Dayley used a snappy curve and fastball to become the Cardinals' top lefthanded reliever. He recovered from career- threatening ligament damage in his left elbow in 1986 to
win a personal-best nine games in '87. In 1989 he set career highs with 71 appearances and 12 saves. He was particularly effective in the post-season, tossing ten scoreless innings in two League Championship Series and allowing just one run in 10 2/3 World Series innings, including a relief win in Game Two of the 1985 Fall Classic.
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FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»June 3, 1980:
The New York Mets select 18-year-old Darryl Strawberry from Los Angeles's Crenshaw High School with the first pick in the annual June free-agent draft. The Blue Jays then pick SS Garry Harris. Lefty Ken Dayley (Braves) is the 3rd pick, pitcher Mike King (A's) 4th, Jeff Pyburn (Padres) 5th, and Darnell Coles (M's) 6th. The Reds pick Danny Tartabull on the 3rd round and Eric Davis on the 8th. On the 16th round, the Twins take Jim Eisenreich while the Red Sox pick Oil Can Boyd. On the 4th round of the secondary phase draft on June 5, the Rangers find gold with Tom Henke.
»October 1, 1985: In the first game of a 3-game showdown between the Mets and Cardinals, Ron Darling and John Tudor each pitch 10 shutout innings before Darryl Strawberry belts a titanic home run off reliever Ken Dayley. The Mets' 1–0, 11-inning win cuts the Cardinals' lead in the National League East to two games.