Blast From the Past Ray Lankford


Ray Lankford played for the Cardinals from 1990 to 2001 and then again in 2004. Lankford made his major league debut with St. Louis in August 1990, and soon after took over the center field position previously occupied by former National League Most Valuable Player Willie McGee. He started his career as primarily a leadoff man, where his speed and plate discipline made him a potent force. In his first full season in 1991, he led the league with 15 triples, stole 44 bases, and scored 83 runs, earning him a third place finish in the Rookie of the Year voting. He also accomplished the rare feat of hitting for the cycle, becoming the first Cardinal rookie ever to do so. In 1992, he began to hit for more power, and posted a breakout season with a .293 batting average, 20 home runs, and 42 stolen bases. This season established Lankford as one of the best all-around outfielders in the game. He eventually moved down in the batting order to take further advantage of his power hitting ability. Lankford posted five seasons of 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases with the Cardinals (1992, 1995-1998), making him the only player in franchise history to accomplish the feat more than once.He homered in his last at bat for the Cardinals in 2004.

 

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