Joaquin Andujar, a star pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1980s, whose brilliance on the mound was matched by sometimes tempestuous behavior, which got him ejected from a World Series game, died Sept. 8 in his home town of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. He was 62.
The Cardinals announced his death. The cause was complications from diabetes.
Mr. Andujar, a 6-foot-tall right-hander, made four All-Star teams during a 13-year major-league career that lasted from 1976 to 1988. He enjoyed his finest years from 1981 to 1985, when he pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals and helped lead the team to the World Series in 1982 and 1985.
“Everybody knew he didn’t operate with a full deck most of the time,” his manager for the Cardinals, Hall of Famer Whitey Herzog, told the Associated Press, “but when you had Joaquin on your ballclub, you were sitting on a firecracker every day.”
Mr. Andujar dubbed himself “One Tough Dominican” and was known for his fiery personality and for his flamboyant, sometimes antagonistic style of play. After striking out an opposing hitter, he would sometimes mime shooting a gun at the dispatched batter. He once said his favorite word in English was “youneverknow.”
Mr. Andujar led the National League with 20 victories and four shutouts in 1984, completing 12 games, then won 21 games the following year with 10 complete games. In 1982, when had a record of 15-10 with a stellar 2.47 earned run average, he anchored the Cardinals pitching staff as St. Louis won the National League’s Eastern Division title (92-70).
He won one game in the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, then was the winning pitcher in two World Series games against the Milwaukee Brewers.
During his start in Game 3, Mr. Andujar was carried off the field after being struck in the leg by a line drive and collapsing on the pitcher’s mound.
“I thought he was dead,” Herzog told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “But as we were taking him off the field, he kept telling us, ‘I’m one tough Dominican. I’ll be ready [for Game 7].’ ”
True to his word, Mr. Andujar was back on the mound five days later, starting the final game of the World Series. He pitched seven solid innings, outdueling Milwaukee’s Cy Young Award-winning Pete Vuckovich (18-6 during the regular season), to secure a 6-3 victory for the Cardinals before more than 53,000 fans at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
In 1985, Mr. Andujar began the season with a 12-1 record and was one of the top three starting pitchers for a Cardinals team than won 101 games. He finished with a record of 21-12 and a 3.40 ERA but faltered in the latter stages of the season.
During the World Series against the cross-state rival Kansas City Royals, Mr. Andujar started and lost the fourth game. In Game 6, with the Cardinals leading, 1-0 in the ninth inning, umpire Don Denkinger called the Royals’ Jorge Orta safe at first when he was clearly out. It remains perhaps the most famous blown call in baseball history.
Because incorrect calls could not be overturned by video replay in those days, the game continued. The Royals rallied to win, 2-1, to tie the series at three games.
In the deciding game, the Royals jumped out to a 9-0 lead when Mr. Andujar was summoned from the bullpen in the sixth inning. He gave up a run-scoring hit to the first batter he faced. His next two pitches were inside to the next hitter, but he exploded at Denkinger, who was umpiring behind the plate.
Mr. Andujar charged the umpire and had to be restrained by three teammates. He was ejected from the game and suspended for the first 10 games of the 1986 season.
By then, Mr. Andujar had been traded to the Oakland Athletics. He finished his career in 1988 with the Houston Astros, the team with which he made his major-league debut. He had a career record of 127-118 with a 3.58 ERA.
Joaquin Andujar was born Dec. 21, 1952, in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. He was 16 when he signed his first professional contract with the Cincinnati Reds.
After his baseball career, Mr. Andujar had a trucking business in the Dominican Republic. Information about survivors could not be confirmed.
As a batter, the switch-hitting Mr. Andujar was equally helpless from both sides of the plate. But once, during a 1984 game in St. Louis against the Braves, he came to the plate with the bases loaded.
Batting left-handed, Mr. Andujar gestured toward the outfield wall, as if he were Babe Ruth calling his shot. He then slugged a home run — one of only five he hit during his career.
Herzog pronounced it “a miracle.”