Top stories of the year in St. Louis sports – number three

By Rob Rains

For the seventh consecutive year, is spending the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve counting down the top seven stories in St. Louis sports this year.

The top story of 2018 will be revealed on Monday.

The story coming in third on our list was the Blues decision to fire coach Mike Yeo on Nov. 19 after the team got off to a disappointing start to the season. The team had made a series of moves over the summer that raised expectations for the Blues and general manager Doug Armstrong admitted Yeo paid the price for the poor start.

Armstrong talked about the decision the day after Yeo was fired. Here is the link to our story:

On Sunday we will reveal the story which came in second on our list.

Here are the stories which were revealed earlier this week:

Number 4 – Cardinals miss the playoffs for a third consecutive year

This was the first time the Cardinals went that long without reaching the playoffs since another three-year absence from 1997 to 1999.

The Cardinals were in the battle for a wild-card spot until the last weekend of the season, but finished with an 88-74 record, 2 ½ games out of the last playoff spot.

The fact they got into contention in the final month of the season was somewhat surprising, since they were around .500 for much of the first half of the season before making a managerial change.

A 22-6 record in August fueled the playoff push, but ultimately the reliance on so many young players caught up with the Cardinals in September, when they closed the season with a 12-15 record in the final month.

Number 5 – Red Schoendienst dies at age of 95

Nobody wore a Cardinals uniform longer, or better, than Schoendienst, first as a player, then as a coach, manager and special assistant. He died on June 6.

Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1989. Schoendienst’s career in professional baseball lasted more than 70 years. A fixture at Busch Stadium, Schoendienst had been in poor health for several months prior to his death.

Here is the link to our Schoendienst obituary:

Number 6 – PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club

Brooks Koepka shot matching rounds of 66 on the final two days of the tournament to earn a two-shot victory over Tiger Woods. Woods fired a 64 on the final round, the lowest score of his career on the final day of a major tournament.

It was the third win in a major for Koepka, who became only the fifth American to claim three major titles before the age of 29, joining a select group of Jack Nicklaus, Jordan Spieth, Tom Watson and Woods.

Koepka’s final score of 264 for 72 holes marked the lowest score in the history of the PGA Championship.

Number 7 – Wacha loses no-hit bid in ninth inning

Pitching against the Pirates on June 3 at Busch Stadium, Michael Wacha came within three outs of pitching a no-hitter. Colin Moran ended his bid with a pinch-hit single leading off the ninth inning.

It was the second time in Wacha’s career he carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning.

No Cardinal has thrown a no-hitter in St. Louis since Bob Forsch did it in 1983.

Here is the link to our coverage of Wacha’s gem:

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains


About Rob Rains 191 Articles
Rob Rains , who runs was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2017, St. Louis Media HOF 2018, and is a former National League beat writer for USA Today’s Baseball Weekly. For three years he covered the Cardinals for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat until its demise in the 1980s. Rains was awarded the Freedom Forum Grant to teach Journalism for a year at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State. Now based in St. Louis, Rains is often a guest on Frank Cusumano’s Pressbox Show on 590AM and has been writing books, magazine articles, and covers the Cardinals and Blues for He has written or co-written more than 30 books, most on baseball, including autobiographies or biographies of Ozzie Smith, Jack Buck, and Red Schoendienst. Rains volunteers his time helping run Rainbows for Kids, a 501 (c)(3) charity for families of children with cancer in the Greater St. Louis Area.

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