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
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
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.
Ron Griffitts a contributing columnist for the Daily Advocate