Joaquin Andujar, All-Star Who Pitched ’82 Cardinals to Title, Dies at 62


An obituary by Bruce Weber for The New York Times.

Joaquin Andujar, a Dominican right-hander who made four National League All-Star teams and pitched in two climactic World Series games for the St. Louis Cardinals, winning one and being ejected from the other, died on Tuesday in the Dominican Republic. He was 62.

The Cardinals announced the death on their website. According to an ESPN Deportes report citing the former Reds pitcher Mario Soto, who is the president of the Dominican Federation of Professional Baseball Players, Andujar died after a long battle with diabetes.

Andujar, a hard thrower with sharp breaking stuff, played in the big leagues with three teams from 1976 to 1988. He began and ended his career with the Houston Astros, pitching in the National League Championship Series for them against the Philadelphia Phillies in 1980, in which he earned a save in Game 2 of a series the Astros eventually lost.

He was traded the following June to St. Louis, where, with his strenuous windup and his intensity on the mound, he became a fan favorite and a star. A workhorse in the starting rotation, from 1982 to 1985 he pitched more than 260 innings in three seasons out of four, leading the league in 1984. (Last year’s major league leader, David Price, pitched 2481/3 innings.)

Andujar won 20 games in 1984 and 21 in 1985. In the 1982 postseason, he earned three of the Cardinals’ eight victories: He beat the Atlanta Braves in the N.L.C.S., and in two starts against the Milwaukee Brewers in the World Series he pitched 131/3 innings with a 1.35 earned run average and earned two victories, including Game 7, clinching the title.

The 1985 season proved to be his undoing. Though he finished the regular season with perhaps his best statistical showing — he went 21-12 with a 3.40 E.R.A. and pitched a career-high 2692/3 innings — he faltered badly in the second half. After beating San Diego on July 26, he was 17-4, but he won only one more game after Aug. 23, and his postseason was simply disastrous.

Though the Cardinals defeated the Dodgers in the N.L.C.S., Andujar lost Game 2 and had a no-decision in Game 6. He then lost Game 3 of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals, and in Game 7 he was tossed out by the home-plate umpire, Don Denkinger, for arguing balls and strikes in the fifth inning with the Cardinals down, 10-0. Andujar was furious and had to be restrained by several teammates.

The explosion was emblematic of the Cardinals’ greater frustration. They had led the Series, three games to one, and seemed to be on the verge of claiming the title the previous day. In the ninth inning of Game 6, with the Cardinals ahead, 1-0, Denkinger, at first base, missed a call and opened the door for a Kansas City rally and a come-from-behind victory. And then, in Game 7, the Cardinals were clobbered.

Andujar was brought in with the score 9-0 and gave up a run-scoring hit. (The final score was 11-0.) He threw an inside pitch to the next hitter, and Denkinger — rightly — called it a ball. Andujar expressed his displeasure, but the Cardinals’ manager, Whitey Herzog, ran out on the field, argued with Denkinger on Andujar’s behalf and was ejected. It was after the next pitch that Andujar exploded.“I’ll tell you,” the broadcaster Tim McCarver said on the air as Andujar was led off the field, “Joaquin Andujar may never recover from the second half of this season.”

He was right. That December, the Cardinals traded him to the Oakland Athletics of the American League; he played three more seasons but won only 17 more games.

Joaquin Andujar was born on Dec. 21, 1952, in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, a link in a long chain of outstanding Dominican pitchers that includes Juan Marichal, Pedro Martinez (who said on Tuesday that Andujar had been an inspiration to him as a boy) and Bartolo Colon. Andujar was signed as an amateur free agent by the Cincinnati Reds in 1969 and pitched in their minor league system, where he made his professional debut at age 17, until 1975, when the Reds traded him to Houston.

For his major league career, he was 127-118, with a 3.58 E.R.A. and 1,032 strikeouts in 2,153 innings.

Information on his survivors was not immediately available.

For the original report go to

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