he hit .293 with 31 home runs, 105 runs batted in and 26 stolen bases. It was his late season surge batting cleanup that helped Mark McGwire, hitting in front of Lankford in the Cardinal order, to set the single season home run record with 70. Following the 1998 season, Lankford had knee surgery and was moved to left field. In his first year at the position, he posted a career high .306 batting average and 15 home runs in an injury-shortened season. He also compiled impressive defensive statistics at his new position.

Lankford was traded from St. Louis to San Diego during the 2001 season for pitcher Woody Williams. Criticism of his always high strikeout totals helped prompt the trade, even though he had continued to be more productive statistically than many of the other outfielders receiving playing time in St. Louis, including journeyman utility player Craig Paquette and rookie Kerry Robinson. At the time of the trade, Lankford was slugging an impressive .496 and maintaining a .345 on-base percentage despite a disappointing batting mark of .235. His numbers, though, had declined as he increasingly found himself in a bench role as the season progressed. He responded to the trade well, however, batting .288 in the balance of the season for San Diego under the tutelage of eight-time batting champion Tony Gwynn.

He returned to the Padres for 2002, but his lone full season in San Diego was marred by injury and inconsistency, as he appeared in only 81 games and batted a career low .221. He took the 2003 season off to continue his recovery process before returning to St. Louis, where he finished his career in 2004. Once again he saw his playing time dip late in the season after the Cardinals acquired Larry Walker from the Colorado Rockies in late August. He was not placed on the postseason roster in 2004, but did earn a National League championship ring for his role in the Cardinals' first pennant-winning season since 1987.

Lankford finished his career among the Cardinal Top 10 in numerous statistical categories, including home runs (third), stolen bases (fifth), runs scored (eighth), runs batted in (eighth), and bases on balls (fourth). Lankford hit more home runs at Busch Stadium (123) than any other player, and finished his career in his home ballpark with a pinch hit home run in his final major league at bat on October 3, 2004. He is the only player to have 200 home runs and 200 stolen bases as a Cardinal. He participated in festivities commemorating the final season at Busch Stadium in 2005, including taking down his signature jersey number 16 from a banner counting down the remaining games at the ballpark and accepting a nomination for the All-Time Busch Stadium Team. He also indicated he is interested in making a return to baseball in the future.

On January 31st, 2018, the St. Louis Cardinals nominated Ray Lankford, alongside Vince Coleman, Keith Hernandez, Jason Isringhausen, Scott Rolen, Lee Smith and John Tudor as the seven players for possible induction into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame.[6] On May 4th, once the fan votes were tallied, Ray Lankford and Vince Coleman were enshrined into the St. Louis Cardinals 2018 class. [7]

Career statistics

1701 6675 5747 968 1561 356 54 238 874 258 828 1550 .272 .364 .477 .983

See also


  1. ^ a b "Athletes: Sac-Joaquin Section 2012 Hall of Fame". KCRA-TV. June 21, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  2. ^ "Carl Nichols". Retrosheet. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  3. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals 7, New York Mets 2". Retrosheet. September 15, 1991.
  4. ^ "Ray Lankford Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  5. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals 6, Cincinnati Reds 4". Retrosheet. April 3, 1994.
  6. ^ "2018 Cardinals Hall of Fame nominees announced". MLB.com. Retrieved 2018-04-16.
  7. ^ Goold, Derrick. "Lankford, Coleman headline newest Cardinals Hall of Fame class". stltoday.com. Retrieved 2018-05-16.

Further reading

External links

Preceded by
Dave Winfield
Hitting for the cycle
September 15, 1991
Succeeded by
Andújar Cedeño
1990 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1990 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 109th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 99th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 70-92 during the season and finished 6th (and last) in the National League East division, 25 games behind the NL East champion Pittsburgh Pirates. It was one of the few times that the Cardinals had finished in last place, and the first, and only time that it has happened since 1918.

1991 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals 1991 season was the team's 110th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 100th season in the National League. The Cardinals rebounded from a rare last-place finish a year earlier to register a record of 84-78 during the season and finished 2nd to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League East division by fourteen games.

Ozzie Smith set the National League record for fewest errors in a season by a shortstop with 8 errors. Gold Gloves were awarded to catcher Tom Pagnozzi and shortstop Ozzie Smith this year.

1992 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1992 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 111th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 101st season in the National League. The Cardinals went 83-79 during the season and finished third in the National League East division, 13 games behind the NL East champion Pittsburgh Pirates.

1993 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals 1993 season was the team's 112th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 102nd season in the National League. Under their manager Joe Torre, the Cardinals went 87-75 during the season and finished 3rd in the National League East Division, ten games behind the NL Champion Philadelphia Phillies. This was the final season in the NL East for the Cardinals, before their move to the NL Central for the following season.

