When you think of Vince Coleman, you likely think of stolen bases. Or maybe the word “tarp” comes to mind.
Regardless, home runs are certainly not something you associate with the man who as a rookie for the Cardinals in 1985 stole more than twice as many bases as the entire 2013 team total (110 vs. 45).
Yet Coleman did occasionally hit home runs. Very occasionally, anyway — he had 15 during his six years as a Redbird. But his first was during his Rookie of the Year season, on May 21, 1985.
It was his only homer that year (and his next wouldn’t come until Aug. 26, 1987).
The Cardinals were hosting the Braves at Busch Stadium on May 21. They were up 2-1 in the bottom of the third inning when Vince stepped to the plate with one out. He hit the first pitch from Len Barker deep to right field and … watch for yourself from this TBS broadcast.
Yes, of course his first career homer would be an inside-the-parker. And a stand-up one at that.
It’s amazing to see again how absolutely effortless it was for him to round the bases — plus he was past second base before Claudell Washington even fielded the ball. Vince had a curtain call too, which you can see in the rest of the inning following the home run. There are at-bats by Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee (an Astroturf-bounce single!) and a skinny Jack Clark.
Plus, those 1980s uniforms! Tight pants! Stirrups! The hair! The mustaches! And even the ’80s on-screen graphics!
The Cardinals won 6-3 that night, bringing their record to 18-19. They went above .500 on May 26, when they were 21-20, and took off after that as they finished the season 101-61 and won the National League pennant.
(And, really, the World Series …)
Christine Coleman is the lead writer for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates and like us on Facebook if you don’t already.
In fact, following that Braves/Cardinals game, on that Saturday’s Game of the Week (which I also have), Bob Costas and Tony Kubek went round and round at how fast Coleman made it to home, and whether he’d made it to second before Claudell Washington fielded the ball. So it was the huge news of the week. If we would have had Deadspin and Twitter back then, it would have exploded.