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On This Date in Cardinals History: April 18, 1950

On this day 62 years ago, the Cardinals held their first night season opener at Sportsmans Park with Red Schoendienst and Stan Musial teaming up to make the historic event a happy occasion.

Schoendienst cracked a first inning home run off Pittsburgh starter Bob Chesnes in the first inning to give the Redbirds a 1-0 lead while Stan the Man took Chesnes over the boards in the third to double the St. Louis advantage.

The Pirates tied the game with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning when Catcher Ed Fitz Gerald doubled to lead off and then Chesnes drew a walk. The runners were sacrificed to second and third and then former St. Louis first baseman Johnny Hopp singled them home. But the Cardinals wasted no time in regaining the lead when third baseman Eddie Kozak singled to lead off the bottom of the sixth. He was sacrificed to second and then catcher Joe Garagiola -- who was 3-for-3 in the game -- singled him home to make the score 3-2.

In the bottom of the seventh the Redbirds added an insurance run when Schoendienst, Musial and Enos Slaughter hit three consecutive singles to provide the final 4-2 score.

Gerry Staley threw a complete game to get the win with two earned runs allowed on six hits and two walks. He struck out two in a game that didn't keep Redbird rooters up too late.

The entire contest took only an hour and 49 minutes to play and 20,871 people were in attendance.

Despite the good start, the Cardinals finished with a 78-75 record in fifth place in the National League, 12 1/2 games out of first place.

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