1994 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals 1994 season was the team's 113th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 103rd season in the National League. The Cardinals went 53-61 during the season and finished tied for 3rd place with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Central division, 13 games behind the Cincinnati Reds. The season was cut short due to the infamous 1994 player's strike.

Catcher Tom Pagnozzi won a Gold Glove this year.

1995 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals 1995 season was the team's 114th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 104th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 62-81 during the season and finished 4th in the National League Central division, 22½ games behind the Cincinnati Reds. It was also the team's final season under the ownership of Anheuser-Busch, who would put the team up for sale on October 25, 1995, ending a 43-season ownership reign.

1997 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1997 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 68th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 8, 1997, at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, the home of the Cleveland Indians of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 3-1. The game marked the fifth time the All-Star Game was held in Cleveland and first since 1981. It was also the first All-Star game held at Jacobs Field, which opened three years earlier.

1997 St. Louis Cardinals season

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, eleven games behind the Houston Astros.

1998 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals 1998 season was the team's 117th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 107th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 83-79 during the season and finished 3rd in the National League Central division, 18 games behind the Houston Astros. First baseman Mark McGwire broke Roger Maris' single-season home run record this season by hitting 70 home runs, battling with the Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa, who finished runner-up in the National League with 66.

2000 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals 2000 season was the team's 119th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 109th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 95-67 during the season, their best finish since 1987, and won the National League Central division by ten games over the Cincinnati Reds. In the playoffs the Cardinals defeated the Atlanta Braves 3 games to 0 in the NLDS but lost to the New York Mets 4 games to 1 in the NLCS.

The Cardinals sweep of the Braves in the NLDS was notable because it made the Mets run to their first World Series appearance since their championship season of 1986 much easier. The Braves had eliminated the Mets from the playoffs on the final day of the 1998 season and in the 1999 NLCS.Catcher Mike Matheny and outfielder Jim Edmonds won Gold Gloves this year. Matheny was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays during the off-season, while Edmonds was acquired from the Anaheim Angels less than a week before the start of the season.

Air Force Ones (song)

"Air Force Ones" is a song written and performed by the American rapper Nelly, from his Nellyville album that was released on November 7, 2002. The song was the third Top 5 hit from Nellyville on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #3. Its video, whose exteriors were shot at the SE corner of Delmar and Westgate in University City, Missouri, featured St. Louis professional athletes Marshall Faulk, Torry Holt, D'Marco Farr, Ray Lankford, and Ozzie Smith, and hip hop artists Big Tymers and WC (rapper).

Carl Nichols

Carl Edward Nichols (born October 14, 1962) is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) catcher. He played parts of six seasons in the major leagues, from 1986 until 1991, for the Baltimore Orioles and Houston Astros, appearing in a total of 96 games while batting .204 with 18 RBIs.

Nichols was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the fourth round of the 1980 MLB draft. He played in the minor leagues from 1980 through 1991, both before and after his MLB appearances. Nichols later played in the independent Northern League (1993–1995) and Western Baseball League (1996–1997).

Within MLB, Nichols appeared in a total of 36 games for the Orioles, during the 1986 through 1998 seasons, and a total of 60 games for the Houston Astros, during the 1989 through 1991 seasons. He appeared in 69 games as a catcher, four games as an outfielder, and three games as a first baseman.

Following his playing career, Nichols has been active in coaching, including six years with the MLB Urban Youth Academy.

Nichols is the uncle of former MLB player Ray Lankford.

Johnson City Cardinals

The Johnson City Cardinals are a Minor League Baseball team based in Johnson City, Tennessee. The Cardinals are affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals organization and play with the Rookie Appalachian League. The team has won nine league championships, most recently in 2016. They play their home games at TVA Credit Union Ballpark.

Kevin Rogers (baseball)

Charles Kevin Rogers (born August 20, 1968 in Cleveland, Mississippi) is a former left-handed Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the San Francisco Giants from 1992 to 1994.

Prior to being drafted by the Giants in the ninth round of the 1988 amateur draft, Rogers attended Cleveland High School and Mississippi Delta Community College.

He began his professional career as a starter in 1988 with the Pocatello Giants, going 2–8 with a 6.20 ERA in 13 starts, with 71 strikeouts in 69​2⁄3 innings pitched.

In 1989, Rogers, pitching for the Clinton Giants, made 29 appearances, starting 28 games. He went 13–8 with a 2.55 ERA, while allowing 128 hits in 169​1⁄3 innings of work and striking out 168 batters.

Rogers went 14–5 with a 3.61 ERA in 1990 while striking out 186 batters in 172 innings, with 68 walks and allowed 143 hits, also throwing 19 wild pitches.

