Tag Archives: St. Louis Cardinals

Fantastic Fashions – St. Louis Cardinals Pillbox Helmets

14 Aug
1977 Topps - Lou Brock

1977 Topps – Lou Brock

Most people know about the Pittsburgh Pirates wearing the old “pillbox”-style caps for a few years in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  What I didn’t know was that the St. Louis Cardinals and a few other National League teams did the same in 1976 to celebrate the League’s centennial.  The Cardinals even took it to a new level of ridiculousness by ensuring that their road helmets also had the striping painted on.

This is a decision that probably could have been reconsidered.  Lou Brock would agree… and he’s in the Hall of Fame.

Badass Beards – Tony Scott

26 Nov

1981 Donruss – Tony Scott

Tony Scott was a fairly average utility outfielder who once stole 37 bases for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1979.  He also both began and ended his career with the Montreal Expos, playing only a combined 167 games for them.

More importantly, Tony Scott is going to use that baseball bat to hit you with.  Check out that look on his face.  Tony Scott knows exactly what is going to happen, but you don’t.

Consider yourself warned.

Brothers from Another Mother – The “Smith Brothers”

23 Aug

1983 Fleer – Smith Bros.

In 1983, Fleer produced a card featuring the “Smith Brothers,” which, besides being borderline racist, was not particularly truthful about its subjects, Ozzie Smith and Lonnie Smith of the St. Louis Cardinals.  Let’s take a look:

How we know they’re different people:

Ozzie Smith is a Hall of Famer after a stellar 19-year career as one of the best shortstops to ever take the field in the Major Leagues.  He played his first four years in San Diego, and was then traded to St. Louis, where he often did a backflip on his way out to take the field on Busch Stadium’s beautiful plastic grass.

Lonnie Smith had a very pedestrian 17 year career in the Majors for six different teams.  He never played any position other than the three in the outfield.  He hit 98 career home runs, 21 of which came for Atlanta in 1989.  Especially in his later years, there was absolutely no fucking way that Lonnie Smith could have done a backflip.  However, he did play in 5 World Series, winning three of them.  Not bad, but not Ozzie.

Why we’re not sure they’re different people because we’ve never seen them in the same room together:

We have seen them in the same room together.  They are on the same baseball card in the same photo (see above).  Try to pay attention.  I’m pretty sure they’re different people.  Photoshop sucked in 1983.  It was a simpler time.

Now you know.

Brothers From Another Mother – C(h)ris Carpenter

3 Jun

1990 Upper Deck – Cris Carpenter

2010 Topps – Chris Carpenter

How we know they’re different people:

Cris Carpenter pitched for four different teams (St. Louis, Florida, Texas and Milwaukee) in a career that featured 291 Major League appearances between 1988 and 1996, 13 of which were starts.  He was a pretty middling middle reliever for a few years, and according to Baseball-Reference.com, had a similar career to Oscar Villarreal, John Frascatore, and Donn Pall, earning just over $2.2 million in the process.  Wikipedia tells us that he now teaches social studies at Gainesville High School in Gainesville, Georgia after.

Chris Carpenter was the 2005 National League Cy Young Award winner.  He has consistently been one of the best starting pitchers in the league when healthy, compiling a career record of 144-92.  He has been outstanding in the playoffs in helping the St. Louis Cardinals win two World Series titles (2006, 2011), and has career earnings of over $77 million.  He is currently on the disabled list battling back from yet another injury – thus far injuries have cost him the 2003 season as well as most of 2007 and 2008.  From all of this, it would seem that Cris and Chris Carpenter are actually different people.

How we’re not sure they’re different people because we’ve never seen them in the same room together:

Cris Carpenter was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays but spent the majority of his career, achieving the most success, with St. Louis.  Chris Carpenter was also drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays, but has spent the majority of his career, achieving the most success, with St. Louis.  This seems like too much of a coincidence to be true, doesn’t it?  You’d think he could have done more than just add an “h” in his name for the second go-round, which started in 1997, the year after “Cris Carpenter” retired.  Hmmm…

Badass Beards – Al Hrabosky

13 Feb

1981 Donruss - Al Hrabosky

Look at this beard: thick, dark, and completely contradictory to the long, hot Atlanta summer.

