Tuesday marked a special anniversary in St. Louis Cardinals history.
Fast forward 19 years and Wainwright has become a staple in St. Louis, having won two World Series rings and earned three All-Star nods.
2023 will be the veteran right-hander’s final season in Major League Baseball, but Cardinals fans have plenty of fond memories of Wainwright from years past.
On Twitter, one fan posted a highlight of Wainwright’s first career home run, which came on May 24, 2006 against the San Francisco Giants.
— Cardinals Dude (@Turn2Dude) December 14, 2022
Waino Takes His Hacks
Of course, you know the rest.
Wainwright took over the closer’s role late in the season after Jason Isringhausen went down with a hip injury and ran with it, closing out the NLDS, NLCS, and World Series for St. Louis.
But in addition to his pitching, Wainwright wasn’t too shabby of a hitter.
The 41-year-old hit for a .193 career average and popped 10 home runs, driving in 75 runs.
Obviously, with the universal designated hitter, pitchers no longer hit.
But Wainwright was not a bad hitter for a pitcher.
The home run he hit that day in San Francisco was a no-doubter.
There are many reasons Cardinals fans love and appreciate Wainwright so much, but those outside of St. Louis never got much of a chance to see him take his hacks at the plate.
Of course, he is no Shohei Ohtani, but the veteran ace is a man of many talents.