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Here's A Hot Dog You've Got To Relish
Steve Wulf
January 24, 1983
If there's any one word that describes St. Louis Pitcher Joaquin Andujar, it would most surely be "Youneverknow"
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January 24, 1983

Here's A Hot Dog You've Got To Relish

If there's any one word that describes St. Louis Pitcher Joaquin Andujar, it would most surely be "Youneverknow"

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House tour over, he heads off to lunch at El Piano restaurant. Through his car window he shouts, "Hasta el diablo," at friends in the street. Over lunch he says, "Before the Cardinals got me, I was like a plant that needed water. Whitey and Hub, they poured water on me, and I grew to be a tree. With the World Series, the fruits came up. Not bad, huh?"

Later he makes an appointment for the next day. But the next day he vanishes. And the day after that? Youguessedit.

Normally there would be 8,000 people in Santiago's Estadio Cibao for a Sunday game between las Aguilas and Licey, but there are more than 17,000 this time, many of them hanging over the fences. Andujar is to make his first Dominican League appearance in two years, and the game is being nationally televised.

Andujar has thrown exactly twice since the World Series. In batting practice two weeks before, he didn't allow any of his teammates to hit a ball out of the infield. He also warmed up lightly a week before this start. Nobody knows what to expect, least of all Manager Llenas, who's worried about Andujar's invaluable right arm.

On the sidelines, Andujar warms up as if he's pitching to the heart of the Milwaukee batting order. When he takes the mound, he receives a nice round of applause. In the first four innings, Andujar allows only a harmless single. Then, in the fifth, with las Aguilas ahead 3-0, Andujar gets Champ Summers to hit a soft comebacker. Andujar holds the ball until the last possible instant before firing to First Baseman Mike Laga, who's taken aback. With a count of 2-2 on Luis Pujols, Andujar throws a perfect slider—and shoots Pujols with his forefinger. Then he knocks down Tony Fernando, the only man to get a hit off him, before retiring him on a grounder. He leaves the field, under his own power this time.

In five innings against a team at least as good as the Reds, Andujar has allowed no runs, one hit and two walks and struck out six. As he heads for his shower he says, "I didn't have it today."

Youneverknow.

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