A clubhouse prankster and top short reliever, Hoerner blossomed after a weak heart forced him to switch to a less taxing sidearm delivery. His highest ERA in the years 1966-71 was 2.89. He recorded career bests of 17 saves and a 1.47 ERA for the Cardinals in 1968; on June 1, he tied a NL record for consecutive strikeouts by a relief pitcher, with six. In 1969 Hoerner was involved in the celebrated Curt Flood trade. Though Flood did not report to the Phillies, Hoerner did, and led the NL with nine relief wins in 1970. He retired with 99 career saves, and Hank Aaron never got a hit off him in 22 career at-bats.