April 13, 1966 at Sportsman’s Park
Opening Day for 2016 is rapidly approaching with the onset of Spring Training just about a week away. Let’s delve back into time and review the last 50 Opening Days for the Cardinals. The time machine begins on Opening Day 1966.
The Cardinals would entertain the Phillies and a host of new players. One interesting sidenote to this game is that on October 27th, Bill White, Dick Groat and Bob Uecker were traded to the Phillies. This would have been their first game against their old team. Philadelphia would send their ace Chris Short to the mound and the Cardinals turn to lefty Curt Simmons. He has already started three other openers and sported a 2-0 record in them.
The umpiring crew of Shag Crawford, Ed Vargo, Doug Harvey and the debut of Harry Wendlestedt take the field with 8,219 in attendance. Simmons will face a lineup of Phillips, Callison, Groat, Allen, White, Rojas, Taylor, Uecker and Short.
In the first inning he allows and two-out single to Dick Groat but gets Allen to ground out. The Cardinals strike in the first due to a one out triple by Julian Javier and then a bunt by Curt Flood to score the first run of the game.
Things stay that way until the top of the fourth inning when Groat gets his second hit of the game and that is followed by an Allen single and then a White double play to tie the game at one. The Phillies strike again in the sixth inning as Allen doubles , White walks and Rojas single to load the bases. Cardinal manager Johnny Keane removes Simmons for Nelson Briles. Taylor forces Rojas out at second a the other runners move up with Allen scoring. That is all the damage for that inning and now the Phillies have their first lead of the game.
Short is sailing along with one out in the 8th and then allows a single to Brock. He steals second and with two outs, Flood singles him home to knot the game at 2. Chris Short is finally relieved in the 10th by Roger Craig who gets the Phillies out of a jam. The Cardinals bring in Dennis Aust to pitch the 10th inning and he is unscored on until the 12th inning when Allen, White and pinch hitter Hernnstein put some hits together and the Cardinals trail. The Cardinals fan three times in the bottom to lose the opener 3-2 to the Phillies. The game took 3 hours and 40 minutes.
Groat and Allen each had three hits for Philadelphia
DP: 1. Allen-Taylor-White.
2B: Allen (1,off Simmons).
SH: Short (1,off Hoerner).
GDP: White (1,off Simmons); Groat (1,off Jackson).
IBB: White (1,by Aust).
Team LOB: 13.
SB: Allen (1,2nd base off Aust/McCarver).
Javier and Flood each collect two hits for the Cardinals.
Errors E: Johnson (1), Kernek (1).
2B: Simmons (1,off Short); Smith (1,off Short).
3B: Javier (1,off Short).
GDP: Smith (1,off Short).
Team LOB: 9.
SB: Brock (1,2nd base off Short/Dalrymple).
Briles, Jackson and Hoerner pitched four innings in relief allowing no runs for the game.Dennis Aust will get the loss and it is the only game of record in his career.