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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

On this date in Cardinals history: September 29

49 years ago today, on September 29, 1963, Stan Musial played in the final game of his 22-year, Hall of Fame career. In his 3,026th and last contest, Musial and the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium by a 3-2 score in 14 innings.

“The Man” had two hits in his three at-bats before being removed for a pinch runner following his sixth-inning RBI single. It seemed fitting since Musial also had two hits in his very first game, back in September 1941.

There had been a pre-game ceremony attended by many, including commissioner Ford Frick, NL president Warren Giles and AL president Joe Cronin. Musial received a number of gifts, including a ring with the number 6 set in diamonds, presented by his teammates.

Musial retired with 3,630 hits, exactly half at home and half on the road (1,815 hits each). At the time, he owned at least 17 major league records, 29 NL marks and another nine All-Star Game bests.

This video clip, an excerpt from the 1990 documentary “The Legend Of Stan ‘The Man’ Musial,” shows Musial’s final at-bat. The clip was provided via the courtesy of Dick Zitzmann and Stan the Man Inc.

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23 Responses to “On this date in Cardinals history: September 29”

  1. JumboShrimp says:

    16-3 Lohse toes the rubber as the Cards close on qualifying for the playoffs and eliminating the over-paid Dodgers. Rookie sensation Pete Kozma has supplied a big lift for the defending World Champs, with an RBI to cap the first inning last night.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Rookie sensation Pete is bringing us back. Kozma’s double lifts his RBI total to 11.

      The Big Government Knats got lucky in the first inning, but maybe the good guys can pull it out.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        September Sensation Pete Kozma pulls the Cards even.

        • JumboShrimp says:

          9 Ks by Lohse, a strong game after the first. Offensive and defensive contributions by Pete.

          Salas should not be included on the playoff roster.

          • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

            They hit some good pitches early Jumbo. …… Salas had good stuff. ………. He didn’t like that last Fastball call. By Molina’s hissy last AB……………..he seemed to be suggesting that Matheny made it……….. walking the lefty instead of matching up or at least baiting him seemed funny to many…… rookie coach looking to decide something? I don’t know…………. Giants don’t want LA in the playoffs……… Reds will do everything in their power to create a 2 WC tie………… if we can’t decide our own fate…………we didn’t have much……. Freese starts tomorrow……plus or minus…..???? – on my Card.

  2. crdswmn says:

    Matheny just doesn’t get it. Freeman and Salas were poor choices in that situation when Miller and Rosenthal were available.

    • Brian Walton says:

      The thought crossed my mind that he might be trying to save Miller and Rosenthal to start during the final series should the Cards clinch early enough that he could rest Carp and Waino for the NLDS. If that is what is going on, it could backfire.

      As today’s post reminds us, every loss gives the Dodgers a greater chance of coming back to tie and forcing the Cards to have to travel to LA for a Thursday game. Or worse, if the Cards went 1-3 and the Dodgers go 4-0 to close out the regular season, LA would win the WC outright.

      (Update: Carp has already been announced as Tuesday’s starter with Wednesday still listed as TBA. Still, they could decide to pull Carp early if they clinch on Monday.)

      • crdswmn says:

        If that was the case, then he broke his own rule of worrying about one game at a time. There aren’t going to be any playoffs for which to rest Carp and Waino if they don’t win these games now. We needed to win all these games against the Nats because the Dodgers are playing the Rockies and no Dodgers losses will be forthcoming. Now we will have to hope the Giants don’t punt against the Dodgers the last three games. Maybe the rivalry will be enough incentive for them because they don’t really have another.

        • Brian Walton says:

          My guess is both the Reds and Giants would like to see a wild card tie, making the road tougher for their respective division rivals, the Cardinals and Dodgers. While I am not suggesting they would either play harder or lie down, their pitching and lineup choices could impact these final four games.

  3. blingboy says:

    JumboShrimp says:
    September 29, 2012 at 8:52 pm
    . . . maybe the good guys can pull it . . .

    Nice call, Jumbo.

  4. JumboShrimp says:

    Last night, we scored 4 runs. Two were scored by rookie sensation Pete Kozma, two were driven in by rookie sensation Pete Kozma. Pete also gloved a web gem.

    The Kozma success story hints at iffy decision=making by Matheny. For most of the season, Matheny stuck like glue to Furcal. Raffy was excellent during April and May, horrid at the plate during June through August. It was a big help when Raffy got removed from the leadoff slot and consigned to 8th, because he was killing us. It was a blessing when Raffy finally broke down completely, so Matheny was forced to give Kozma a try. If we had made use of Kozma earlier, we would not have fallen so far behind the Reds.

