Former big league pitcher Joaquin Andujar passed away today from complications of diabetes. He was 62.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Andujar signed with the Cincinnati Reds in 1969 at the age of 16. In the age of the Big Red Machine, Andujar couldn’t reach the big club. Prior to the 1976 season, Andujar got his break when he was traded to the Houston Astros and would make the club that year. During his tenure in Houston, Andujar was selected to two NL All-Star teams in 1977 and 1979 and was part of first Astros team to make the post-season in 1980.
During the 1981 season, the Astros dealt Andujar to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Tony Scott. In 1982, Andujar would win 15 games as well three post-season games as well as his third NL All-Star Game selection en route to a World Series title. After a subpar 1983 season, Andujar would have back to back 20 win seasons in 1984 and 1985. In ’84, Andujar would lead the NL in wins, innings pitched and shutouts and would also earn a Gold Glove and his final NL All-Star selection.
Andujar was a fiery intense competitor on the mound. However, he is probably best remembered for that fiery intensity working against him. He was ejected along with manager Whitey Herzog in Game 7 of the 1985 World Series by home plate umpire Don Deckinger. The previous night, only three outs away from winning a World Series title, Deckinger botched a call at first base where Kansas City Royals pinch hitter Jorge Orta was clearly out. This was in the days before instant replay. The Royals came back to win the game to force a Game 7. The Cardinals were angry and Andujar exemplified that anger. The Royals would crush the Cardinals 11-0 in Game 7 for their only World Series title.
Andujar was never the same pitcher after this incident. He would be traded to the Oakland A’s prior to the 1986 season. After two injury plagued seasons in Oakland, he would return to the Astros in 1988 in what proved to be his final big league season. Although invited to spring training by the Montreal Expos in 1989, he would not make the team. Andujar finished his career with a record of 127-118 with a 3.58 ERA in 13 big league seasons.
Here is a video of Andujar in happier times when the Cardinals won the 1982 World Series. In this clip, Andujar is interviewed by Bob Costas along with Ozzie Smith, Keith Hernandez, Ken Oberkfell and Bruce Sutter. Andujar was the winning pitcher in that game.
Notice to Readers: The American Spectator and Spectator World are marks used by independent publishing companies that are not affiliated in any way. If you are looking for The Spectator World please click on the following link: https://spectatorworld.com/.