Monday, February 15, 2010

Name: Jose Cardenal                                                
Nickname: "The Cardinal" or "Junior"                                           
Position: OF
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Number(s): 27                                                         

Years Played As an Angel: 1965 to 1967
Angels’ Stats: .257 avg., 33 HRs, 132 RBIs, 71 SBs
Career Stats: .275 avg., 138 HRs, 775 RBIs, 329 SBs

How He Was Acquired: Cardenal was traded by the San Francisco Giants to the Angels in 1964. 

Why You Should Know Him: Cardenal, born in Cuba played for 9 different MLB teams in his 18 year career. Jose was a line drive hitter with excellent speed, collecting more than 20 SBs in ten different seasons. Jose is the cousin of Bert Campaneris. He retired in 1980.

Memorable Moments/Games:  Perhaps the biggest contribution Cardenal made with MLB is his bat the C271.  Cardenal designed his bat with a not too narrow a handle and a “perfect barrel”.  The Louisville Slugger bat has consistently been used by more players than any in the past three decades. Ken Griffey, Jr. and Alex Rodriguez are two current players using his bat.

Anecdotes and Quotes: After coaching for several teams, he was released as a senior adviser to the Nationals. He announced that he wants to assist the people affected by Hurricane Katrina and wanted to auction off his World Series ring he obtained while being the Yankees first base coach in 1998 when the Yankees beat the Padres. 

Cardenal wasn't the hero on April 25, 1976 at Dodger Stadium when two men began to run onto the field to set on fire the American Flag after quickly circumventing Cubs left fielder Jose Cardenal, but Jose was still a part of Baseball history. As the stories goes, Rick Monday charged the protesters after realizing that they were trying to burn the American Flag. The the wind blew out the first match struck by one of the protesters after they doused the flag with lighter fluid, but Monday in full stride after running toward the two protesters snatched the flag off the ground in full stride that day, saving the flag from being set on fire. The flag Monday rescued is proudly displayed in the den of his San Diego home.

Where is He Now?: Adviser to the Washington Nationals general manager.

Contributed by Bruce Nye - Columnist
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