A few days ago Jonah Keri set the internet abuzz when he noticed aloud that MLB.com had quietly added to its video archive, unlocking a huge cache of video highlights from the last 30 years or so. He hit a lot of the cool national (and Montreal Expos-focused) high points of the new set, which leaves us to index the classic St. Louis Cardinals video ourselves.
What follows is just the beginning—if you find something cool to add, drop it into the comments. From what I can tell the Cardinals actually don't figure in a lot of the latest historical highlights, but there was already plenty to choose from. (Are you interested in Cardinals history? This might be a good time to let you know I wrote The Ultimate Cardinals Record Book, which does not as yet have any video in it.)
Albert Pujols picks up his first hit. If you find yourself talking with someone who is sure Albert Pujols is older than he says he is, have him take a look at this clip of a very-young-looking Pujols swiping a grounder through the middle for his first base hit. Pujols looks 21, here, to me—and the way he developed as a hitter and as a physical presence seems pretty age-appropriate.
Bud Smith completes his no-hitter. Speaking of people who look exactly as young as they are, here's Bud Smith—the same age as Pujols—tossing him the ball after inducing a ground-out to complete his no-hitter. Pujols replaced Mark McGwire at first base that night after starting in left field.
Mark McGwire hits 60 and 61. It's a shame his milestone-breaking home runs weren't typical McGwire shots; highlight-wise, it's a missed opportunity for some more easily accessible footage of 490-foot home runs.
Lou Brock breaks the stolen-base record.
Bob Gibson strikes out 17 in World Series Game 1.
Ozzie Smith wins Game 5 and Jack Clark wins Game 6 in the 1985 NLCS (complete with Vin Scully call: "Tommy LaSorda gets the answer to his rhetorical question, 'Should I walk that guy and pitch to so-and-so?'")
Albert Pujols breaks Brad Lidge. I'm not sure you can get a baseball stadium any quieter than this.
Jim Edmonds saves the 2004 NLCS, as called by Mike Shannon. While we're at it, here's his famous Angels catch and 40-year-old Jim Edmonds doing Jim Edmonds things for the Brewers. Most of MLB.com's Edmonds highlights from his Cardinals days are still in the vault or locked in older versions of MLB.com's highlights players.
Mike Laga hits a ball out of Busch Stadium, which was significantly harder at the time than it is now.