    Matheny has a way of relying obsessively on a single player and not getting others involved. Rzepcynski got used recently; it was amazing to see him, Rzep had been a forgotten man.

    Holliday and Beltran must be hurting. It might be better to go with Hill or Robinson and Chambers, to give H and B an off game. As Kozma shows, a fresh guy can provide energy to a tired lineup late in a long season.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Jumbo, your storyline is faulty. There was no room to call up any middle infielders early because Tyler Greene was still on the team.

      When they did add someone, it was rightfully Jackson. After all, Kozma hadn’t earned anything. His July OPS was .617 and in August it was .612.

      Suggesting that Matheny should have pushed Mo for Kozma to be promoted sooner is second-guessing of the worst kind.

      (One cannot dispute that Kozma has played well since his arrival in the majors, but absolutely no one expected that – not even the new and only members of his fan club. It still does not explain why Jackson was not given a chance. For all we know, he might be contributing as well or better than Pete.)

      • crdswmn says:

        Matheny should be giving Jackson playing time at 2B. He can’t be any worse at the plate than Skip, who has been hitting .150 since August 28 and he is a much better defender.

        • JumboShrimp says:

          It would make sense to go with Jackson today against the lefty Detweiler. Shane Robinson and Freese should be in there too.
          I am unsure Matheny is sensible enough to use rookie Jackson in today’s game. Skip seems out of gas.

          • Brian Walton says:

            Why would Skip be out of gas? He has 100 fewer plate appearances than last season, playing less than any season since 2007. His 2012 numbers are actually slightly better than 2011, which were slightly better than 2010. Maybe he is what he has shown the last three years.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Furcal established his dysfunctionality during June. The Cards moved him down to 8th at some point, probably after Jay’s shoulder had gotten better. Jay’s injury may have delayed the change.
        The Cards seemed unwilling to seek an alternative to Furcal. They must not have liked Greene at SS defensively, so used Descalso as a spot fill-in, but Descalso was needed at 2B.
        They tried Jackson, but did not give him much audition. If they had given Jackson more playing time, he might have shown more. They sent Jackson down so were forced to use Kozma after Furcal’s elbow injury. Pete got off to a nice start, so has been able to maintain the playing time to showcase what he can do.
        The Cards were slow to address Furcal’s decline by integrating one of the young understudies into the cast. When Furcal finally fell apart, the Cards had no choice but to rely on a rookie. Kozma has responded, illustrating how a young SS with some energy can give a tired team a welcome lift.

        • Brian Walton says:

          Jackson has not received any action at short. None, unless you count two outs in a mop up role the other day.

          When Jackson came up, Matheny started him one game at second base. He made an error. He disappeared for another week, only to make one more start at second. Jackson hasn’t started since. His usage defies logic.

          • JumboShrimp says:

            Greene made an error in a game and about the next day was shipped off to Jeff in Houston. Benching Jackson after one game reminds me. While errors are unwelcome, they are unintended and need to be kept in fairer perspective and not overblown.

            At least one good thing has happened: Kozma got a chance and answered the bell. Pete has had 4 years at AA/AAA. This experience has enabled him, when given a little opportunity, to grab it. That is a positive development, in the here and now of the 2013 pennant chase.

            Jackson is talented and could earn the SS job in 2014. The Cards should start him today against Detweiler. Matheny will probably go with Descalso, however.

            Managers are risk averse. If Jackson starts and makes an error, then Matheny might be blamed for starting the rookie in a crucial game. However, if Matheny starts Descalso or Skip, Descalso or Skip can be blamed for the loss, because they are the regulars..

            Its a tough situation, integrating rookies into the majors. We had a similar situation at the end of 2009. The team was tiring. We had injured DeRosa at 3B. We had even more injured and more useless Troy Glaus in reserve. And behind them, rookie David Freese. The Cards stuck with DeRosa and Glaus and were swept in 3 by the Dodgers in round one. Glaus pinch hit and whiffed. DeRosa has never been the same as a player since this injury. Glaus never played 3B again. We could have DLd one or both and handed the position to Freese, who showed in 2011 that he can play in post season. But no. We had to lose with our high priced, injured vets, while rookies had to wait for next year.

            I have come to understand more of the logic to this and have mellowed about it. But for fans who want to win now, when we are so close, it can be quite aggravating.

            • Brian Walton says:

              Your deep understanding of their logic seems most selective; in fact it is currently limited to Kozma while clearly excluding Furcal.

            • crdswmn says:

              Kozma has made 3 errors in less than 20 starts at shortstop. Those errors have not kept Matheny from starting him every game.

