Cards Vault: Clark crushes Dodgers' NLCS dreams

March 9th, 2022 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.

Oct. 16, 1985: Jack Clark homers to beat Dodgers in NLCS
Just two days after Ozzie Smith took Tom Niedenfuer deep for a game-winning home run, Jack Clark burned the Los Angeles Dodgers closer again with another smash in Game 6 of the 1985 NLCS. Clark’s three-run homer in the top of the ninth gave the Cardinals a 7-5 victory and a 4-2 NLCS series win. Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda contemplated walking Clark to load the bases to pitch to Andy Van Slyke instead, but opted to have Niedenfuer face Clark. The slugger jerked a first-pitch fastball deep into the stands in left field, causing outfielder Pedro Guerrero to throw his glove to the grass in frustration. As for Clark, he knew the ball was gone immediately, and after taking a wide route to first base he happily trotted around the bases. “That’s the slowest trip Jack Clark has ever made and, I mean, he takes a lot of time,” commentator Joe Garagiola said.

July 12, 1994: Ozzie lays out, dazzles at '94 ASG
How many 39-year-olds do you know that still look this spry? Spring chicken Ozzie Smith, playing in the 13th of his 15 total All-Star Games, laid out with full extension to smother Chuck Knoblauch's hot shot deep in the hole and then fired to Astros star Craig Biggio at second base for the forceout.

"A definitive moment from the definitive shortstop of his generation -- and maybe in the history of the game," said NBC's Bob Costas in the broadcast booth of Smith, whose dazzling play earned a standing ovation from the crowd at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium.

Sept. 26, 1983: Forsch stands alone with second no-no
Nine no-hitters have been thrown in Cardinals history. The last came in 2001, thanks to rookie Bud Smith. Hall of Famers Jesse Haines and Bob Gibson each threw one. Steve Carlton, Chris Carpenter, Dizzy Dean, Walter Johnson and more greats never threw one as a Redbird. But only one pitcher has thrown two, and that honor belongs to club Hall of Famer Bob Forsch, who no-hit the Expos at age 33 in 1983 after throwing his first no-hitter five years prior. Only an error tabbed to Ken Oberkfell in the second inning stood between Forsch and perhaps the only perfect game in Cards history. No matter, Forsch's dazzling evening in 1983 still resembles the last no-hitter thrown in St. Louis (either by the Cardinals or against). And with all the legends that have donned the birds on the bat, Forsch stands alone with two in his career.

Oct. 16, 1982: Herr's sac fly scores 2 ... what?
No, scoring two runs on a sacrifice fly is not the rarest of occurrences; it happened at least twice during the 2021 season (once by the Cardinals) and at least a handful of times during the past 20 years. But few have come at a more opportune time than when Tom Herr drove in two during Game 4 of the 1982 World Series. In the second inning against the Brewers, with the Cardinals already up 1-0, Herr lifted a fly ball to deep center, where it was tracked down by Gorman Thomas. Willie McGee scored easily from third, and Ozzie Smith raced around to score from second when Thomas slipped on the warning track after making the catch. The Cards would go on to lose that game, 7-5, thanks to the seventh-inning heroics of Gorman, but they famously won the Series in seven games. Herr's quirky sac fly was just one highlight along the way.

July 13, 1971: Torre's All-Star defensive gem
Before he moved over to first base, allowing Ken Reitz to move to the hot corner, Joe Torre was an All-Star at third for St. Louis. Though he won his only Gold Glove Award before he joined the Cardinals, Torre provided some highlight-reel moments at third as a Redbird. Perhaps none was more impressive than the snag he made in the 1971 All-Star Game at Tiger Stadium. With Dock Ellis on the mound, Yanks center fielder Bobby Murcer lofted a ball toward the first-base side. Torre, racing over from his spot across the diamond, caught the ball almost at the base. The National League would ultimately lose, 6-4, with Torre going 0-for-3, but the catch was a highlight in a year when he provided many en route to winning the NL MVP Award.

