Runnin’ Redbirds

The World Champion 1982 St. Louis Cardinals


In stock

SKU: 9781476693644 Categories: , ,

About the Book

The 1982 St. Louis Cardinals played an entertaining style of baseball built on speed and defense. The roster was constructed and piloted by Whitey Herzog, a baseball visionary who tailored his team for the AstroTurf and spacious dimensions of Busch Stadium. Herzog traded for closer Bruce Sutter, speedsters Lonnie Smith and Willie McGee, and defensive wizard Ozzie Smith, adding to a talented roster that included the likes of Bob Forsch, Keith Hernandez, and George Hendrick. The result was an exhilarating season filled with winning streaks, numerous obstacles, and one unforgettable steal of home. The Cardinals won the National League pennant despite hitting the fewest home runs in the major leagues, then overcame baseball’s most powerful team—the Milwaukee Brewers—in the World Series.
This exhaustive account chronicles the Cardinals from Herzog’s rebuild to the final out of the Fall Classic. Hundreds of sources, including original interviews, were compiled to revisit a championship season and tell the backstories of an eclectic group of players who reached baseball’s pinnacle.

About the Author(s)

Eric Vickrey has contributed to numerous publications through the Society for American Baseball Research. He lives in Washington state.

Bibliographic Details

Eric Vickrey
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 241
Bibliographic Info: 18 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9364-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5139-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Introduction 4
1. A Decade of Mediocrity 7
2. 1980—St. Louis Welcomes the White Rat 14
3. 1981—The Bearded Prophet and a Split Season 32
4. Spring Training—The Wizard Arrives 54
5. April—A Dozen Straight W’s 61
6. May—The Injury Bug Bites and McGee Debuts 82
7. June—Stuper Is Super and Sutter Struggles 100
8. July—Pitching Carries the Cards 117
9. August—Brummer Steals a Game 129
10. September—Andújar Shines, Cardinals Clinch 144
11. League Championship Series 159
12. Game One—Brewers Pounce 169
13. Game Two—Sutton Versus Stuper, Part One 175
14. Game Three—The Humble Hero 179
15. Game Four—Seventh-Inning Debacle 185
16. Game Five—Cards Pushed to the Brink 189
17. Game Six—Sutton Versus Stuper, Part Two 192
18. Game Seven—For All the Marbles 196
Epilogue 203
Chapter Notes 209
Bibliography 221
Index 223

Book Reviews & Awards

• “When I close my eyes and dream of baseball, I dream of the 1982 Cardinals, the first baseball team I ever loved: A team that was young, fast and almost supernaturally exiting. Eric Vickrey’s book brings all my memories back, in vivid color: The book is as electric and irresistible as that team was. If you loved that team, you will adore—and devour—this book.”—Will Leitch, author of The Time Has Come and How Lucky

• “This book is more than just a Cardinal fan’s labor of love, as Eric Vickrey has somehow captured the essence of one of Major League Baseball’s most fascinating teams ever. Even if you know how everything comes out in the end, you’ll still want to read every page of the ’82 Cardinals exciting story.”—Rob Neyer, Casey Award-winning author of Powerball: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game

• “Runnin’ Redbirds is a well-researched sprint around the bases with an important team in baseball history. The brilliance of Ozzie Smith, the arrival and emergence of Willie McGee, the postseason heroics of Joaquín Andújar, the ‘Sudsway Series’ against the powerful Milwaukee Brewers—it’s all here in a detailed dispatch from one of baseball’s bygone eras.”—J. David Herman, author of Almost Yankees: The Summer of ’81 and the Greatest Baseball Team You’ve Never Heard Of