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The 1980s St. Louis Cardinals: The Age Of Whiteyball

After winning the World Series in 1967 and nearly doing so again in 1968, the St. Louis Cardinals basically took the decade of the 1970s off. But one of the National League’s most historically successful franchises never made the postseason. Then Whitey Herzog came to town and the 1980s St. Louis Cardinals started painting the town red again.

St. Louis won three National League pennants under Herzog in the 1980s. All three times the World Series went seven games and they won one title. They were a part of some epic pennant race battles with the New York Mets back in the day when both teams were in the NL East and only division winners could advance to the postseason.

Herzog did it with a unique style of play—the Cardinals ran, ran again and then ran some more. It was like a team of sprinters, constantly on the move. But they were more than fast. They were disciplined at the plate. They hit the ball in the alleys. And they played defense. The only thing they didn’t do was hit home runs—although ironically one of their pennants came on two of the decade’s most notable long balls.

The 1980s was an electric time for St. Louis Cardinals baseball. It was the era of Willie McGee, Ozzie Smith, Tommy Herr and Vince Coleman. It was a time for Jack Clark, George Hendrick and Darrell Porter. There were pitchers like Joaquin Andujar, John Tudor and Bruce Sutter all having great moments. And of course there was the irascible Whitey, orchestrating it all.

The ten articles below capture the highs and lows of the three pennant seasons St. Louis enjoyed in the 1980s. The 1982 championship run, and the 1985 and 1987 teams that narrowly missed winning it all .

Literally running their way to the NL East flag
The NLCS sweep of the Braves
Suds Series with Milwaukee
Why Joaquin Andujar got robbed of World Series MVP honors

Winning a dramatic race with the Mets

Ozzie & Jack’s Home Runs Down The Dodgers
Show-Me Series with Kansas City

An improbable division title run to dethrone the champion Mets
Seven-game saga with San Francisco
Domefield advantage derails Cards against Minnesota