Cards Vault: Gant says 'Aloha!', hits ITPHR

May 13th, 2021

MLB.com is digging back into its massive video vault to uncover classic plays that you have loved, forgotten about or, perhaps, are discovering for the very first time. Watch these moments and many, many more on the MLB Vault YouTube page.

April 20, 1997: Gant's Hawaiian inside-the-park HR
Hawaii is associated with rest and relaxation, but Ron Gant got on his horse and hustled his way to the highlight of MLB's first (and still only) regular-season series played on the island state. In Game 3 of the "The Paradise Series" between the Cardinals and Padres, Gant drove a pitch by San Diego's Andy Ashby to the Aloha Stadium wall and past the outstretched arm of Rickey Henderson. After Henderson whiffed and crashed into the wall, Gant motored around for one of his three career inside-the-park home runs.

Oct. 15, 1982: McGee's star-making 1982 World Series Game 3
A home run robbery just looks better in powder blue, but in all fairness Willie McGee didn't need much help in making this catch look pretty. With closer Bruce Sutter in to protect a 6-2 lead in the ninth inning of Game 3 of the 1982 World Series, McGee tracked a Gorman Thomas drive and reached up to snag it just before it nearly scored a pair of runs for the Brewers. This catch capped a huge night for the rookie McGee, who also homered twice, drove in four runs and made a separate homer robbery of Paul Molitor back in the first inning.

Oct. 15, 1964: McCarver pulls off double steal in Game 7
Cardinals catching legend Tim McCarver was known for his hitting and defense, but his legs turned in a big play in St. Louis' Game 7 victory over the Yankees in the 1964 World Series. With the Redbirds having just broken a scoreless tie in the fourth inning, Mike Shannon broke for second against Yankees pitcher Mel Stottlemyre. As Shannon slid into second safely, McCarver broke home for a double steal and just barely beat the throw to catcher Elston Howard.

McCarver's bold baserunning gave his ace Bob Gibson some breathing room in a tight 7-5 win for St. Louis.

Sept. 10, 2001: Big Mac's Milwaukee monster shot
A string of injuries had brought Mark McGwire close to the finish line of his career in September 2001, but he could still take a crowd's breath away from time to time with one mighty swing. Home run No. 578 of Big Mac's final total of 583 came at Milwaukee's American Family Field (then Miller Park), and it still ranks among the farthest hit off the center-field scoreboard. In fact, McGwire very nearly hit his the image of his own face at the top of that scoreboard.

Aug. 28, 2012: Yadi gets best of huge collision at home
Looking for an example of Yadier Molina's toughness? How about this play from a fierce late-summer battle between the Cardinals and Pirates, when Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison motored around third and didn't break stride before barreling into Molina, just as Carlos Beltrán's throw reached home plate.

The throw was right on the money, but it also led Molina straight into a huge, old-style collision with Harrison. Molina was visibly shaken up, but he held onto the ball and singled in his next plate appearance before departing in the third inning.

Aug. 29, 1992: Ozzie hops the runner, turns two
You know Ozzie Smith had hops (ahem, the backflips), but in case you had any doubt, check this out. With Dodgers infielder Lenny Harris bearing down on him, Smith simply chooses to leap over him and turns an aerial double play with incredible ease. Keep in mind that Smith was 37 years old during this matchup in 1992, a year that saw him capture his 13th and final Gold Glove Award -- still the highest total of any shortstop.

May 24, 2006: Waino homers off first MLB pitch
Adam Wainwright has proven himself to be a capable hitter (at least, in relation to most pitchers), with a total of 10 career homers that ranks second behind Madison Bumgarner among active hurlers. Waino showed off his hitting acumen immediately, and we mean immediately, belting the very first pitch of his very first plate appearance over the left-field fence in San Francisco.

Wainwright is actually not the only pitcher who's homered off the first Major League pitch he saw; Tommy Milone is the most recent moundsman to pull off the feat back in 2011.

Oct. 11, 2013: Beltrán's massive NLCS Game 1
Carlos Beltrán simply took over the Cardinals' marathon victory over the Dodgers in Game 1 of the 2013 National League Championship Series, tying the game with a double in the third, saving a run with an assist home in the 10th inning and then hitting the walk-off single in the bottom of the 13th. Beltrán's game-winning knock came at 12:25 a.m. in St. Louis, capping one of the most complete single-game postseason performances in recent memory.