Born: August 11, 1986 at Columbus, Georgia
Selected in the first round of the 2005 draft.
Colby Rasmus, the talented lefty that has been ranked as the Cardinals No. 1 Prospect from 2007-09, gets his own bobblehead Monday in the Redbirds Labor Day regular season finale.
It wasn’t until his third full-season of professional baseball that Rasmus made his debut in Memphis. He went 3-for-5 in the season opener against the RedHawks with a run and a double, but he didn’t really get hot until summer. In June, the then-21-year-old hit for .337 (34×101) with 12 extra-base hits and 15 RBI.
In 2009, the four-year pro made his major league debut for the Cards, appearing on their Opening Day Roster. Rasmus has been in St. Louis since April, where he is hitting .257 (101×393) through 123 games.
Though he only played 43 games in Memphis, Rasmus rounds out the 2009 All AutoZone Park Bobblehead series on Monday. The first 1500 fans to walk through the gates, which open at noon, will receive a bobblehead.
Born: June 22, 1982 at Port Huron, MI
Selected in the 19th round of the 2003 draft.
In 2004, Motte made his Triple-A debut as a catcher and hit .200 (1×5) in three games for the ‘Birds. In the following seasons, Motte spent time working on his plate discipline at the Single-A and Double-A levels and eventually shifted his focus to pitching in the summer of 2006.
The right-handed reliever made his return to Memphis in 2008 to establish a 4-3-9 record with a 3.24 ERA over 63 appearances. He led all PCL relief pitchers in strikeouts per nine innings, averaging 14.85.
He finished the ’08 season by making his major league debut in St. Louis. The then 26-year-old helped the Cardinals close-out their season by twirling 16 strikeouts over 11 innings for a 0.82 ERA.
*Thanks again to Allison Rhoades for digging up that Motte pic in the middle.
As an outfielder, Rick Ankiel appeared in 102 games for Memphis and hit .267 (104×389) with 32 homers and 89 RBI. In 2007, Ankiel was named to the PCL All-Star game and finished the season with an organization-leading 43 home runs. But Ankiel’s history with the team wasn’t always as a left-handed slugger, but instead the Florida-native spent many nights on the hill as a starting pitcher.
Ankiel was originally drafted in 1997 with the intent of becoming one of St. Louis’ long-time starters. In 1999, the southpaw earned Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors and was ranked as St. Louis’ and MLB’s No. 1 prospect entering the 2000 season.
Year 2000 marked the then 20-year-old’s rookie season, where he went 11-7 with a 3.50 ERA in 30 starts and finished second in National League Rookie of the Year balloting. The following season, however, began Ankiel’s descent as a pitcher. He went 1-2 with a 7.13 ERA in six starts for the Cards before being optioned to Memphis. Ankiel didn’t touch a baseball in 2002 due to injuries and his need for Tommy John surgery resulted in the lefty pitching in only 31 more games by the end of 2004.
Ankiel began the 2005 season by announcing his retirement as a Major League pitcher on March 9 and turned his eyes to the outfield. He made his debut in Memphis as an outfielder in 2007 as a part of the Redbirds Opening Day roster and got the call to St. Louis on August 9.
The Rick Ankiel bobblehead is the eighth of the All AutoZone Park Series and will be given to the first 1,500 fans at Tuesday night’s Memphis Redbirds game against the Omaha Royals. Gates open at 6:00 P.M. for the 7:05 game.
Born: August 30, 1981 at Brunswick, Georgia
Became a Cardinal in December of 2003 as part of a
five-man trade from Atlanta that included J.D. Drew.
Wainwright returned healthy to post big numbers in 2005, setting a Redbirds individual season record of 29 starts, which also led the PCL. He made his major league debut later that year on September 11 against the Yankees. In 43 starts, Wainwright is 14-15 as a Redbird with a 4.76 ERA (132ERx249.1IP) and 214 strikeouts.
Wainwright started 2006 with the Cardinals and has been a regular ever since, dropping down to the minors only once in 2008 for injury rehabilitation. Though he is currently in the five-man rotation, Wainwright was used as a reliever in his unforgettable rookie season. In the St. Louis Cardinals run through the postseason, Wainwright delivered the final out for all three series wins, including the final pitch in the World Series: fanning Detroit’s Brandon Inge in Game 5 to clinch St. Louis’ 10th World Championship.
Wainwright’s shining career in St. Louis gives us more than enough reasons to include the former ‘Bird in 2009’s All AutoZone Park bobblehead series. The Adam Wainwright bobblehead will be given away to the first 1,500 fans to arrive at Tuesday night’s home game against the Round Rock Express. Gates for the game open at 6:00 P.M.
Back in his playing days, Miller was first signed as a free agent by the Philadelphia Phillies, but didn’t see any major league time until he joined with the Baltimore Orioles. He made his major league debut on June 9, 1975 against the Oakland Athletics, entering the game in the 14th inning. Miller was a career reliever, only starting one major league game.
Miller’s last big league appearance was on September 2, 1981. He finished with a career 23-17 major league record, 22 saves and a 3.23 ERA over 11 combined seasons with the Orioles, Angels, Blue Jays and Mets.
The Dyar Miller bobblehead (above), the sixth of the 2009 collection, will be given away to the first 1,500 fans to arrive at Tuesday’s home game against the division-leading Nashville Sounds. Gates for the game open at 6:00 P.M.
