Joaquin Andujar was a star baseball pitcher for the St Louis Cardinals in the 1980s whose brilliance on the mound was matched by sometimes tempestuous behaviour, which famously saw him ejected from a World Series game.
His Major League career lasted from 1976 to 1988, his finest period being 1981-85, when he helped lead the Cardinals to the World Series, in 1982 and 1985. “Everybody knew he didn’t operate with a full deck most of the time,” said his Cardinals manager, Whitey Herzog, “but when you had Joaquin on your ballclub, you were sitting on a firecracker every day.”
Andujar liked to describe himself as “one tough Dominican” and was known for his fiery personality and his flamboyant, antagonistic style. After striking out an opposing hitter, he would sometimes mime shooting a gun at the dispatched batter.
He helped the Cardinals win one World Series, in 1982 against the Milwaukee Brewers. Then in the seventh and deciding game of the 1985 World Series, against Kansas City Royals, Andujar was pitching but disagreed with a call by the umpire, Don Denkinger. He charged Denkinger and had to be restrained by three team-mates. Ejected, he took a baseball bat and demolished a toilet in the visitor’s bathroom. He was heavily fined and suspended for the first 10 games of the 1986 season.
By then, he had been traded to the Oakland Athletics. He finished his career in 1988 with the Houston Astros, and died of complications from diabetes.
Joaquin Andujar, baseball player: born San Pedro de Macrois, Dominican Republic 21 December 1952; died San Pedro de Macrois 8 September 2015.
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