Cardenal spent 18 years patrolling major league outfields. He broke in with the San Francisco Giants in 1963, but appeared in just 29 games for the Giants over the next two seasons. In 1965 he joined the California Angels and was the team’s starting center fielder, hitting .250 with 11 home runs and 37 stolen bases. He remained with the Angels for two more years before making stops with the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers. He eventually made his way to Chicago to play for the Cubs where he had, arguably, his best season in 1972. While playing mostly right field for Chicago, Cardenal hit .291 with 17 home runs and 25 stolen bases. He scored a career-high 96 runs that season and drove in another 70. He finished 28th in the National League MVP vote and was 23rd in 1973. He left Chicago for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1978. He also played for the New York Mets before retiring after spending 25 games with the Kansas City Royals to conclude the 1980 season. For his career, Cardenal was a .275 hitter with 138 home runs and 329 stolen bases.
It is interesting Cardenal follows Ron Reed, as they both note the 1980 World Series as their favorite memory. Cardenal had two hits in 10 at bats for the Royals, who lost in six games. Cardenal coached for the Cincinnati Reds, Cardinals, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Devil Rays following his playing career. He was the Yankees’ first base coach for their World Series wins in 1996, 1998 and 1999.
Jose Cardenal – career stats