It probably doesn’t happen very often that a player from the visiting team gets honored on a bobblehead…but it will Tuesday July 7 when John Gall of the Round Rock Express takes on his former team to face the Memphis Redbirds.
JohnGall played in the Cardinals organization for seven years and with the Redbirds from 2003-2006. He played an even amount as an outfielder and a third baseman for the ‘Birds, but has played the majority of his ’09 games at first base for the Express.
The California-native played 454 games in Memphis and hit .292 (476×1630) with 57 homers, 231 runs and 255 RBI. He made his major league debut on July 26, 2005 and went 2×4 with one double against the Padres. Gall only played 30 games for the Cardinals before being released from the club in the summer of 2006. Since then, Gall has played for the Marlins and is now in the Astros organization.
Gall has always had good numbers against the ‘Birds and entered 2009 hitting .326 (28×86) against his former team. His AutoZone Park numbers are even better, where he has a .365 (19×52) as a visitor. Six of his seven home runs and 14 of his 20 RBI against the Redbirds have been at AutoZone Park. July 7 being his bobblehead night, who knows what kind of numbers Gall will display. So far in the series, Gall is 3-for-7.
Born: September 27, 1976 in Creswell, Oregon
Drafted by St. Louis in the 33rd round of the 1999 draft
Bodhi (Bo) J. Hart played seven seasons in the Cardinals organization and in four of those he spent time with the Redbirds. The Gonzaga University product played as the team’s second baseman, but also spent time at the shortstop and third baseman positions.
Hart joined the team in 2003, one year after the Cardinals released Stubby Clapp, and was expected to fill in as the new fan-favorite. As it turns out, the infielder was received well by Redbirds fans, and even though he does not have his number retired like Clapp, he was included in the 2009 bobblehead series (below).
In his 370 games as a Redbird, Hart hit .276 (365-for-1325) to post 206 runs, 26 homers and 131 RBI. After a couple of months in Triple-A, the then 26-year-old made his major league debut for the St. Louis Cardinals on June 19, 2003. He was granted free agency in December of 2005 and went on to play in the Rockies, Cubs and Orioles organizations. Hart played his most recent baseball in 2008 for an Independent League team.
While Memphis is often the final stepping stone for professionals to get to the majors, the Bluff City can also bring other important career moments. Bo Hart actually met his wife at a Redbirds game, when she performed the pre-game National Anthem. Eventually, Hart proposed to her in the Redbirds dugout during one of AutoZone Park’s post-game firework shows.
Bats: Left Throws: Right
Born February 24, 1973 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Drafted by St. Louis in the 36th round of the 1996 draft
Memphis Redbirds fan favorite, Richard Keith ‘Stubby’ Clapp, played seven seasons in the Cardinals organization, four of those with the Redbirds. The second baseman was known as the ‘Mayor of Memphis’ around town and delighted fans with his traditional pre-game flip, a round-off back-flip combination.
Stubby helped the Redbirds win their first and only team championship in 2000 and made his major league debut the following year on June 18. He had a short stay as a Big Bird, playing in 23 games where he hit .200 (5-for-25). He was released to free agency in 2002 and spent the next two years in the Braves, Indians and Blue Jays organizations before retiring.
On Stubby Clapp Day (above), April 21, 2007, the former Redbird’s No. 10 was retired at AutoZone Park. The likable infielder holds the all-time Redbirds records for runs (258), walks (222) and triples (19). No other Redbird has worn No. 10 since Clapp left.
Pictured above is the Stubby Clapp bobblehead (the third of the 2009 collection) that will be given away to the first 1500 fans to attend Monday’s home game on June 8, when the Redbirds host the New Orleans Zephyrs.
Clapp was known for his antics on the field (above) and off the field (below).
Don’t miss your chance to grab a Stubby Clapp bobblehead on June 8th.
Born February 8, 1973 in Yokosuka, Japan
Drafted by St. Louis in the 24th round of the 1994 draft
McDonald spent eight seasons in the Cardinals system and many of those as a Redbird. At 6’2″, 215, he was considered big for a catcher, thus earning him the nickname ‘Fat Kid’ hung on him by Memphis Redbird fan-favorite Stubby Clapp.
In his 355 games as a Redbird, McDonald had an average of .276 (317-for-1149), 150 runs, 304 RBI and 40 home runs.
He made his MLB debut with St. Louis on July 4, 2000; where he hit a home run in each of his first two at-bats. He hit a third homer later that year and finished the season hitting .429 (3-for-7), making him the only player in MLB history to have more than one home run in a career, with no other hits.
Now that his professional career is over, McDonald puts 100% of his focus on his L.A. Lakers. Probably a natural habit for any longtime SoCal boy who attended college at Pepperdine University and spent his off-seasons in Yorba Linda, California.
Pictured above is the Keith McDonald bobblehead (the second of the 2009 collection) that will be given away to the first 1500 fans through the gates on May 12, when the Redbirds host the Las Vegas 51s.
This isn’t the first time McDonald has been immortalized on a bobblehead though. In 2001, Redbirds pitcher Fred Rath was given creative control over the season’s bobblehead collection. He painted all seven as he saw fit, giving ‘Fat Kid’ the appropriate Hawaiian shirt and beach sandals. Thanks to Allison Rhoades for digging these pictures out of the archives.
Tom Rath with his 2001 Bobblehead Series.
Keith McDonald with his bobblehead. See the resemblance?
So come on out to AZP Tuesday May 12 and take home a part of Memphis Redbirds history.