Al Hrabosky, the “Mad Hungarian,” now does colour commentary for Cardinals games – well, some of them, anyway.  He has a website that I think was designed by someone who was reasonably good with the Internet in 1996.  It doesn’t tell you anything, but hey, it’s there.

He also at least lent his name to Al Hrabosky’s Ballpark Saloon, but the restaurant’s website doesn’t work anymore, so I’m not sure if it’s still there.  Anyone from St. Louis care to enlighten me?

If the Saloon is still there, you can leave that beard hair in my burger, thank you very much.  It might make me a bit tougher, and I don’t care how weird that sounds.

WTF – 1984 Topps, Neil Allen

26 Jan

1984 Topps - Neil Allen

It didn’t take much planning by the photographer to produce this photo, but it took some serious forward thinking and quick decision making.  Here’s how it went:

(Neil Allen approaches photographer on St. Louis Cardinals photo day early in 1983.)

Photographer: “Neil, take a knee”

(Neil Allen takes a classic one knee pose, leaning his left elbow on his left knee.)

Neil Allen: “How’s that?”

Photographer: “Well, that’s how it should look, but we’re going to push the envelope a little bit for the good folks at Topps.”

Neil Allen: “Sure, sounds far out, what should I do?”

Photographer: “Take your elbows off your knee and sit more upright.”

(Neil Allen does as instructed, arms at his sides like he’s taking a knee at attention.)

Neil Allen: “How’s this?  Look good?”

Photographer: “Actually, that looks a little bit uptight and tense… let’s go for a cool, casual look.  Put your hands in your jacket pockets.”

Neil Allen: “You mean this awesome, shiny, red satin jacket that I’m wearing with the inexplicably blue pants that the Cardinals have adopted?”

Photographer: “Yeah.  And you know what else?  Don’t look at me.  Look to my left, like you’re distracted.”

(Neil Allen puts his hands in his satin jacket pockets and stares into the distance.)

Neil Allen: “Are we ready?  I have to pee, let’s get this thing done.”

Photographer: “Yeah.  This is cool, collected, casual, and cutting edge.  Exactly what Topps is all about for 1984, and the future.

Neil Allen: “Fuck yeah.”

(Photographer takes picture.  Neil Allen immortalized on 1984 Topps cardboard.)

Badass Beards – Bruce Sutter

25 Oct

1984 Topps - Bruce Sutter

I don’t think I could have been a successful closer in the 1970’s and 80’s.  My facial hair just isn’t up to par.  Today’s case in point: Bruce Sutter.

Sutter, who changed the game by perfecting the splitter, was also the first ever pitcher elected to the Hall of Fame who never started even one game.  Also, he wore number 42, which made it a bit awkward when the Cardinals retired his number.  Something about some kid named Robinson wearing it with a bit more meaning.

But really, is all that stuff important?  Let’s get our priorities straight.  I mean, look at that 1984 Topps card.  That beard had flow!  How many beards could flow in the breeze better than most men’s hair?  Bruce Sutter, we salute you.

Too Cool for Cardboard – Runnin’ Redbirds

12 Sep

1993 Upper Deck - Runnin' Redbirds

Geronimo Pena, Ray Lankford, Bernard Gilkey and Ozzie Smith were, for some reason, featured on one of these awesome 1993 Upper Deck team cards.  On these cards, a group of players from one team are associated with some kind of slogan, like, in this case, “Runnin’ Redbirds.”  Smith, of course, is a Hall of Famer, Lankford was coming off a really good 1992 season, but I’m not really sure what Gllkey and Pena are doing there.

You will notice two things about this slogan:

  1. There is an absence of a “g,” replaced with an apostrophe in the word “Runnin’.”  This is obviously much cooler than using the word “Running,” which only nerds use.
  2. The cardinal on the “Runnin’ Redbirds” logo is much stronger looking than the cardinal they use on their hats and jerseys… almost juiced up, one might say… perhaps a sign of things to come for the Cardinals later that decade?

Fantastic Fashions – Tony Pena

8 Aug

1989 Donruss - Tony Pena

That is some turtleneck, Tony Pena, some turtleneck.  Also, some pretty nice wire-rimmed glasses.

Essentially, this photograph speaks for itself.

Well played, Pena.

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