The 1982 World Series matched the St. Louis Cardinals against the Milwaukee Brewers, with the Cardinals winning in seven games.
The Cardinals won the National League East division by three games over the Philadelphia Phillies, then defeated the Atlanta Braves by 3 games to none in the National League Championship Series. The Brewers won the American League East division by one game over the Baltimore Orioles, then defeated the California Angels by 3 games to 2 in the American League Championship Series. The 1982 World Series represented the last time (until the Giants won in 2010 and the Cardinals in 2011 respectively, both defeating the Texas Rangers) that the National League won back-to-back World Series; they had, in fact, won four straight, starting in 1979.
Though the teams had never met, the cities had an existing commercial rivalry in the beer market, as St. Louis is the home of Anheuser Busch while Milwaukee is the home of Miller Brewing. This led to a few minor references to the Series being nicknamed the "Suds Series."
The cities previously had a rivalry in the National League when the Braves called Milwaukee home from 1953-65.
Notably, due to the Brewers' move to the National League, this matchup (Cardinals vs. Brewers) at the World Series will not happen again (unless one of the teams switches leagues). In 2011 the Cardinals and Brewers did meet for the National League Pennant, the latest possible postseason series now possible for the two franchises to play each other in.
This was the first of thirteen consecutive World Series over fourteen years that did not include the New York Yankees (during that time, a player's strike wiped out the remainder of the 1994 regular season games, postseason and World Series and delayed the start of the 1995 season); to date, it's their longest such drought since 1923, the year of their first World Series championship.
The 1982 Milwaukee Brewers hit 216 home runs during the regular season, thus earning them the nickname Harvey's Wallbangers (after manager Harvey Kuenn). In a sharp contrast, the 1982 St. Louis Cardinals only hit 67 home runs, fewer than Gorman Thomas' 39 and Ben Oglivie's 34 combined. The Cardinals had built their reputation and won their division behind solid pitching, exceptional defense, and aggressive base running, manufacturing runs in a style that would come to be called "Whiteyball", named for team manager Whitey Herzog. This style would be the hallmark of the Cardinals through the 1980s and see them into two more World Series (in 1985 and 1987, both of which were lost).
The Brewers and Cardinals each boasted a dominant closer, with veteran Rollie Fingers holding the role for Milwaukee and Bruce Sutter for St. Louis. Fingers did not pitch in this series, which would have been his fourth, due to tearing a muscle in his arm.
The two teams had made a trade in December 1980 that was expected to benefit both teams. Milwaukee traded pitchers Dave LaPoint and Lary Sorenson and outfielders Sixto Lezcano and David Green to the Cardinals, with Pete Vuckovich and Ted Simmons comprising two thirds of St. Louis' return. The Cardinals had already traded for Fingers, who had played for the San Diego Padres, but after acquiring him the team acquired Sutter from the Chicago Cubs and thus added Fingers to the trade with the Brewers.
The Cardinals built their team on speed, clutch hitting and pitching. The Cardinals made additional trades for Willie McGee, Ozzie Smith, George Hendrick, Joaquín Andújar and Bruce Sutter, all designed to craft a well balanced championship level team.
The Brewers combined a productive farm system with additional trades as well to build their heavy hitting ball club. Moose Haas, Robin Yount, Paul Molitor and Gorman Thomas came through the system, while Mike Caldwell, the aforementioned Vukovich, Simmons and Fingers, and Ben Oglivie, Cecil Cooper and Don Money all arrived via the trade route. On June 1, with the team 23–24 and floundering in fifth place, Brewer GM Harry Dalton replaced manager Buck Rogers with Harvey Kuenn. The Brewers responded by winning at a .626 clip the rest of the way, taking first place for good on July 31 and never looking back.
NL St. Louis Cardinals (4) vs. AL Milwaukee Brewers (3)
The Brewers' left-hander Mike Caldwell pitched a complete game shutout, allowing only three hits. The Brewers' offense was led by Paul Molitor, who had a World Series-record five hits and two RBIs. Robin Yount added four hits and two RBIs, while former Cardinal Ted Simmons homered and Jim Gantner had a two-run triple.
This was their last post-season win on the road until October 13, 2011, also against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Brew Crew drew first blood in the second with an RBI double by Charlie Moore. They followed that in the third when Paul Molitor singled, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch by Cardinals starter John Stuper, and scored on a Robin Yount groundout. Ted Simmons stretched the lead to 3–0 with his second solo homer in two games.
