Season Record: 83-79 Standing: 3rd
Attendance: 1,659,287 Manager: Vern Rapp
Opening day Lineup: (St.Louis: 12, Pittsburgh: 6, Away, April 7th)
LF - Lou Brock
SS - Garry Templeton
CF - Bake McBride
RF - Hector Cruz
C - Ted Simmons
1B - Keith Hernandez
3B - Ken Reitz
2B - Mike Tyson
P - John Denny
All Stars: (All-Star game summary)
Award voting: League Leaders:
MVP Triples - Garry Templeton - 18
Ted Simmons - 9th
Singles - Garry Templeton - 155
Garry Templeton - 13th
IBB - Ted Simmons - 25
- Lou steals # 893.
After a four-season experiment, the inner outfield fence is removed. Only 49 home-runs had been hit into the 10 foot space.
Metric distances are painted on the outfield walls. 101 meters down the lines, 118 in the alleys, and 126 to center.
Ball girls are used for the first time to assist with on-field equipment.
St. Louis singles out injuries and youth for its 72-90 record last season, the Cardinals’ second-worst since 1924. More experience and an active winter in the trading market should move the Cards up a notch to fourth place. Ken Reitz is back from San Francisco to plug a hole at third, and center fielder Bake McBride (.335) and second baseman Mike Tyson (.286) are recovered from the hurts that kept them sidelined for a total for 186 games. First baseman Keith Hernandez (.289) and right fielder Hector Cruz (13 homers, 71 RBIs) who struggled defensively at third, should be even better in their second full seasons. Twenty-one-year-old Garry Templeton has shown he can hit major league pitching, batting .291 in 53 games, but his 24 errors proved he cannot yet field major league hitting.
The two most dependable – and durable – Cardinals are left fielder Lou Brock, beginning his 17th season with a .296 career average, and catcher Ted Simmons, starting his 10th year at .297. This season should be a triumphant one for Brock, who needs only 28 more stolen bases to reach 893 and surpass Ty Cobb’s major league career record. “I might go to 892 and stop. “ says Brock, “just to keep Cobb and me in the record book together.”
St. Louis tried to bolster its pitching staff during the off-season by picking up John D’Acquisto from San Francisco, Larry Dierker from Houston and reliever Clay Carroll from the White Sox. But Dierker, who was 13-14 with the Astros, was injured in spring training – he will be out until May – and D’Acquisto is coming off a dismal season (3-8 with a 5.35 ERA), so the Cardinals will again have to rely mainly on their only two pitchers with winning records last year, John Denny (11-9 and a league-leading 2.52 ERA) and Hrabosky (8-6, 13 saves). Hrabosky at first threatened to sue if Rapp did not let him grow his hair back. “This has upset my mental state,” he says, “I can’t scare anybody anymore. Guys are laughing at me, telling me how pretty I look.” (Sports Illustrated, 4/11/77 “Special Baseball issue” – taken from the NL east preview article (Larry Keith))
Garry Templeton becomes the first Cardinal switch-hitter to lead the NL in triples (18).
Garry Templeton scores 5 times on a 21-3 rout of the Cubs at Wrigley Field on 4/27.
When former Cardinals pitcher John Denny posts a NL-best 2.52 ERA, he tied for the youngest ever to win an ERA crown. He is 23.
Roger Freed blasts a 9th inning pinch-hit three-run HR capping a 8-6 come from behind victory on 8/22.
Pinch-hitter Roger Freed batted .398 in 83 at-bats, only dipping below .400 on the last day of the season.
Ken Reitz broke the NL record by committing only 9 errors in 157 games.
1977 Team Info.(from Baseball-Reference.com) 1977 League Stats (from Baseball-Reference.com)
(Tell me your highlights from 1977!)
NL Championship: Dodgers over Phillies (3-1) World Series: Yankees over Dodgers (4-2)
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