January 8 in Cardinals History

2002- Ozzie Smith is elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame

The former scouting director of the St. Louis Cardinals, Chris Correa, pleads guilty to five charges of hacking following an investigation by the FBI over allegations that the Cards had spied into the Houston Astros’ scouting database in 2016.


Chauncey Fisher 1872 -was a 19th-century Major League Baseball pitcher. Fisher pitched in the National League from 1893 to 1901. His last appearance was July 6, 1901.

Joe Benes 1901 -Branch Rickey added Benes to the Cardinals’ roster in May 1931. Given that Benes was 30 years old at the time, Rickey stated that Benes was not regarded as a future prospect but as “reserve strength” to back up shortstop Charlie Gelbert. By June 17, 1931, however, he was replaced on the roster by infielder Jakie Flowers and returned to the minors.

Walker Cooper 1915 – He played in Major League Baseball as a catcher from 1940 to 1957, most notably as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals with whom he won two World Series championships. An eight-time All-Star, Cooper was known as one of the top catchers in baseball during the 1940s and early 1950s. His elder brother Mort Cooper, also played in Major League Baseball as a pitcher. Cooper enjoyed his most productive season at the plate in 1947, when he hit .305 and compiled career highs in home runs (35), RBI (122), runs (79), hits (157) triples (8) and games (140);  the Giants set a new major league record with 221 home runs. In that season, Cooper homered in six consecutive games to tie a record set by George Kelly in 1924.[ After Leo Durocher became Giants manager in 1948, he began revamping the team to emphasize speed, and Cooper was traded to the Cincinnati Reds on June 13, 1949 for fellow catcher Ray Mueller after starting the year hitting .211.  Three weeks later, on July 6, Cooper became the only catcher in major league history, and one of only eleven players, to have hit 10 or more RBI in a single game; he was 6-for-7, including three home runs and five runs. That year, he also led National League catchers in assists for the only time in his career. In May 1950 he was traded to the Boston Braves, where he caught Vern Bickford’s no-hitter on August 11 of that year. He remained with the Braves through their 1953 move to Milwaukee, batting over .300 in his first two seasons with the club.  Cooper holds the distinction of being the last man to come to bat at Boston’s Braves Field, flying out to Brooklyn’s Andy Pafko.

Ralph LaPointe 1922 – he had a career that spanned eight teams, ten years, and seven seasons, LaPointe played for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball in 1947, and the St. Louis Cardinals in 1948Prior to the start of the 1948 season, the Phillies acquired first baseman Dick Sisler from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for LaPointe; the trade included cash sent to St. Louis believed to be $20,000–$30,000 ($244,000 $365,000 today).Serving as a utility backup to regulars Marty Marion and Red Schoendienst,[LaPointe began his Cardinals career with four hits, two runs scored, two RBI, and one double in his first four contests; however, by May 14, his batting average had dropped to .200.  Although a three-hit performance on May 16 raised his average and a double, a single, and two RBI on May 19 helped his cause, his average was still a struggling .214 at the end of May and dropped below the Mendoza Line to .192 by the end of June, in which he only hit safely in one game.

In July, LaPointe appeared in all but two games for the Cardinals while filling in at second base for Schoendienst—who injured his shoulder—including five sets of doubleheaders; he notched seven multi-hit games in the month, capped by a 3-for-5 performance in a 12–10 loss to the Cubs on July 6.  He raised his average to .213 by late July and amassed a seven-game hitting streak in mid-August—with four of those being two-hit contests—which raised his average as hit as .231. He had one hit on the first of September, his final safety of the season and finished the year batting .225 with 27 runs scored and 15 RBI in 87 games played

Gene Freese 1934 – played for Cardinals in 1958. Freese’s career batting average stands at .254, in 1,115 games played, with 115 home runs and 432 runs batted in (RBI). During his playing days, he was listed as 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) tall, weighing 175 pounds (79 kg); Freese batted and threw right-handed. He was nicknamed “Augie”, as a Pirate rookie, in 1955, by teammates, (named) after umpire Augie Donatelli, who was calling balls and strikes in Freese’s first big league game.

Bruce Sutter 1953 -A Hall of Famer He was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Leon Durham, Ken Reitz, and a player to be named later in December 1980. He made his fifth consecutive All-Star Game in 1981. He recorded 25 saves, registered a 2.62 ERA, and finished fifth in the NL Cy Young Award voting.

Sutter registered 36 saves in 1982, finishing third in the Cy Young Award voting. Sutter earned the save in the pennant-clinching victory in the NLCS. The Cardinals won the 1982 World Series and Sutter is credited with two saves in that Series, including the Series-clinching save in Game 7 which ended with a strikeout of Gorman Thomas. In 1983, Sutter recorded a 9–10 win–loss record and a 4.23 ERA; while his save total declined to 21. In April of that year, Sutter executed a rare unassisted pickoff play: as Bill Madlock of the Pittsburgh Pirates took a long lead off first base, he became distracted by Cardinals first baseman Keith Hernandez. Sutter ran off the mound to tag Madlock out. He who won both the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award and The Sporting News Reliever of the Year Award again in 1981, 1982, and 1984, tied Dan Quisenberry’s major league record for most saves in a season (45) in 1984. (His MLB record was broken by Dave Righetti (46) in 1986 and his NL record was broken by Lee Smith (47) in 1991.) During Sutter’s record-breaking season, he pitched a career-high 122+2⁄3 innings. It was one of five seasons in which Sutter threw more than 100 innings

Bryan Pena 1982 -On November 30, 2015, Peña agreed to a two-year, $5 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals to be the primary backup to Yadier Molina. In mid-December 2015, Peña accompanied an expedition to Cuba composed of former Cardinals including Joe Torre and Jon Jay, and other MLB officials and players. It was MLB’s first visit there since 1999, and one anticipated as an important step to help normalize relations with the United States that had begun to ease earlier in the year.  He began the season on the DL after surgery to remove loose cartilage in his left knee, which he attributed to slipping on the dugout steps in spring training. On July 5, 2016, Peña announced that he was planning to join the Army Reserve after the 2016 season. Later that day though, he was informed that he was unable to enlist because such an action would violate the terms of his contract. Peña chose to become an ambassador for the troops instead.[ On November 21, 2016, the Cardinals designated Peña for assignment.

Breyvic Valera 1992 – Valera signed with the St. Louis Cardinals as an international free agent in May 2010. He made his professional debut with the Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals. He started 2014 with the Palm Beach Cardinals and was promoted to the Double-A Springfield Cardinals during the following season. He began 2016 with the Springfield Cardinals and was then promoted to the Memphis Redbirds, where he batted a combined .304 between both teams. The Cardinals added him to their 40-man roster after the 2016 season. On September 5, 2017 the St. Louis Cardinals recalled Valera from the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds, and he made his major league debut the same night against the San Diego Padres starting at second base, batting 7th in the lineup. His first MLB hit, a single, came on September 7, 2017, against the San Diego Padres.

Valera was designated for assignment on March 28, 2018.


Harvey Haddix (1994) –



Other Baseball History

1898 – National League president Nick Young announces the more experienced umpire will stay behind the plate when the new two-umpire system is instituted. Previously, the single umpire would stand behind the pitcher only with men on base.

1953 – The Cleveland Indians bar night games with the St. Louis Browns due to St. Louis owner Bill Veeck’s refusal to share receipts of the game telecasts.