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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

84 year-old Bob Hoerner Reminisces about Brother, Cardinal Baseball Pitcher Joe Hoerner who died in Hermann Missouri


Sunday, December 26, 2010
Baseball in his blood
The game continues to be a big part of 
Bob Hoerner's life.
 Emily Hoerner is a sophomore journalism student at the University of Iowa and a former Dubuque Hempstead diver. Bob Hoerner is her great uncle.

After seven years in the minor leagues, Joe reached the big leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals. He played in both the 1967 and '68 World Series as a relief pitcher.

Bob Hoerner attended many of his brother's major league games in St. Louis and had the opportunity to meet a lot of professional players.

"I'd go to the ballpark with Joe before the games while everyone was warming up," Hoerner said. "One time I met Roger Maris. Never met a nicer guy."

Maris was the first baseball player to surpass Babe Ruth's single season home run record.

Hoerner also met Mickey Mantle, Maris's biggest opponent for the home run record, in 1949 spring training in Missouri. It was Mantle's first season in the minor leagues.

Hoerner also went pheasant hunting every year with a group of Cardinals, who traveled to Dubuque with his brother (Joe). He ended up meeting almost the entire team.

While his brother was playing in the majors, a lot of change started happening. Hoerner recalled when ball players started making good money by being traded.

He still admirers his younger brother's career and the way he "kept his head on straight."

Joe died in 1996 in a farming accident in Hermann, Mo.

In Memory of Joe Hoerner
Joe Hoerner - Baseball Pitcher, 60
The New York Times

October 7, 1996

(c) Houston Astros
ST. LOUIS, Oct. 6 (AP) - Joe Hoerner, who was a relief pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals' championship teams of the 1960's, died Friday in a farming accident at a friend's farm in Herrmann, Mo. He was 60. Mr. Hoerner was planting a field and had apparently climbed off a tractor to move an object, said his daughter, Jolene Vollmer. He was killed when the tractor ran him over.
Mr. Hoerner was born and raised on a 250-acre farm near Dubuque, Iowa.
He was signed by the Chicago White Sox in 1957 but almost left baseball a year later when he had a heart attack while pitching for Davenport. Doctors found no permanent damage to his heart but advised him to change his delivery to sidearm, believing that his overhand motion hampered his circulation.
He was 5-1 with 13 saves and a 1.54 earned run average in 1966. In 1967, when the Cardinals won the World Series over the Boston Red Sox, he was 4-4 with 15 saves. The next season, when the Cardinals lost in the World Series to the Detroit Tigers, he was the best left-handed reliever in the league with a 1.47 e.r.a. and an 8-2 record with 17 saves.
Mr. Hoerner is survived by his father, Walter; his wife, Darlene; a son, Ronald; two daughters, Sharon McDaniel, and Ms. Vollmer, and three grandchildren.

Joe Hoerner

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

He was drafted by the Cardinals from the Houston Astros in the 1965 rule V draft, and this led to him being part of two pennant-winning teams, including the 1967 World Series champions. In game 3 of the 1968 World Series he became the first player in MLB history to get a hit in a World Series without having collected a hit in the regular season. In four seasons with St. Louis (1966-1969) Hoerner pitched in 206 games with a 19-10 record and 60 saves. He ranked in the National League TOP TEN all four seasons for saves, and three times for games finished. On July 22, 1966 at Wrigley Field he hit his only major league home run, a 3-run shot, against Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins. During this time he also tied a National League record for relievers with 6 consecutive strikeouts vs. the Mets on June 1, 1968 [1] He also appeared in five World Series games for the Cards, with a 0-1 record and one save.

Hoerner was traded to Philadelphia as part of the infamous Curt Flood deal [2] on October 7, 1969. He made the National League All-Star team in 1970, and his .643 winning percentage ranked sixth in the league. During 1971 that year he gave up Willie Mays's major league-leading 22nd and last career extra-inning home run at Candlestick Park. In 1971, at age 34, he finished the year with a 1.97 ERA, and his effectiveness declined after that season. However, he later gave up Willie McCovey's N.L. record-breaking 17th grand slam in 1977 at Riverfront Stadium. His final major league appearance was on August 5, 1977. At the age of 40, he was the second-oldest player to appear in a National League game that season.
For his career he finished with a lifetime record of 39-34, 99 saves, 268 games finished, and an earned run average of 2.99. He struck out 412 and walked 181 In 562.2 innings pitched. Hoerner held All-Stars Bobby Bonds, Johnny Callison, Tommy Harper, Ed Kranepool, Joe Pepitone, and Bill White to a .070 collective batting average (5-for-71). He also held Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Reggie Jackson, Willie Mays, Bill Mazeroski, Tony Perez, Willie Stargell, and Carl Yastrzemski to a .101 collective batting average (9-for-89)

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