Joaquin Andujar

Referring to himself as “one tough Dominican,” the colorful Andujar reached his peak in the mid-1980s as a Cardinal workhorse who worked well on three days’ rest. Coming from the Astros, who hadn’t been able to handle his unique personality and had misused him in the bullpen, Andujar’s 15-10, 2.47 record in 1982 helped St. Louis to a World Championship. He won the LCS clincher 6-2 as the Braves were swept in three games, and had a 1.35 ERA in the World Series, winning Games Three and Seven.

After dropping off to 6-16 in 1983, Andujar led the NL in wins, shutouts, and IP in 1984, going 20-14 with a 3.34 ERA and four shutouts in 261.1 IP. His 21-12 record in 1985 led the Cardinals as they captured the NL pennant, although he pitched poorly in the last two months after four great months and was 1-5 with a 5.76 ERA after August. He continued to struggle in the postseason, getting hit hard in two LCS starts and losing Game Two to the Dodgers. In the World Series, the Royals knocked him out in the fifth inning of Game Three as he lost 6-1, and he had a disastrous relief appearance in Game Seven. Called in in the fifth inning when the Cardinals were already losing by a wide margin, he gave up a hit and a walk and was then ejected, along with manager Whitey Herzog, for complaining vociferously about the umpiring.

Andujar was traded to Oakland that winter and his career wound down amidst injuries and accusations by him that his downfall was caused by a conspiracy against him (he never offered any specifics). One of his injuries with the A’s came while taking batting practice despite being in the AL, where the DH rule prevented him from hitting. Although he batted just .127 lifetime, he considered himself quite a hitter, and switch-hit by an unusual system: if he didn’t trust the control of the pitcher he was facing, he would go against the usual lefty-righty percentages and bat so that his pitching arm was the more protected back arm.