Joaquin Andujar: 1952-2015

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Some sad news: ESPN Deportes reports that former MLB starter Joaquin Andujar has died in his hometown of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. He was 62. He had been suffering from diabetes for many years.

Andujar pitched in the big leagues from 1976 through 1988, coming up with the Astros but reaching his greatest fame with the St. Louis Cardinals. He helped lead the Cardinals to the 1982 World Series title, winning 15 games that season and allowing only two earned runs in thirteen and a third innings during the Fall Classic that year.

He may be best known, however, for his 1985 World Series appearance which did not go so well. In Game 7, Andujar was used in mopup relief. After giving up an RBI single, he began to argue with home plate umpire Don Denkinger — who made his infamous call at first base in Game 6, already raising the ire of the Cardinals — about balls and strikes. Whitey Herzog was ejected and Andujar threw one more pitch. It was called a ball. Andujar charged Denkinger and had to be restrained by three of his teammates. After his ejection he did serious damage to the clubhouse. He was suspended for 10 games the following season, when he was a member of the Oakland A’s. He’d pitch only three more seasons in total.

But the somewhat ugly end to his time in St. Louis does not overshadow a big league career that featured 127 wins, some seriously nice moments and an excellent 1982 season and his role in a World Series championship.