              A conscious choice was made at the outset to play Kozma instead of Jackson. The stated reason did not make sense at the time, but Kozma’s play so far has kept anyone from digging further for another explanation. As Brian has stated, Jackson’s non-use has defied logic, and I for one still believe there is another reason that is being hidden from public knowledge. That is not a conspiracy theory, just an observation that something doesn’t add up.

              • JumboShrimp says:

                Things are working out well for the Cards. They wanted to give Kozma a shot, because it would be good if he could be serve as the understudy to Furcal in 2013. Furcal needs a lot of backup. It would be preferable to have Kozma as backup in 2013, while Jackson plays everyday at Memphis. The way Pete has played during September makes his inclusion during 2013 a more viable possibility.

                One thing we know reliably is that Mo did not know Kozma would play so gosh darn well in September. Mo may be smart, but no one is that smart!
                If Kozma had fielded poorly or not hit, Jackson is on the roster, ready to be used. The Cards might have assumed the two men would share SS during September. If so, Pete changed this plan by excelling, so there was no need to use Jackson much. We still think highly of him, but we do not need him yet.
                This is not a conspiracy theory either. Its simple and makes sense.

        • crdswmn says:

          The club was not “forced’ to use Kozma at any time. As soon as Furcal was hurt, the club had the option of putting him on the DL and recalling Jackson immediately. They made a conscious choice not to do that and brought up Kozma instead. The reasoning given for that was very faulty and suspect, as most of us pointed out when it happened.

          Kozma has been hot, no doubt motivated to play like never before because his head has been so close to the chopping block for a while now and he has been given a reprieve. The problem with playing the hot hand exclusively is that it will go cold without any prior warning. Keeping Jackson riding the bench and getting moldy only makes the situation worse if Kozma does go in the deep freeze at a bad time or worse, gets injured. Skip has regressed significantly (as I said a while back he would) and if the club is forced to use Descalso at SS, then Skip and a rusty Jackson are all that is left to cover 2B. The only other option would be an inexperienced M.Carp who is really needed to back up Beltran, Craig and Freese when necessary.

          The whole middle infield situation has been handled very poorly. Unless there is something going on with Jackson that is not being revealed, he should have been playing more this whole time to keep him ready to go.

  5. Bw52 says:

    Mathenys rookie season has been filled with fans second guessing many moves,non-moves,pitching changes and roster decisions.While a rookie manager is under the microscope a rookie manager following a future HOF manger is subject to even more scrutiny.Any manager will have screwups and mistakes because of real or perceived game mistakes involving players or strategy.While a TLR fan even he made people shake their heads with moves that he made .
    Matheny came into a tough situation because he was following a future HOF manager coming off a stirring World Series victory by a team that was a underdog in every playoff series.
    Mathenys Cards suffered major injury problems with Berkman and Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia .The Reds had 1 injury and simply outplayed the Cards this year.
    This year the Cards have brought up many new faces like Kelly,Rosenthal,Browning,Shelby Miller,Freeman.Matt Adams,Ryan Jackson and the Cards have seen several young players step up like Allen Craig,Matt Carpenter,Lance Lynn and other guys from Memphis provided small boosts like Kozma,Shane Robinson,Victor Marte .On the other hand several veterans players started showing decline because of injury or age or both; Berkman,Furcal,(Beltran-good early-poor last couple months).
    Its been a mixed bag this season so far.Chris Carpenter improbable return this last couple weeks,Wainwright`s comeback from surgery,Molinas offense and defense both very good,Freese staying mostly healthy,Boggs mostly reliable season,Mujica doing very good job after being obtained,Motte`s 40 saves.although everybody will remember a couple blown saves,Holliday had a solid season .On the minus side Lefty bullpen was a season long headache-JC Romero flopped,Rzep struggled,Browning started well and then faltered,Freeman was overmatched but shows promise.
    Righty pen had its own problems-McClellan roughed up and then injury ,Sanchez and Salas pitched poorly,.Cards used 21 pitchers in 2012.bullpen must be settled for 2013.
    Overall Cards have good starting pitching and a bullpen that needs a Lefty to step up.Cards main problem area seem to be 2B and SS as usual.Can Furcal come and be effective at his age? What will Cards do about 2B? Another year of Schumaker and a cast of Jackson,Kozma,Descalso holding the fort until Kolten Wong in September 2013.
    Young prospects are in the pipeline also,Oscar Taveras OF looms as Beltrans replacement.Many young arms coming quickly for the rotation and bullpen.So Cards will be contenders we all hope.Matheny has had a rookie season that he hopefully learned much and will use to his and the Cards advantage.Growing pains are learning pains i hope.In spite of everything that has happened i would give Matheny a C+ or a B- overall.

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