Cards Vault: Big Mac dents the scoreboard

June 20th, 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.

Aug. 22, 1999: McGwire dents scoreboard
This is nowhere near the most famous homer of Mark McGwire's career. Those came in his epic home run chase of 1998. But this gargantuan blast in August 1999 may stand as his most unheralded ... at least as far as overall displays of power go. Big Mac powered a 1-1 pitch from Mets starter Octavio Dotel halfway up the Shea Stadium scoreboard in right-center. It was the Cards' second home run off Dotel to open the game -- one they lost, 8-7 -- and McGwire's first of two on the day.

"Unbelievable where he hit that ball," Mike Shannon said on the broadcast. "An unbelievable blast. Unbelievable."

May 21, 2010: Penny's last act a big one
Brad Penny's stellar end to the 2009 season with the Giants is what earned him a big league contract with the Cardinals for 2010. He was a promising stopgap in a rotation led by Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright. Ultimately, a reaggravation of an oblique injury ended Penny's Cards tenure after just nine starts. But it was a grand slam hit by Penny in his last outing, breaking a 4-4 stalemate against the Angels, that lives on in his St. Louis legacy.

Sept. 15, 1986: Laga leaves the -- ballpark?
Mike Laga collected just 16 homers over his nine-year big league career, including five across his three seasons with the Cardinals -- unless you count what he did on Sept. 15, 1986. Laga muscled a pitch from Mets starter Ron Darling way out of Busch Stadium II ... it just so happened to hook way foul, over the upper-deck seats along the first-base side and into the St. Louis evening. All the 29,566 in attendance could do was rise and applause at the herculean, peculiar feat. And all Laga could do was laugh and shake his head.

May 2, 2005: Down 6 in the 9th? No big deal
There has been no shortage of high-flying moments between the Cardinals and the Reds over the years, but this one may get swept under the rug more than most. Down 9-3 heading into the ninth inning of this May 2005 game at Great American Ball Park, the Cards rattled off seven runs in the top of the final frame, kick-started by a Albert Pujols bases-loaded RBI fielder's choice and accentuated by a pair of home runs from Jim Edmonds and John Mabry. It was a marquee win in a campaign that saw the Cards fall just short of the Fall Classic.

Aug. 22, 1982: Brummer steals home -- and the game
By the time he appeared in this August 1982 game -- the Cardinals' 123rd of the season -- Glenn Brummer had merely 54 at-bats on his ledger for the season. As a depth catcher with two others ahead of him in the pecking order, his time on the field was sparse. That's what caught the Giants so off guard. In a tie game in the bottom of the 12th, Brummer advanced to third on an Ozzie Smith single. Then, he stole home. He had four steals in his Major League career. Only one directly gave his team a victory.

"I was the winning run, 12th inning," Brummer said at the time. "Why play another inning?"

Oct. 12, 1967: Gibson homers during Game 7 victory
Bob Gibson wasn't content with merely shutting down the "Impossible Dream" Red Sox with a complete-game, two-run victory in Game 7 of the 1967 World Series. He also figured he might as well ensure himself a win at home plate. Gibson, who bopped 24 regular-season homers across his career, took opposing starter Jim Lonborg deep in the fifth inning of the season's biggest contest, staking himself to a 3-0 lead.

Gibson would homer again in Game 4 of the following year's World Series against the Tigers, making he and Baltimore's Dave McNally the only two pitchers with multiple career taters in the Fall Classic.

Aug. 9, 2007: Ankiel homers in big league return
Rick Ankiel's redemption tour as an outfielder began on this night at Busch Stadium, when he homered in his first game back in the Major Leagues in nearly three years. As a pitcher, Ankiel struggled with a well-documented case of the yips and essentially reset his baseball career by switching from the mound to the outfield in 2005. This three-run shot off Padres pitcher Doug Brocail marked Ankiel's first big league homer since April 2000, and he'd go on to bop 25 dingers across the '08 campaign.

April 23, 1988: Coleman steals home
In his prime, Vince Coleman was a threat to steal any base at any time -- home plate included. Check out the humongous lead Coleman took off third base in this April 1988 matchup against the Mets before he booked it for home. Coleman was nearly on the edge of the dirt surrounding the plate by the time Mets pitcher Sid Fernandez released his pitch, and he easily beat the delivery for a straight steal of home.

Oct. 6, 1968: Brock tests Tiger Stadium's dimensions
The headliner of the 1968 World Series was the starting pitching matchup between Bob Gibson (1.12 ERA) and 31-game winner Denny McLain. The Cardinals took the first showdown in Game 1, and then claimed the rematch in Game 4 thanks to Lou Brock. The Hall of Famer led off with a mammoth home run against McLain that went well past the 415-foot marker in right-center field at Tiger Stadium. Brock nearly had an inside-the-park homer on a drive to the same part of the field in the fourth, settling for a triple instead, and then challenged the 440-foot wall in straightaway center for a three-run double in the eighth.

That's well over 1,200 combined feet and four RBIs worth of damage from Brock, who of course added an eighth-inning steal for good measure.

Sept. 4, 2013: Adams homers twice in extras
If the Cardinals needed a clutch hit in the early 2010s, Matt Adams was usually a safe bet to come through. In this road matchup with the Reds, the man they called "Big City" homered not once, but twice in extra innings (in the 14th and 16th frames) to power St. Louis to a marathon 5-4 win. Adams became only the seventh player in Major League history to hit two extra-inning homers in the same game.

April 16, 1978: Forsch twirls Cards' first home no-no in 54 years
Given the Cardinals' storied history, it's hard to believe that St. Louis fans had waited 54 years to see their club toss a no-hitter on home soil before Bob Forsch climbed the mound on this day against the Phillies. Forsch allowed only two baserunners via walk while authoring the Cards' first home no-no since Jesse Haines in 1924, and he would need only five more years before pitching his second no-hitter at Busch Stadium against the Expos in '83.

Forsch's brother, Ken, threw a no-hitter of his own for the Astros in '79, making them the only set of brothers to each pitch a no-no in the Major Leagues.