In what hopefully will be a good omen in the St. Louis Cardinals' search for a new shortstop:
On this date in 1962 the Redbirds were able to greatly improve their club by making a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates for 1960 National League Most Valuable player Dick Groat.
Groat hit .319 for the Cardinals in 1963 with a league-leading 43 doubles. The following year Groat batted .292 and led the Birds to the National League pennant and an eventual win of the 1964 World Series. He finished second in the MVP balloting that year.
He played only three of his 14 MLB seasons in St. Louis. But Groat was a National League All-Star every season in St. Louis. He was shipped to the Philadelphia Phillies prior to the 1966 season, his last as a full time starter.
The Cardinals sent shortstop Julio Gotay and pitcher Don Cardwell to the Pirates for Groat. Gotay, at 23, played 127 games at short for the Birds in 1962. But he managed only five plate appearances for the Pirates over the next two seasons before being sent to the Los Angeles Angels.
Cardwell won 13 games twice for the Pirates after the trade and was 33-33 with a 3.38 for the Bucs. But it wasn't much of a loss for St. Louis. Cardwell was acquired by St. Louis from the Chicago Cubs in a trade a month earlier and he never played a game for the Cardinals.