The Cardinals scratched back in their half of the third when rookie Willie McGee singled, stole second, and scored on a Tom Herr double. Ken Oberkfell singled in Herr to cut the Brewer lead to 3–2. The Brewers made it 4–2 in the fifth when Yount doubled and Cecil Cooper singled him in.
Darrell Porter tied it in the sixth by doubling in two runs. Then, in the bottom of the eighth, the Brewers felt the effects of not having Rollie Fingers in the bullpen. With one out, Pete Ladd, pressed into service as the closer, walked Lonnie Smith with two on to load the bases and then walked pinch-hitter Steve Braun to force in the go-ahead run. The Cardinals could have made it worse, but McGee lined out to short for out #2, and an apparent base hit by Ozzie Smith struck Braun as he was running to second for the third out.
Bruce Sutter pitched the ninth and got credit for the win.
Longtime American League umpire Bill Haller called his final game behind home plate in this contest. He also was the last umpire to wear a tie on the field, and the last to work home plate in the World Series wearing the "balloon" style outside chest protector.
Joaquín Andújar and Pete Vuckovich, each team's pitching aces, were locked in a scoreless pitching duel until the top half of the fifth, when Willie McGee belted a three-run homer for the Cards.
The Redbirds added two more in the seventh off Vuckovich. Lonnie Smith doubled to right-center and tried to stretch it to a triple. Smith scored when Jim Gantner's relay throw to third went wild. McGee followed with a solo home run later in the inning, his second.
McGee also had a couple of defensive gems, running down a deep Paul Molitor drive in the first and robbing Gorman Thomas of a home run in the ninth.
In the seventh with one out, Andújar had to leave the game when a line drive from Ted Simmons struck his kneecap. The Brewers loaded the bases in that inning, but ace reliever Bruce Sutter got the final out to squelch the threat.
Cecil Cooper accounted for the Brewers' only runs with a two-run homer in the eighth off Sutter, while Ozzie Smith drove in the Cardinals final run with a bases-loaded walk.
Sutter qualified for the save in this game (even though the Cards had a 5–0 lead when he entered the game), since he entered with the bases loaded, meaning the potential tying run was on deck.
Game 4 of the 1982 World Series pitted Dave LaPoint (9–3) against Moose Haas (11–8). Haas was a veteran of six major league campaigns while LaPoint had just completed his first full season.
For six innings, the Cardinals seemed on the verge of taking an insurmountable 3–1 Series lead. Dave LaPoint held the Brewers to three hits in that time span, while his hitters plated him a 5–1 lead.
In the top of the first inning, Ken Oberkfell doubled down the right-field line and George Hendrick hit a high chopper over the middle which handcuffed Yount and bounced into center-field, allowing Oberkfell to score. In the bottom of the first, Oberkfell dropped a bare-handed grounder from Yount. Both teams had trouble at times fielding, and the Brewers errors in Game 3 may have cost them three runs.
Two Cardinal runs came in the second on an unusual two-run sacrifice fly by Tom Herr, with Willie McGee and Ozzie Smith scoring. With Willie McGee on first and attempting to steal, Brewers catcher Ted Simmons took a pitch-out but bobbled the ball allowing McGee to steal second. After a walk to Ozzie Smith, Moose Haas’ wild pitch moved McGee to third and Smith to second. On Herr's deep sacrifice fly, Smith took advantage of center fielder Gorman Thomas slipping and falling on the warning track. Ken Oberkfell followed with a walk, stole second and came home when a Keith Hernandez grounder went through Gantner's legs. The Cardinals scored three times despite only one base hit.
In the Brewers half of the fifth, with none out and runners at first and third, Ozzie Smith made one of his famous Wizard of Oz plays. Gantner hit a ground ball through the middle towards center field. Smith, though off-balance, stabbed at the ball while simultaneously stepping on second base, recovered and fired to first to double up Gantner.
In the seventh, things fell apart. With one out, Ogilvie reached first when first baseman Keith Hernandez's toss to LaPoint was dropped. LaPoint was relieved by Doug Bair after giving up a two-out RBI (unearned) double to Gantner. Before relieved by Jim Kaat, Bair walked Molitor and gave up a bases-loaded, two-run (both unearned) single to Yount. An RBI single by Cecil Cooper and a wild pitch brought in the fourth Cardinals pitcher, Jeff Lahti. Lahti intentionally walked (charged to Kaat) Simmons and gave up another bases-loaded, two-run single to Thomas. Lahti issued another intentional walk to Ogilvie then induced a fly out to left field to end this inning. In this inning, six runs (three earned) crossed the plate for the Brewers on five hits and one error.
