St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of January 27-February 2

photo: Brian Jordan (Getty Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals finalized their spring training camp invitee list of 72 players. As the Super Bowl concluded the football season, our history feature highlights former Cardinals who also played in the NFL.

Cardinals announce 32 non-roster invitees

The Cardinals announced 32 non-roster invitees to major league spring training this past week.  Among them are the top three prospects in the system – Dylan Carlson, Nolan Gorman and Matthew Liberatore.

The Cardinals will have a total of 72 players in major league camp, a departure from how things have been done in past years.  Previously, the Cardinals had a separate camp for minor leaguers by invitation only that began one or two weeks after the start of big league camp, called STEP Camp or Spring Training Early Program.  STEP Camp was for top prospects believed to be close to contributing at the major league level.

This year, because of the early start to big league camp – full squad workouts begin on Feb. 17 and the first spring training game on Feb. 22 – and the March start to minor league camp, the team decided to increase the size of major league camp by eight players and not hold STEP Camp.

Further details, including the full list of NRI players can be found at TCN.

Cardinals Spring Training Camp Swells to 72 Players

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


The list of non-roster invitees include two pitchers signed to minor league contracts. Both were in other teams’ major league camps in 2019.

Injury Report

There are no new injuries to report.

Looking Ahead

Spring Training is right around the corner. The semi-trailer trucks loaded with equipment are scheduled to depart from St. Louis, heading for Florida, on Tuesday, February 4.

Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report in 16 days, on February 11, with the first workout on February 12.  Position players will report on February 16, with their first workout on February 17.

There will be a total of 72 players in major league camp, 40 rostered players and 32 non-roster invitees.  The list of 32 NRIs are available at TCN here.

The first spring training game will be played on February 22 against the Mets at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter.  The full spring training schedule can be viewed here.

The Cardinal Nation features an early, partial look at Cardinals spring training games to be televised here.

Blast from the Past

In last week’s Blast from the Past, we looked at former St. Louis Cardinals who also played in the NBA.  This week, in honor of the Super Bowl, we look at former St. Louis Cardinals who also played in the NFL.

There has been a total of 67 athletes who have played in both MLB and the NFL.  Eleven of those 67 played for the NFL in its inaugural year of 1920.  Only seven have played in both MLB and the NFL since 1970.   Of the 67 players, seven are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. None of the 67 are in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Brian Jordan

The most well-known of these dual sport athletes to play for the Cardinals is Brian Jordan, the team’s first round draft pick in 1988.  Jordan made his major league debut with St. Louis on April 8, 1992.  The outfielder posted a slash line of .291/.339/.474 in seven seasons, with 84 home runs and 367 RBI. Jordan became a free agent in 1998 and signed with the Atlanta Braves.

Jordan also played in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons as a defensive back from 1989 to 1991, during the time he was playing in the minor leagues for the Cardinals. He gave up football to play baseball full time in 1992.

Pitcher Chad Hutchinson was drafted in the second round by the Cardinals in 1998.  Hutchinson was drafted out of high school by the Atlanta Braves in 1995 but chose to attend Stanford University on a football scholarship instead.  The quarterback left Stanford and football with two seasons of eligibility remaining to play baseball for the Cardinals.

Hutchinson spent the majority of his baseball career in the minor leagues but made his major league debut with the Cardinals on April 4, 2001.  He pitched in only three games for St. Louis and was sent down to Triple-A for the rest of the season.  Hutchinson left baseball and returned to football.  He was signed by the Cowboys in 2002 and played two bumpy seasons with Dallas and one in Chicago.

Matt Kinzer pitched for the Cardinals in eight games during the 1989 season.  He had been the second round draft pick of St. Louis in 1984.  Kinzer was traded to the Detroit Tigers in December of 1989.  Earlier, Kinzer played in one NFL game as a punter for the Detroit Lions during the NFL strike in 1987.

Ernie Vick was a catcher for the Cardinals from 1922-1926 but appeared in only 57 major league games during that time, including 24 games during the 1926 World Championship season.  Vick played for the Detroit Panthers (now Detroit Lions) in 1925, then for the Chicago Bears from 1927-28.

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