1999 St. Louis Cardinals
1999 St. Louis Cardinals / Franchise: St. Louis Cardinals / BR Team Page
Managed by Tony LaRussa
History, Comments, Contributions
The 1999 St. Louis Cardinals had plenty of power and speed, but were hamstrung by a weak starting rotation and an even weaker bullpen. The club featured superstar Mark McGwire, coming off his record-setting 70-home run 1998 campaign, who hit 65 dingers with 147 RBI, 118 runs scored and 113 walks. Fernando Tatis burst onto the scene that year, but proved to be a one-year wonder with his 34 home runs, 107 RBI, 104 runs scored and 21 stolen bases. On April 23rd, he had the game that would define his career as he became the first (and only) player in major league history to hit two grand slams in one inning, both coming off Chan-Ho Park of the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 12-5 win. Edgar Renteria led the club with 37 stolen bases, while J.D. Drew added 19 more. Catcher Eli Marrero even got into the act, swiping 11 bags. Ray Lankford provided a .306 average with 15 homers and 14 steals in 122 games, while Shawon Dunston hit .307 in 62 games off the bench. The star of the starting staff was Kent Bottenfield, another one-year wonder, who went 18-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 31 starts. No other main starter had an ERA under 4, but due to the high-offense nature of the era, two others still had ERA+'s of 100 or more, meaning they had "above average" seasons: Darren Oliver (108) and Garrett Stephenson (110). Mark Thompson gave the team hope in his brief five-start stint, posting a 2.76 ERA; he was out of the majors after a mediocre stay in the bullpen in 2000. The bullpen was uninspiring, with the star being Heathcliff Slocumb, who had a 2.36 ERA in 40 games. Ricky Bottalico managed 20 saves despite a 4.91 ERA. Two hurlers posted ERAs of 5-plus, while appearing in 50 or more games: Manny Aybar (5.47, 65) and Juan Acevedo (5.89, 50). Uber-prospect Rick Ankiel debuted that year, making five starts and four more appearances out of the bullpen. He was 0-1 with a 3.27 ERA, averaging 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings. At 19, Ankiel was the youngest player on the team. 40-year-old former star Willie McGee, wrapping up his career, was the oldest.
Award and Honors