In 22 games for the Shreveport Captains in 1991, Rogers went 4–6 with a 3.36 ERA. He also struck out 108 batters in 118 innings. He was ranked the 89th best prospect by Baseball America in 1991.

Rogers split time between the Shreveport Captains and Phoenix Firebirds in 1992, going a combined 11–8 with a 3.16 ERA. In 170​2⁄3 innings, he struck out 172 batters while walking 51. On September 4 of that year, he made his big league debut. Facing the St. Louis Cardinals, Rogers pitched six innings, allowing three earned runs on eight hits and two walks. He allowed one home run, which he gave up to the first batter he faced – Gerónimo Peña. Although he had proven himself to be a strikeout pitcher in the minors, he struck out only one batter in his first major league start – that batter being Ray Lankford. Rogers finished 0–2 with a 4.24 ERA in six starts. He struck out 26 batters in 34 innings pitched.

Although Rogers had been a starter throughout his entire career, he found his niche as a reliever in 1993. In 64 relief appearances, he was 2–2 with a 2.68 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 80​2⁄3 innings of work. In 1993, he was ranked the 50th best prospect by Baseball America.

Rogers made only nine relief appearances in 1994 due to a clot in his pitching shoulder [1], posting a 3.48 ERA in 10​1⁄3 innings of work. He appeared in his final big league game on May 1 of that year.

Despite never pitching in the majors again, Rogers pitched in the minors until 1998. In 1995, he appeared in a total of seven games - five of which were starts – while splitting time between San Jose and Phoenix. Combined, he went 0–2 with a 2.51 ERA in 14​1⁄3 innings of work. He struck out a total of six batters.

Pitching for San Jose in 1997 after missing all of 1996, Rogers went 0–0 with a 2.76 ERA in eight games started. In 29​1⁄3 innings of work, he struck out 27 batters. He also pitched in the Atlanta Braves organization that year, for the Richmond Braves. He made 10 relief appearances, going 0–2 with a 7.36 ERA. Combined, he went 0–2 with a 4.02 ERA. In 40​1⁄3 innings of work, he struck out 36 batters.

Rogers pitched his final season in professional baseball in 1998. Used almost entirely as a reliever, he made 40 total appearances for the Bakersfield Blaze, Shreveport Captains and Fresno Grizzlies. He went 2–1 with a 5.03 ERA in 62​2⁄3 innings of work, striking out 52 batters.

Overall, Rogers went 2–4 with a 3.17 ERA in 79 major league appearances. In 125 innings, he allowed 118 hits, struck out 95 batters and walked 47 batters. In eight minor league seasons, Rogers went 46–40 with a 3.59 ERA in 184 games (131 starts). In 817 innings, he allowed 744 hits, walking 321 batters and striking out 799.

Lankford (surname)

Lankford is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

James Lankford (born 1968), American politician

John A. Lankford (1874–1946), American architect

Kevin Lankford (born 1998), German-American soccer player

Kim Lankford (born 1954), American businesswoman and actress

Kirk Lankford (born 1985), American murderer

Menalcus Lankford (1883–1937), American politician

Paul Lankford (born 1958), American football player

Ray Lankford (born 1967), American baseball player

Richard Estep Lankford (born 1914), American politician

Ryan Lankford (born 1991), Canadian football player

William Chester Lankford (1877–1964), American politician, judge and lawyer

William Henry Langford, Jr., later known as Hasaan Ibn Ali (1931–1980) was an American jazz pianist and composer

List of Major League Baseball career strikeouts by batters leaders

In baseball, a strikeout (or strike-out) occurs when a batter accumulates three strikes during a time at bat (i.e. the batter fails to hit the ball in three successive pitches). It usually means the batter is out. A strikeout is a statistic recorded for both pitchers and batters, and is denoted by K.Reggie Jackson holds the record for the most career strikeouts by a batter with 2,597. Jim Thome (2,548), Adam Dunn (2,379), Sammy Sosa (2,306), Alex Rodriguez (2,287) and Andres Galarraga (2,003) are the only other hitters to strikeout over 2,000 times.

List of St. Louis Cardinals team records

The St. Louis Cardinals, a professional baseball franchise based in St. Louis, Missouri, compete in the National League (NL) of Major League Baseball (MLB). in 1892. Before joining the NL, they were also a charter member of the American Association (AA) from 1882 to 1891. Although St. Louis has been the Cardinals' home city for the franchise's entire existence, they were also known as the Brown Stockings, Browns, and Perfectos.

In 134 seasons, the franchise has won more than 10,000 regular season games and appeared in 27 postseasons while claiming 12 interleague championships, tying one other, and 23 league pennants. 11 of the interleague championships are World Series titles won under the modern format since 1903; the other championship and tie occurred in 1885–1886. 19 of the league pennants are NL pennants, and the other four are AA pennants. Their 11 World Series titles represent the most in the NL and are second in MLB only to the New York Yankees' 27.

