1987 World Series – Twins and Cardinals


By Ron Griffitts - Contributing Columnist



In 1987 Whitey Herzog and the Cardinals 95-67 returned to the fall classic

for the third time in six years to face the Minnesota Twins who had not been

there since facing the Dodgers in 1966.

The Cardinal team was little changed from 1985 again with the emphasis on

speed, defense and pitching although they did have Jack Clark

35HR/106RBI/93RS/136BB/.429OBP. They featured perennial Gold Glove

shortstop Ozzie Smith .303BA/43SB/104RS and Vince Coleman 109SB/121RS.

Their pitching staff consisted of Danny Cox 11-9, Ken Forsch 11-7. Joe

Magrane 9-7 and John Tudor 10-2. The bullpen had Todd Worrell 33SV/.266ERA

and Ken Dayley 9-5/2.66ERA.

The Twins 85-77 were managed by Tom Kelly and were led by All Star Kirby

Puckett .332BA/28HR/99RBI/96RS/207H and featured seven players with over 10

home runs each and four with 28 or more including besides Puckett, Kent Hrbek

34HR/90RBI, Gary Gaetti 31HR/109RBI and Tom Brunansky 32HR/85RBI.

That they played in the Metrodome did not hurt their figures as the light air

inside was conducive to the long ball.

Their pitching staff was led by lefthander Frank Viola 17-10, curveballer

Bert Blyleven 15-12, Jeff Reardon with 31 saves and Juan Benrenger 8-1 in the

bullpen.

Game one was in Minneapolis with Joe Magrane starting against Frank

Viola for the Twins. The game was scoreless until the Twins scored seven runs in

the fourth inning highlighted by a Dan Gladden grand slam home run and

together with a two run round tripper by Steve Lombardozzi in the fifth and the

Twins take game one 10-1 to go up 1-0.

In game two the Twins again had a big fourth inning scoring six runs helped

by home runs by Tim Laudner and Gary Gaetti and together with good pitching

from future Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven went up two games to none with an 8-4

victory.

In game three in Busch Stadium II in St. Louis the Cardinals rallied behind

John Tudor who together with closer Todd Worrell combined for a four hitter with

a Vince Coleman RBI double in the seventh providing the winning run and the

Cards win 3-1 and the series goes to 2-1.

In game four the Cards got to Viola with a seven run fourth inning

highlighted by a three run home run by usually light hitting Tom Lawless and the

Redbirds win 7-2 and the series is even at two games each.

Lawless came up with the Reds and had only two home runs in his eight

year major league career.

The Cards had momentum and in game five Danny Cox, pitching better

than in game one combined with Ken Dayley and Todd Worrell for a 4-2 St. Louis

win and the Cards move ahead in the series three games to two.

In game six the Twins bats came alive against John Tudor and three

relievers and highlighted by a two run home run by Don Baylor in the fifth and a

grand slam by Kent Hrbek in the sixth Minnesota evens the series at three games

apiece with an 11-5 win.

It was the second time in three years the Cards had the chance to close out

the World Series in the sixth game but could not do it.

Game seven was a close game with a tied score after five and one

half innings. In the bottom of the sixth Danny Cox making his third series start

walked the first two hitters before being replaced by Todd Worrell who got the

first out of the inning on a foul popup. But he walked the next hitter and the

bases were loaded with one out.

They had violated that most stringent of baseball rules-don’t walk the

leadoff hitter much less two more in the same inning.

Worrell regrouped and struck out Dan Gladden but the next batter Greg

Gagne made Twins’ history by singling in Tom Brunansky for what proved to be

the winning run as the Twins hold on for a 4-2 win and their first World Series title

although the team had won when the franchise was in Washington.

Frank Viola held the Cards to two runs and six hits in eight innings and

Reardon was on for the save. Viola was awarded the series MVP and Tom Kelly

and the Twins returned in 1991 while St. Louis would not be back until 2004.

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By Ron Griffitts

Contributing Columnist

Ron Griffitts a contributing columnist for the Daily Advocate

Ron Griffitts a contributing columnist for the Daily Advocate