In 1982 baseball returned to a full season and featured the Milwaukee Brewers 95-67 managed by former player and AL batting champion Harvey Kuenn in their only WorldSeries appearance facing the St. Louis Cardinals 92-70 managed by Whitey Herzog, also a former player and one of the shrewdest managers in the game.
Milwaukee was an offensive team with four players having over 20 home runs and three having over 200 hits. They were led by AL MVP Robin Yount 29HR/114RBI/129RS/.331 BA/ 210H, Cecil Cooper 32HR/121RBI/104RBI/205H, Ted Simmons 23HR/97RBI, Gorman Thomas 39HR/112RBI, Ben Ogilvie 34HR/102RBI and Paul Molitor 19HR/71RBI/136RS/41SB/201H.
Their pitching staff was led by Pete Vuckovich 18-6, Mike Caldwell 17-13 and Bob McClure 12-7 with former A’s closer Rollie Fingers in the bullpen with a 2.60 ERA and29 saves but in a key factor in the series Fingers had injured his arm and was unable to play against the Cardinals. This would prove pivotal as Milwaukee would have difficulty closing out games.
The Brewers picked up Don Sutton 4-1 late in the season and he would start two games in the series.
The Cardinals were led by George Hendrick 19HR/104RBI, Lonnie Smith .307BA/120RS/68SB and Keith Hernandez .299BA/94RBI. They emphasized speed and had four players with over 20 stolen bases in besides Lonnie Smith, perennial Gold Glove shortstop Ozzie Smith 25, Tom Herr 25 and Willie McGee 24.
Their pitching staff was led by Joaquin Andujar 15-10/2.47ERA, Bob Forsch 15-9 and Bruce Sutter in the bullpen with 36 saves. Sutter would play a major role in this series.
Also in the bullpen was 43 year-old lefthander Jim Kaat who sixteen years earlierhadpitched in the 1966 World Seriesagainst the Dodgers as a starter and was Herzog’sreliever whose job it was to get out one lefthander hitter in relief. This use of a pitcher which is common today was first introduced into the game by Whitey Herzog.
He would also later be the pitching coach for the Reds during Pete Rose’s stint as manager.
The series opened in St. Louis in new Busch Stadium with Mike Caldwell opposing Bob Forsch with the Brewers pounding out 17 hits for a 10-0 win, led by PaulMonitor’s five hits and Robin Yount’s four. Caldwell went all the way for Milwaukee scattering three hits and the Brew Crew takes a 1-0 lead.
Game two was much closer as the Brewers held a 4-2 lead after five innings but in a pattern which would repeat itself throughout the series could not hold the lead.
The Cardinals tied it in the bottom of the sixth and in the bottom of the eighth Milwaukee reliever Pete Ladd walked in the winning run with the bases loaded. Sutter came on for a two inning victory and the Cards tie the series 1-1.
Game three was the first World Series game in historic County Stadium in Milwaukee since the Braves played the Yankees in 1958. The Cardinals pitching held the Brewers to only two runs and behind Andujar and Sutter went up two games to one with a 6-2 victory.
Still in Milwaukee the Cards took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the seventhuntil the Brewers scored six runs (five unearned) for a 7-5 win and even the series at 2-2.
In game five Mike Caldwell was back and again pitched a good game going 8 1/3 innings however the Brewers helped by a Robin Yount home run got to Sutter for two runs in the eighth for a 6-4 win to go up 3 games to 2.
The series shifted back to St. Louis and the Cards unloaded on the Brewers for a 13-1 win behind John Stupor’s four hit complete game and home runs by Darrell Porter and Keith Hernandez to set up the seventh game.
Joaquin Andujar faced Pete Vuckovich and Joaquin was in control going seven innings and with Sutter on for a two inning save the Cards win 6-3 for their eleventh World Series title.By contrastthe Reds have five and the Indians two titles.
Cardinal’s catcher Darrell Porter got the MVP Award. Milwaukee featured two players Robin Yount and Paul Molitor who would go on to collect over 3,000 hits in their Hall of Fame careers.
Herzog and the Cards would return in 1985 and the Brewers have yet to get back to the fall classic.
Ron Griffitts a contributing columnist for the Daily Advocate