One of the things that makes baseball so great is that a legacy can be left in a lifetime of accomplishment or a moment of courage. For former St. Louis Cardinal Glenn Brummer, it is the latter he is remembered for, though not nearly often enough. 1982 brought the club its ninth World Championship, and in doing so it overcame odds, weather and a skeptical media convinced power was more important than speed.
On Aug. 22, 1982 that notion was forever turned on its head. Fighting for a pennant, the Cardinals were involved in a classic duel. Tied in the bottom of the 12th, San Francisco Giants pitcher Gary Lavelle loaded the bases but had Cardinal hitter David Green down 1-2 in the count with two outs. Brummer, having knocked a hit for the first time since July, was standing on third. What followed next was shocking to Cardinal manager Whitey Herzog, the fans, to announcer Mike Shannon and most certainly to Lavelle.
Brummer, a backup catcher, stole home. Barreling down the third base line, he tumbled across home plate with the grace of a Brahma Bull but the chutzpah of a soldier returning a thrown hand grenade. The Giants walked off the field in disbelief as Busch Stadium erupted. The Cardinals, motivated, energized and confident, would plow through the rest of the season like a steamroller and bring home another title.
For a player with a lifetime career .257 average and just four steals, Brummer left a lasting mark. It is a reminder that baseball is a game of moments or memories and indelible impressions. Brummer did not have the career of Ted Simmons or Johnny Bench, but chances are if you go to a local bar and start talking baseball, an old timer just might remind you of the greatness of one moment born out of courage and resolve; and through those few seconds of bold daring, he became an eternal part of Cardinal Nation.
Thank you, Glenn Brummer, for proving as long as one is a Redbird, even a catcher can fly.