December 23 in Cardinals History

1960 Former major league first baseman Ripper Collins, who played with the Cardinals’ Gashouse Gang, joins the Cubs’ college of coaches, a group of interim skippers that will manage the team for part of the season. The original ‘faculty’ will include El Tappe, Goldie Holt, Bobby Adams, Harry Craft, Verlon Walker, Vedie Himsl and Charlie Grimm.

1975– Free Agency was born. Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally won a landmark case that changed baseball forever.

1985 Thousands of fans, including former President Richard Nixon and Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, attend a memorial mass conducted by John Cardinal O’Connor at New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral held for Roger Maris. The moving service for the recently deceased ballplayer is arranged by Yankee owner George Steinbrenner.

1993– The Cardinals signed Vicente Palacios as a free agent.

1993– The Cardinals signed Gerald Young as a free agent.

1994 The Cardinals granted Gerald Young free agency.

1995– The Cardinals signed Andy Benes as a free agent.

1995– The  Cardinals signed Ron Gant as a free agent.

2000 The Giants sign 38-year old Eric Davis as a free agent. The veteran outfielder, who played with the Cardinals for the past two years, will end his 17-year career with San Francisco at the end of the season.

2004 Free-agent J.D. Drew (.305, 31, 118), former flycatcher of the Braves, signs a five-year, $55 million deal with the Dodgers. After being traded by the Cardinals to Atlanta last season, the left-hand hitting outfielder, known to be injury prone, played in a career-high 145 games.

2004 The Cardinals ink former Angel infielder David Eckstein (.276, 2, 35) to a three-year contract. The 29-year old free agent shortstop will replace Gold Glover Edgar Renteria, who signed with the Red Sox, making the Boston shortstop, Orlando Cabrera, available to Anaheim, the team Eckstein is leaving.

2007 The Phillies sign 38-year old outfielder So Taguchi (.290, 3, 30) to one-year, $1 million deal which also includes performance bonuses and a 2009 club option. The ‘So Man’, a Hyogo Prefecture, Japan native, batted .406 (13-32) as a pinch-hitter for the Cardinals to lead the National League last season.



Mike Grady (1868) -Grady made his major league debut on April 24, 1894 as a member of the Phillies. Grady hit .363 over the course of his rookie season, during which the pitching mound was moved back to its current distance of 60 feet, 6 inches from the plate and three Phillies outfielders batted over .400.

Grady is largely famous for an  story about his committing four fielding errors on a single play, a story he would repeatedly tell long after his playing days were over; however, there is no contemporaneous record of this.  Grady compiled a .294 career average over his 11 major league seasons. He led the league in OPS (a commonly used stat today that adds on-base percentage with slugging percentage) for a catcher in 1904 and 1905, and finished third in that category in his final season in 1906 (which is he only season in a Cardinals uniform).

Cozy Dolan (1882) – a career .251 hitter that played for Cardinals in 1914-1915. 

Palmer Hildebrandt (1884) – May 14, 1913 was his debut in a Cardinals uniform and May 7, 1913 was his final game. He hit .164 with no home runs. 

Howie Williamson (1904) -He played one season in 1928 for the St. Louis Cardinals, primarily as an outfielder and he  hit .222. 

Pat Ankenman (1912) – Lifetime .241 hiitter,He played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Brooklyn Dodgers during the 1936, 1943 and 1944 seasons. He also served as a manager in the minor leagues for the New Orleans Pelicans in 1942 and the Oklahoma City Indians in 1947 and 1948.

Al Cicotte (1928) -Cicotte pitched in 102 MLB games, 16 as a starter, and compiled a record of 10–13. In 260 innings pitched, He  had an earned run average of 4.36 He finished his career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1961 and the Houston Colt .45’s in 1962 with a 1013 record for his career. 

Ron Allen (1943) -He played part of the 1972 season in Major League Baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals, primarily as a first baseman. He was a switch-hitter and threw right-handed. Batted .091 lifetime. 

Rick White (1968) – Pitched for 13 teams (Cardinals in 2002) and had a 42-4 career record. 

Audry Perez (1988) -Pérez was called up to the majors for the first time on September 3, 2013. He only appeared in 3 games for the Cardinals over 2013 and 2014 before being outrighted off of the roster on September 10, 2014. He elected free agency on November 3.


  • Ted Menze 1969