Mike Caldwell pitched his second win of the Series and almost went the distance. The Cardinals staged a late rally in the ninth as Keith Hernandez doubled in a run and George Hendrick singled him in with two outs. Bob McClure came in and allowed a single to Darrell Porter, putting the tying run on base. McClure, however, struck out Willie McGee, then retired pinch-hitter Gene Tenace to end the game. Robin Yount set a World Series record by recording his second four-hit game, his first came in Game 1. To this day, Yount remains the only player to have multiple 4-hit games in one World Series.
This was the tenth and final World Series game at Milwaukee County Stadium (1957, 1958 and 1982) as well as the final playoff game at Milwaukee County Stadium.
Game 6 was hampered by two rain delays that totaled over 2 1⁄2 hours.
The Cardinals staved off elimination with a blowout. Darrell Porter and Keith Hernandez both had two-run homers and Hernandez added a two-run single. Dane Iorg had two doubles and a triple as rookie John Stuper went the distance (helped by the rain delays), scattering four hits.
Joaquín Andújar and Pete Vuckovich opposed each other once again. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth when the Cardinals scored first on a Lonnie Smith RBI single. Ben Oglivie tied it for the Brew Crew in the fifth with a solo homer, and they took a 3–1 lead in the sixth when Jim Gantner scored on an error and Cecil Cooper hit a sacrifice fly.
But, in the bottom of the sixth, Vuckovich began to run into trouble. With one out, Ozzie Smith singled and Lonnie Smith doubled him to third. Brewers manager Harvey Kuenn then pulled Vuckovich in favor of Bob McClure, who intentionally walked pinch-hitter Gene Tenace to load the bases. Keith Hernandez then tied the game with a two-run single. George Hendrick then gave the Cardinals the lead with an RBI single.
The Cardinals punctuated the scoring with two runs in the eighth on RBI singles by Series MVP Darrell Porter and Steve Braun. Andújar pitched seven strong innings and Bruce Sutter pitched the eighth and ninth for his second save.
1982 World Series (4–3): St. Louis Cardinals (N.L.) over Milwaukee Brewers (A.L.)
Paul Molitor set a World Series record with his fifth hit, in the ninth inning of Game 1. Robin Yount would set another record in the seventh inning of Game 5 by becoming the first player in Series history to have two four-hit games.
Cardinals catcher Darrell Porter was given the Series MVP award. Brewers pitcher Mike Caldwell, who won two games, would have been a strong candidate, as well as Molitor. Paul Molitor would eventually win the Series MVP Award 11 years later as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. As it was, the winning team won the MVP. The only player on the losing team to win the MVP was Bobby Richardson of the 1960 New York Yankees.
Both participants are currently in the NL Central, due to the transfer of the Brewers from the American League to the National League in 1998. This raises the possibility of the Brewers eventually representing two different leagues in World Series competition. That has happened twice before, taking the 19th Century contests into account: The Brooklyn Dodgers of 1889 and 1890, and the Cardinals, who won the 1886 Series when they were in the American Association. This also makes this one of two World Series in the modern era (1903–present) that it is not possible to have a rematch, the other being the 2005 World Series between the Chicago White Sox and the Houston Astros, due to the Astros moving to the American League for 2013.
The Brewers and Cardinals would later meet in the 2011 National League Championship Series, with the Cardinals winning that series four games to two. As in 1982, the Cardinals won the 2011 World Series in seven games, this time against the Texas Rangers. As of 2015, the Cardinals' 11 championships are the most won by any National League team, and second only to the New York Yankees, who have 27.
This was the final World Series telecast for longtime NBC analyst Tony Kubek, and the only one for veteran announcer Dick Enberg. Enberg hosted the pregame shows and alternated play-by-play duties (Enberg called the middle innings) with Joe Garagiola, who was himself working his last Series in that role before moving to the color commentator position alongside Vin Scully (who called the 1982 World Series alongside Sparky Anderson for CBS Radio) the following season. Conversely, this was NBC's first Series telecast to feature Bob Costas (who served as a field reporter and hosted the World Series Trophy presentation following Game 7). Costas and Kubek would subsequently team up as the network's secondary MLB announcing team from 1983 to 1989. Tom Seaver also provided periodic color commentary for NBC throughout the series, broadcasting from field level rather than in the booth.