Sept. 11, 1987: Vince swipes 110 bases, then 107, then 109
There's no telling the records or accolades Vince Coleman could have achieved had his career apex been prolonged. A dynamic baserunner with an above-average ability to get on base, Coleman launched his soaring trajectory in 1985, swiping 110 bases and netting National League Rookie of the Year honors. He finished his sophomore campaign with 107 stolen bases, setting himself up for a first in AL/NL history: three consecutive 100-steal seasons to open a career. He took care of that in his 131st appearance of the 1987 season, stealing a pair of bases against the Mets in New York -- one in the second inning and another in the seventh -- to reach the century mark yet again. Coleman would never reach 100 steals again, but he lays claim to the most swipes over the first three years of an MLB career at 326.

Sept. 22, 1974: A classic Cubs-Cards fracas
What better way would there be to spend a fall day than to watch the Cardinals and Cubs scrap one out in St. Louis? That's what fans at this 1974 game got to enjoy. Cards pitcher Al Hrabosky, known for his on-mound demeanor, appeared to take too much time to deliver a pitch in relief of Bob Gibson in the ninth inning with the score tied at 5. At least, that's what Cubs rookie Bill Madlock felt. To protest, Madlock vacated the batter's box to try to throw off Hrabosky's rhythm. Home-plate umpire Shag Crawford was having none of it, Cubs manager Jim Marshall was incensed and play resumed ... with three members of the Cubs standing in the batter's box letting their opinions be heard. Ted Simmons caught strike one amid the craziness, and then the fireworks really broke out as the benches cleared. St. Louis won via a walk-off single from Simmons in the next half-inning. What a rivalry.

July 12, 1955: All-Star legend's walk-off homer
With 24 All-Star nods -- one shy of the all-time record owned by Hank Aaron -- Stan Musial was bound to put forth some memorable moments. He hit six homers in the Midsummer Classic, batted in 10 runs, slashed a gaudy .317/.394/.635 and continued his influence at the event long after his playing days ceased. But one hit of his was especially memorable. In the 1955 iteration of the game, Musial came up to bat to lead off the bottom of the 12th inning. A half-inning prior, the American League, led off by Hall of Famer Al Kaline, went down in order. (And before that, Cards great Red Schoendienst recorded the NL's final out of the 11th inning.) But Musial ensured the game didn't hit the 13th. He sent Red Sox righty Frank Sullivan's first pitch into the right-field seats at brand-new Milwaukee County Stadium, completing the comeback win and receiving a vintage storming from his teammates at home plate.

Aug. 8, 1997: Big Mac's first Cards homer
By his own standards, it took Mark McGwire perhaps a little bit of extra time to get acquainted with his new digs. The slugger, acquired by the Cardinals from the A's at the 1997 Trade Deadline, played seven games as a Redbird before he finally connected for a home run in his eighth. It proved to be worth the wait. On an 0-1 pitch from Phillies right-hander Mark Leiter (brother of Al), McGwire lasered a ball off the left-field foul pole at Busch Stadium II. In the micro, it was a back-to-back blast with fan favorite Ray Lankford. In the macro, it was the first seat-raising moment McGwire provided St. Louis a year before doing the same 70 times in a home run chase for the ages.

Aug. 6, 1995: It's a bunt? No! It's a walk-off
There wasn't a whole lot to write home about the 1995 Cardinals. Off the shortened season, the club limped to a 62-81 campaign that saw Joe Torre's days as a manager in St. Louis end. (The next year, famously, Tony La Russa would take over.) But John Mabry provided one sight for sore eyes. On a menial August afternoon, with a tilt against the rival Cubs lingering into the 13th inning, the rookie first baseman squared up to bunt on an 0-1 pitch from Chris Nabholz. Then, he pulled the bat back and laced the game-winning hit up the middle from a crouched position. Ramon Caraballo scored from second, and the tough '95 campaign had a moment to remember.