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Joaquín Andújar [an-DOO-har] (born December 21, 1952 in San Pedro de Macorísmarker, Dominican Republicmarker) is a former Major League Baseball right-handed starting pitcher who played for the Houston Astros (1976-81, 1988), St. Louis Cardinals (1981-85) and Oakland Athletics (1986-87).

Cincinnati Reds and Houston Astros

Andújar was a temperamental and inconsistent pitcher who nevertheless exhibited moments of brilliance. He was signed by the Cincinnati Reds in and was traded to the Astros in October . He finally made his Major League debut with the Astros in and made the National League All-Star team twice in five years ( , ).

St. Louis Cardinals

Traded to the Cardinals on June 9, 1981, Andújar responded by going 6-1 for the rest of the season. The next year, he went 15-10 with a 2.47 ERA for the division-winning Cardinals. He started and won Game 3 of the National League Championship Series and then went 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in the Cardinals' World Series triumph over the Milwaukee Brewers, starting and winning games 3 and 7.

Andújar enjoyed his best season in , leading the league in wins (20), innings pitched (261.1), and shutouts (4), while being named to the NL All-Star team and winning a Gold Glove Award, but the Cardinals missed the postseason. In , Andújar went 21-12 and made his fourth All-Star team as the Cardinals returned to the World Series. The World Series against the Kansas City Royals was a disaster for Andújar. First, he started and lost Game 3. Then in game 7, with the Cardinals behind 11-0, Herzog brought in Andújar to mop up. Umpire Don Denkinger called the first pitch a ball even though it looked to be a perfect strike. Whitey Herzog exploded and was ejected. Andújar was ejected after the next pitch by umpire Don Denkinger, who misread a gesture by Andújar to his catcher. Some believe that Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog purposely sent the volatile Andújar to the mound as payback for Don Denkinger's infamous call in Game 6. Before getting ejected by Denkinger in Game 7, Herzog said to Denkinger, "We wouldn't even be here if you hadn't missed the fucking call last night!" However, Herzog has often stated Andújar was his only pitcher that still had any life left in his arm. Andújar was so furious that after Game 7, he took a baseball bat and demolished a toilet in the Cardinals' clubhouse in Kansas Citymarker's Royals Stadiummarker.

Later career

After the series, the Cardinals dealt Andujar to Oakland. At the start of the season, he was given a ten-game suspension (later reduced to five) for the World Series altercation with Denkinger. Then, he and six other players were suspended for the 1986 season for admitting during the Pittsburgh drug trials that they had abused cocaine. The suspensions were reduced to anti-drug donations and community service. Andújar had a decent year in 1986, but suffered numerous injuries, including an injury sustained during batting practice even though pitchers do not bat in the American League, never recovered his All-Star form, and was out of baseball after . He tried to make a comeback and negotiated a non-guaranteed $1 million contract with the Montreal Expos in , but he failed to make the team.

Andújar started a trucking business in his home country of the Dominican Republic. He has been active in youth baseball programs in his home country and has been generous in hurricane relief.

See also

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