I always remember my father’s love hate relationship with Joaquin Andujar during his five year stint with the St. Louis Cardinals. He loved him in the seventh game of the World Series in 1982 when he beat the Brewers 6-3. Despite Andujar’s strong performance, it was Darrell Porter that got the MVP for the series. The other memorable moment was Andujar’s behavior in 1985’s World Series with the Kansas City Royals. Andujar had won 21 games for the Cardinals that year, but he couldn’t replicate that success against the Royals in the Series. In Game 3, Andujar lasted just four innings while giving up four earned runs as the Royals won the game, 6-1. He would appear once more in Game 7, with the Cards already down 9-0. Having gone through four pitchers already, the Cards sent Andujar out in relief. After giving up an RBI single, things got a little chippy.
He began to argue with home plate umpire Don Denkinger about balls and strikes, and then manager Whitey Herzog was ejected. But on the very next pitch, Denkinger called a ball, and that set Joaquin off. He charged Denkinger and had to be restrained by three of his teammates. Andujar was of course thrown out of the game, but his terror didn’t end there. Once he was banished to the clubhouse, he took a bat and destroyed a toilet. Because of his outburst, he was suspended for 10 games the following season.
St. Louis Cardinals offered condolences to the family of Joaquin Andujar, who passed away earlier today in his native Dominican Republic.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of the best pitchers in Cardinals history,” Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said. “Joaquin Andujar was ‘One Tough Dominican’ who endeared himself to Cardinals fans not only with his great talent, but also with his unrivaled passion for the game. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his friends and his teammates today.”
Andujar, 62, was a two-time All-Star during his five seasons (1981-85) with the Cardinals, posting 20-win seasons in both 1984 and 1985 while leading the National League in wins in 1984.
Andujar, whose career also included stints with Houston and Oakland in addition to St. Louis, was a member of the Cardinals 1982 World Championship team and the 1985 National League Champions.
The team will pay tribute to Andujar prior to tonight’s game against the Cubs.