O’Farrell Catches Ruth Stealing
Let’s head back to 1926 for this great Cardinal moment. The Cardinals are facing the Yankees in the World Series, and they’re all tied up at 3 wins a piece. It’s Game 7 on a Sunday afternoon in New York, as Jesse Haines of the Cardinals takes on Waite Hoyt of the Yankees.
Babe Ruth goes deep in the 3rd to take a 1-0 lead, but the Cardinals rally for 3 runs of their own in the 4th. The Yankees are able to score again in the 6th, bringing it 3-2. The score stays as is as we enter the bottom of the 9th. Grover Cleveland Alexander is in to close, and he retires the first two batters of the inning.
With one out to go to win the World Series, Babe Ruth comes to bat. Ruth works his way to a full count before Cleveland barely missed the strike zone. Ruth took his walk, his 4th of the day. Just like that, Bob Meusel, the winning run, walks up to the plate. Meusel swings and misses at the first pitch, as the count goes to 0-1. But that’s the only pitch Meusel will get this at bat.
During Alexander’s wind up, Babe Ruth takes off for second base. Never known for his speed, the All-Time GOAT attempts a steal to move into scoring position. But Cardinals Catcher Bob O’Farrell has a clean catch and release, as he lasers a throw to second baseman Roger Hornsby. Hornsby applies the tag, and the game is over.
The Cardinals won the 1926 World Series, their first time accomplishing this feat. In the only time ever where the World Series ended on a caught stealing, O’Farrell guns down Babe Ruth to win it all.
Note: We unfortunately have no video footage of this one as it was so long ago. If you can find anything send it over and we’ll include it!
Edmonds Robs LaRue
Although this moment doesn’t go as far back as the 1926 World Series, let’s rewind 13 years to July 16th, 2004. It was just another Friday night division-rivalry matchup against the Cincinnati Reds. The Cardinals are up 7-5 going into the bottom of the 9th at The Great American Ball Park. Jason Isringhausen, the Cardinals All-Star closer, entered the game for hopefully a routine 9th inning.
But Jason LaRue and the Reds had different plans. LaRue comes to the plate first, swinging away. He knows a home run would put the Reds just one run back, with 3 outs to go. Isringhausen would have been shook, and the 39,140 Cincinnati fans would go crazy. It would be enough of a momentum shift to start a comeback to steal a win against a bitter-rival.
Isringhausen gets set and deals and LaRue swings for the fences. He makes hard contact on the first pitch, and the ball soars to center field, going back and back. As Great American Ball Park gets on its feet, LaRue proudly rounds the bases as the ball flies over the wall.
But Jim Edmond was in Center Field. Right as the ball goes over the center field wall, the Cardinals talented center-fielder jumps up and snags the ball out of mid air. Edmonds pulls the ball back into play, taking a certain home run away from LaRue, and shocking the Reds’ fans and announcers.
Just like that, the score doesn’t change. The momentum doesn’t swing, and Isringhausen records the next two outs on 6 pitches for a 1-2-3 save. The Cardinals win.
Jim Edmonds was an astounding player, leading the Cardinals from 2000 to 2007. In his eight seasons in St. Louis, Edmonds averaged 5.3 Wins Above Replacement, while winning a World Series, 6 Gold Gloves, 3 All-Star nods, a Silver Slugger Award, and finishing in the Top-5 in MVP voting twice. He was tremendous offensively, averaging over 30 homers and nearly 90 RBIs per year with the Cardinals. Yet, he was also one of the best defensive players in baseball during that stretch.
Home run robberies like this great moment weren’t uncommon for Edmonds, but every time they were unbelievable to watch. Edmonds brought fire and passion to the Cardinals organization. He lit up the Cardinals clubhouse, and many argue he should be in the Hall of Fame. Just how many Center Fielders can make that catch?
So which Cardinals Moment is better? Jim Edmonds doing what he does best, or Bob O’Farrel throwing out Babe Ruth to win the World Series?