Colorful Cardenal, a cousin of longtime shortstop Bert Campaneris, played for nine teams in 18 major-league seasons. The Cuban immigrant couldn't crack San Francisco's outfield and was traded to California following the 1964 season. He finished second in the AL in steals (37), showed good range and a strong arm in center field, but also developed a reputation as a moody player.
After two subpar seasons, Cardenal was shipped to Cleveland. He led the Indians in steals twice and tied a big-league record for outfielders by making two unassisted double plays in 1968. Traded to the Cardinals in 1970, he hit .293 with 74 RBI. In a 1971 season split between St. Louis and Milwaukee, he drove in a career-high 80 RBI.
Finally reaching the Cubs in 1972, Cardenal stayed for six seasons. As the Cubs' right fielder in 1973, he led the team in hitting (.303), doubles (33), and steals (19). He was named Chicago Player of the Year by the Chicago baseball writers. In 1978-80, he played for the Phillies, Mets, and Royals, ending his major-league career batting .340 down the stretch for Kansas City and starting two games in right field during the 1980 World Series. Cardenal retired after the season and later became a major-league coach with the Reds, Cardinals, Yankees and Devil Rays after retirement.
In 2001, Cardenal was accused of using a corked bat by Pete Rose, his teammate on the 1979 Phillies and himself the subject of innuendo. "I did have a corked bat one time," Rose told ESPN's Jayson Stark. "You know who corked them? Jose Cardenal. I never used it in a game. But we'd come in the clubhouse in Philly, and Jose Cardenal would be corking bats. You'd hear the drill going -- zizzzzzzzzzzz. But I never used none of them bats in a game." (ME/JGR)
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FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»September 8, 1965: Bert Campaneris plays all nine positions against the Angels in a promotion to hype poor attendance at Kansas City. When Campy takes the mound in the 8th inning, the first batter he faces is his cousin Jose Cardenal, who pops out. Campy allows one run, and leaves the game in the 9th after a collision with Angels C Ed Kirkpatrick at home plate when Campy is catching. Rene Lachemann replaces Campy as catcher. The Angels win it in the 13th inning 5–3, with the win going to Campy's batterymate Aurelio Monteagudo.
»July 16, 1968: Cleveland CF Jose Cardenal becomes the 4th OF in ML history with two unassisted DPs in one season as he helps the Tribe to a 2–1 win over the Angels. He also pulled one off on June 8th versus the Tigers.
»May 3, 1972: For the second straight day, the Cubs whomp the Braves, 12–1. Jose Cardenal leads the attack with a triple, double, and two singles. Fergie Jenkins is the easy winner as Jack Billingham loses his 4th straight.
»May 2, 1976: Jose Cardenal goes 6-for-7, including a double and a home run, driving in four runs, as the Cubs edge the Giants 6–5 in the 14-inning first game of a doubleheader.