This past weekend, the Rockland Boulders squared off with the Kansas City T-Bones without their skipper at the helm, but he certainly had a good excuse for his absence.
, manager in Rockland’s brief two-year history, traveled to the Gateway City to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the World Series Championship team he was part of with the 1982 St. Louis Cardinals.
LaPoint joined more than 20 of his former teammates and colleagues for a weekend of festivities that included an on-field pregame ceremony before the Cardinals’ game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night. Among those being honored were Hall-of-Famers Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter, and Whitey Herzog.
Aside from the bond that will forever join them as World Champions, LaPoint fondly reminisced on that ’82 squad.
“That was such a fun team with such a bunch of funny characters on it,” LaPoint said, “and also a good bunch of people.”
He also made a point of saluting the city of St. Louis and the Cardinals organization as well.
“It’s the greatest baseball city there is, and (the Cardinals) treat their family well. You’re never forgotten,” he said.
To illustrate the point, Rockland’s manager added that the Cardinals organization was flying him directly to Quebec for the Boulders’ series against the Capitales this week.
In his 12 Major League seasons spanning nine teams, the tall lefty appeared in 294 games, winning 80, but it was that ’82 season – considered his rookie year – that was likely his most memorable. He pitched in 42 contests working as both a starter and reliever andamassed a 9-3 record with a 3.42 ERA, and he had two outings in the World Series, tossing 8.1 innings with no decisions and a 3.24 ERA.
For his efforts, he finished in eighth place in that season’s Rookie-of-the-Year balloting.
“Winning the World Series isn’t the easiest thing in the world,” LaPoint said. “Getting the chance to relive it, you have to take advantage of it.”