Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

On a Starry California Night, Jordan Becomes a Shining Light for Cardinals

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

On a Starry California Night, Jordan Becomes a Shining Light for Cardinals

Article excerpt

Ozzie Smith, the retiring elder statesman, has been saying it for weeks: The Cardinals are Brian Jordan's team now.

As the Cardinals shift into a new era, requiring new blood, manager Tony La Russa has encouraged the premise. He has cultivated Jordan as a leader. He has told Jordan: Go do it. Take charge. We need you. The others will follow. Cardinals fans have warmed up to the idea.

Jordan's teammates have accepted him, looked to him. In the clubhouse, his teammates have nodded in the direction of the talented young player wearing the No. 3 jersey, sitting in the corner. And Saturday night, when the San Diego Padres went down hard, 7-5, a national TV audience saw it: Yes, the Cardinals are BJ's team. There can be no doubt. Say hello to your new hero, St. Louis. All across town, the kids will be hanging a different kind of Jordan poster in their rooms now. In Game 3 of the National League Division Series, BJ brought back memories of Jack Clark at Dodger Stadium in 1985 by slamming an incredible , dramatic, clutch two-run homer in the top of the ninth. Jordan - with the game tied and the Cardinals wobbling in their quest for a series sweep - created an instant memory. It was a classic postseason moment, and we'll leave it to the historians to place that homer in its proper place in Cardinals' history. All we know is this: That shot was huge. And that's not all Jordan did. Moments before, Jordan had denied the Padres a go-ahead run by gunning hard to a slashing line drive hit to the gap in right-center by Jody Reed. Jordan, legs pumping, left his feet and went flying to grab a bullet from the crisp evening sky. It was a Gold Glove catch. The Padres sagged. The boisterous crowd at Jack Murphy started buzzing in an uncomfortable way. They correctly sensed trouble. And then in the top of the ninth . . . oh, man. Jordan redirected a 3-2 pitch from flame-throwing reliever Trevor Hoffman, the missile soaring over Rickey Henderson's head . . . up, up, and away . . . pounding the palm trees over the wall in left field. It was the biggest St. Louis home run since Clark slayed the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship series 11 years ago. …

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