Relive 1987′s St. Louis and San Francisco NLCS matchup


Frequent readers of JoeSportsFan know that we’re slightly attached ridiculously obsessed with the Cardinals 1987 documentary entitled, “That’s a Winner”.

What’s not to like, honestly?  It’s a cornucopia of permed hair, satin jackets and elastic-band ballpants.  Throw in Jack Buck’s narrative, Whitey Herzog’s flattop and Jack Clark’s unibrow and you have yourself a piece of cinematic brilliance.

Because the 1987 season featured an eventual World Series loss to the Minnesota Twins, “That’s a Winner” peaked during the synopsis of the NLCS against the San Francisco Giants.   The first rematch of this series occurred in 2002, but let’s be honest, the internet barely existed at the time and didn’t allow a mechanism to repost clips from “That’s a Winner” for the world to enjoy.

So, without further ado…

Now, a few words about the clip above.

1.) Jack Buck

Just the best.  Glad we’re on the same page.

2.) Vin Scully

Also amazing.  Glad we’re on the same page.

3.) Wait, Jeffrey Leonard wasn’t 6’5″ 250 lbs.? lists Jeffrey Leonard’s playing stature as 6’2″ 200 lbs., but that’s probably generous given the footage above.  For a kid growing up in the 80′s, Jeffrey Leonard was a mythical creature.  Maybe it was his perceived size or maybe it was the bi-directional hatred between Leonard and Cardinals fans.  That just couldn’t be; when you grow up in St. Louis, you learn that we like everyone and everyone likes us.  It’s just how it is.

Leonard was the exception.  He taunted St. Louis with his “one flap down” regimen and dominated them while doing so, hitting 4 HR’s and slugging .917 in the seven-game series.  To a kid growing up in St. Louis, he was larger than life.  If “That’s a Winner” has one rub, it’s that it makes Jeffrey Leonard seem like a real, normal-sized person.  We’re not okay with that.

4.) Did the “Baseball Heaven” rhetoric pre-date 1998?

By our calculations, the “baseball heaven” and “best fans in baseball” rhetoric began in 1998 as Mark McGwire pursued the single-season HR record.  These hyperboles served as filler content for McGwire when dealing with a throng of media every day and it grew exponentially from there.  But maybe it didn’t start in 1998.

We captured the following screencap at 01:03 above.

What a terrible, terrible sign.

We’re not sure if the forced acronym or the missed possessive apostrophe angers us more.  Tough call.

5.) How did no one die chasing a HR at Candlestick Park?

The debate of replay in baseball has been a topic of conversation for years.  Currently, MLB umpires can review balls that may or may not be HR’s.  Those against replay in baseball argue that creating sensical field boundaries is way to ensure that no HR call is in question.  That makes sense.

Except in the case of the left field bleachers at the old Candlestick Park.  What in the hell?   Who thought that inserting a 10-foot moat between a bunch of bleacher monkeys from the field of play was a good idea?  Granted, it was a mixed-use facility at the time, but still.  Attending a Giants game in the left field bleachers was more hardcore than the pit at a Megadeath concert in 1987.

6.) Did Danny Cox purposely shave his mustache to look like the Gateway Arch?

Makes sense, no?



  • Ray DeRousse says:

    I remember Cardinal fans getting so upset over Jeffrey Leonard’s description of St. Louis as a “cow town,” followed by fans using homophobic slurs against the San Francisco Giants.

    Ah, eighties feuds were just the best, weren’t they?

  • James in Wichita says:

    I’m afraid you’re mistaken Ray. It was Chili Davis, not Jeffrey Leonard who called the Lou a Cowtown.

    James in Wichita

  • Marty Phillips says:

    Insert a moat? Insert a fence you mean. Left field originally extended all the way to the wall in front of those bleachers.

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