Called the Cardinals’ “Secret Weapon” for his ability to play any infield or outfield position, Oquendo was the Mets’ regular shortstop in 1983. He was a fine fielder, but New York despaired of ever seeing him become an adequate hitter. With the Cardinals, he became a reliable, switch-hitting .270-.280 singles hitter and batted .385 as a pinch hitter in 1987.
In 1988 he lost his “super-sub” status in mid-season when he took over the regular second-base job, but he did pitch in relief once, earning the first decision (a loss) in the majors by a non-pitcher in twenty years. He also caught a game, becoming the first National Leaguer to play all nine positions in a season.
Playing alongside defensive whiz Ozzie Smith, Oquendo led the NL in fielding percentage in 1989 and ’90. Two injury-plagued seasons cost him his starting job, and he retired not long after.