Notable players have defined, in part, the Cardinals' success and history. Stan Musial owns the most career batting records with 22. Rogers Hornsby owns the most single-season records with 11. Bob Gibson owns the most career pitching records with 18. Silver King owns the most single-season pitching records with nine.

Springfield Cardinals (Illinois)

The Springfield Cardinals were a minor league baseball team located in Springfield, Illinois. The team played in the Midwest League from 1982 to 1993 and were an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. The team played in Lanphier Park on the northside of Springfield. Affectionately known as the "Baby Birds", their chief rival was the Peoria Chiefs, then an affiliate of the Cubs. The declining condition of Lanphier Park, last renovated in 1978, led to the relocation of the franchise to Madison, Wisconsin for the 1994 season, where they were known as the Madison Hatters. The Hatters, in turn, moved to Battle Creek, Michigan to become the Michigan Battle Cats. While playing in Battle Creek, the franchise became the Battle Creek Yankees and the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays before moving to Midland, Michigan where they now play as the Great Lakes Loons.

The Cardinals were generally successful, finishing with a winning record in nine of their 12 seasons. In post-season play they were less successful, as they lost four times in the first round of the league's two-round, four-team playoffs and lost in the championship round in their other four appearances. The league's records, however, recognize both the winner of the post-season playoffs and the team with the highest overall season record as champions, and the Cardinals led the league in regular season play twice, in 1986 and 1987. Their overall record during their 12 seasons in Springfield was 917–743, for a .552 winning percentage.

The team also helped develop more than 50 players who advanced to Major League Baseball. Among the young Springfield players who went on to successful major league careers were Bernard Gilkey, Ray Lankford, Jeff Fassero, Dmitri Young, and Todd Zeile.

St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals are an American professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. Busch Stadium has been their home ballpark since 2006. One of the most successful franchises in baseball history, the Cardinals have won 11 World Series championships, the second-most in Major League Baseball (behind the New York Yankees) and the most in the National League. Their 19 National League pennants rank third in NL history. In addition, St. Louis has won 14 division titles in the East and Central divisions.

While still in the old American Association (AA), named then as the St. Louis Browns, the team won four AA league championships, qualifying them to play in the professional baseball championship tournament (a forerunner of the modern World Series) of that era. The then-Browns tied in 1885 and won outright in 1886 and lost in 1888 for the early trophy Hall Cup versus the New York Giants. The others both times against the Chicago Cubs (originally the Chicago White Stockings then), in the first meetings of the Cardinals–Cubs rivalry between nearby cities of St. Louis and Chicago that continues to this day.

With origins as one of the early professional baseball clubs in St. Louis and the nation, entrepreneur Chris von der Ahe purchased a barnstorming club in 1881, then known as the Brown Stockings, and established them as charter members of the old American Association (AA) base ball league which played 1882 to 1891, the following season. Upon the discontinuation of the AA, St. Louis joined the continuing National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, later known simply as the National League, (organized in 1876), in 1892; at that time, they were called the Browns (not to be confused with a later team also known as the St. Louis Browns in the American League, 1902-1953) and also as the Perfectos before they were officially renamed eight years later as the Cardinals in 1900.

Cardinals achievements that have impacted MLB and sports events in general include manager/owner Branch Rickey's pioneering of the farm system, Rogers Hornsby's two batting Triple Crowns, Dizzy Dean's 30-win season in 1934, Stan Musial's 17 MLB and 29 NL records, Bob Gibson's 1.12 earned run average (ERA) in 1968, Whitey Herzog's Whiteyball, Mark McGwire breaking the single-season home run record in 1998, and the 2011 championship team's unprecedented comebacks. The Cardinals have won 105 or more games in four different seasons and won 100 or more a total of nine times. Cardinals players have won 20 league MVPs, four batting Triple Crowns, and three Cy Young Awards. Baseball Hall of Fame inductees include Lou Brock, Dizzy Dean, Bob Gibson, Whitey Herzog, Rogers Hornsby, Joe Medwick, Stan Musial, Branch Rickey, Red Schoendienst, Ozzie Smith, and Bruce Sutter.

In 2018, Forbes valued the Cardinals at $1.9 billion, making them the 7th-most valuable franchise in MLB; their revenue the previous year was $319 million, and their operating income was $40.0 million. Since their purchase in 1995, owner William DeWitt, Jr.'s investment group has seen enormous growth from the $147 million purchase price. John Mozeliak is the President of Baseball Operations, Mike Girsch is the general manager and Mike Shildt is the manager. The Cardinals are renowned for their strong fan support: despite being in one of the sport's mid-level markets, they routinely see attendances among the league's highest, and are consistently among the Top 3 in MLB in local television ratings.


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