Tom Brunansky was traded to the Cardinals on April 22, 1988 for Tommy Herr as part of the dismantling of the 1987 World Champion Twins team. Brunansky brought with him an All-Star pedigree and several years with above-average to average production in corner outfield spots. Ironically, the team had played each other in the 87 World Series:
The last time Brunansky visited Busch Stadium, he was a member of the visiting team in the World Series.
”Yeah, this is a little strange,”he said as he tried to find a pair of white pants.
Brunansky was a great pickup for the Cardinals; he went on to a .245/.345/.428 slash for them (he never was an average guy), with 22 home runs, a lot for the time, and a 121 OPS+. He led the 88 Cards in HR, RBI, BB, and OPS+. Not too bad.
And Tommy Herr? Well, we’ll show him later in the Project, but let’s just say the Cardinals definitely won this trade, even if Brunansky only stuck around for a couple of seasons; however, according to the St. Paul Tribune and Andy McPhail, the team had to make the trade:
Twins executive vice president Andy MacPhail will get some heat for trading Tom Brunansky to St. Louis for Tom Herr, but MacPhail was almost forced to make the trade to get rid of Brunansky’s $1.5 million contract for 1990, which everybody thinks will be a strike year.
Brunansky’s contract calls for $1.14 million this year, $1.2 million next year and $1.5 million in 1990.
My own personal memories revolve around Tom in the original RBI Baseball. Tom was a beast, and even though none of us cared for him as a player, we wanted him on our team. But you know, what I find most intriguing about Bruno these days is his comparables on Baseball Reference. Frank Thomas? Barry Bonds? Those I’m not so sure about, but it is interesting company for someone who also has Larry Parrish (another 88 projecter) and Jeff Burroughs. In the end, though, I’ve come to respect Bruno and appreciate these cards. My particular favorite is the Score. Even though the orange and red is irritating together, it’s good to see an action shot of Bruno in the Cards uniform for once.
We will continue this series soon, as I realized I was slacking a bit and need to pick up the pace if I’m ever going to get through it and start to think about 1989. Fun times ahead…
Player list (so far):
- Day 1- Mark Grace (Cubs)
- Day 2- Al Leiter (Yankees)
- Day 3- Chris Sabo (Reds)
- Day 4- Walt Weiss (Athletics)
- Day 5- Baseballs’ Best Catch-Up
- Day 6- Craig Biggio (Astros)
- Day 7-Roberto Alomar (Padres)
- Day 8-Kirk Gibson (Dodgers)
- Day 9-Jay Buhner (Yankees/Mariners)
- Day 10-Jose Rijo (Reds)
- Day 11-Brady Anderson & Mike Boddicker (Red Sox/Orioles)
- Day 12-Pete Smith & Kevin Coffman (Braves)
- Day 13-David Wells (Blue Jays)
- Day 14-Shawn Abner (Padres)
- Day 15 – Tom Brunansky (Cardinals)