- CF, OF, RF, LF, 2B, 3B, SS, 1B
- October 7, 1943
- 5' 10"
- 150 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 4-14-1963 with SFN
Perhaps no player in baseball history had as many odd excuses for not playing than Jose Cardenal, a colorful and popular outfielder who played for nine teams in an 18-year career that ended in 1980. Cardenal once claimed "I woke up and my eye was swollen shut. My eyelashes were stuck together. I couldn't see, so I couldn't play." Another time, Cubs' manager Jim Marshall kept Cardenal out of the lineup during spring training even though he had a hard time believing Jose's excuse that loud crickets had kept the outfielder up the night before.
"I tried to have fun when I played, and I think the fans remember that."
Once, while playing in right field for the Cubs, Cardenal tossed a foul ball toward the bleachers, but the ball ended up entangled in the ivy instead. Since the umpires failed to notice the ball, Cardenal let it go and forgot about it. A few weeks later, a ball was slugged over Cardenal's head and into the wall. The force of the hit jarred the lost baseball free, and two baseballs popped out of the ivy, the one hit hard over Jose's head, and the one he had tossed there weeks earlier. "I just raised my hands," Cardenal said, "wanting to know what to do." The hit was ruled a ground-rule double and the runner on first was not allowed to score. The weird play proved pivotal, as the Cubs held on for a 2-1 victory.
- Jose Cardenal