Tuesday, March 10, 2020

All-Time Teams: Cardinals

Today's team has won more World Series championships than any National League franchise. Here's the All-Time roster for the St. Louis Cardinals:

Manager: Tony LaRussa
Home: Busch Stadium

Leading off for the Cardinals.. the Left Fielder.. Lou Brock  

Lou Brock began his career with the rival Chicago Cubs before a 1964 trade sent him to St. Louis. He helped his new team win the World Series that year and again in 1967. In 21 Fall Classic contests Brock batted .391 with 34 hits and 14 stolen bases. An all-time great speedster, Brock swiped a then-record 938 career bases - including 118 in 1974. He finished second in NL MVP voting that year, and led the league in steals for the eighth time. The six-time All-Star collected his 3,000th hit in his final season of 1979 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985. 

Batting second for St. Louis.. the Second Baseman.. Rogers Hornsby

Rogers Hornsby may be the greatest second baseman in baseball history. A seven-time batting champion and two-time Triple Crown winner, Hornsby hit over .400 three times from 1922-1925. His career batting average of .358 is second all-time to Ty Cobb, and his career WAR of 127.0 is the highest ever for a second baseman. "Rajah" led the league in OPS eleven times, total bases seven times, and home runs twice. He posted four seasons of 10+ WAR and won NL MVP honors in 1925 and 1929. Hornsby served as player-manager for the World Series-winning Cardinals in 1926.  

Batting third.. the Right Fielder.. Stan Musial

The Cardinals' career leader in over two dozen categories, Stan Musial was named to a record-tying 24 All-Star teams. Musial is fourth on the all-time hits list with 3,630 - with a dead-even split of 1,815 home and 1,815 road hits. "Stan The Man" won seven batting titles, three World Series, and led the league in doubles eight times. His 128.2 career WAR is tops in team history, 11th in major league history, and includes seven seasons of 8+ WAR. A three-time NL MVP, Musial finished second in MVP voting four times, including three consecutive seasons from 1949-1951. Musial spent significant time at both corner outfield positions and first base in his Hall of Fame career. 

Batting fourth.. the First Baseman.. Albert Pujols

A legendary power hitter in his prime, Albert Pujols ranks among the all-time top three first basemen in career WAR, runs scored, hits, doubles, home runs, and RBI. "The Machine" produced six seasons of 40+ home runs and eight seasons of 1.000 OPS over his 11-year Cardinals career. A ten-time All-Star, Pujols won three NL MVP awards, six Silver Sluggers, two Gold Gloves, and two World Series in St. Louis before signing with Anaheim after the 2011 season. Albert is expected to pass Willie Mays for fifth on the all-time home run list and Alex Rodriguez for third on the all-time RBI list in 2020. 


Batting fifth.. the Designated Hitter.. Johnny Mize

Johnny Mize played the first six seasons of his Hall of Fame career with the Cardinals. In that short time he led the league in OPS and total bases three times, collected 653 RBI, and slammed 158 home runs - tenth in team history. Mize slashed a robust .336/.419/.600 for St. Louis, and his career OPS+ of 171 is third in team history. The ten-time All-Star won a batting title in 1939, finished top-3 in MVP voting three times, and led the league in home runs four times. Mize finished his career with the Yankees, winning five consecutive World Series from 1949-1953. 

Batting sixth.. the Center Fielder.. Jim Edmonds

Before he was a reality TV star, Jim Edmonds was an All-Star center fielder for the Angels and Cardinals. Known for his highlight-reel catches, Edmonds won six of his eight Gold Gloves in St. Louis, along with a Silver Slugger in 2004 and a World Series in 2006. He hit twice as many home runs for the Cardinals as he did for the Angels, finishing top-5 in MVP voting after 42-homer seasons in 2000 and 2004. Jim's career WAR of 60.4 is 16th all-time among center fielders, and ranks him well ahead of several Hall of Famers. 

Batting seventh.. the Third Baseman.. Ken Boyer

Ken Boyer made eleven All-Star teams in eleven seasons with St. Louis. The five-time Gold Glove recipient posted an 8-WAR season in 1961, setting career highs with a .329 batting average and a .397 on-base percentage. Boyer earned NL MVP honors in 1964, a year in which he led the majors with 119 RBI and helped the Cardinals win the World Series with a grand slam in Game 4. Boyer ranks fifth among Redbirds with a 58.1 WAR, and his career total of 62.8 is tied for 14th among third basemen with Hall of Famer "Home Run" Baker.

Batting eighth.. the Catcher.. Ted Simmons

Overlooked no more, Ted Simmons will finally take his place in Cooperstown this summer. The eight-time All-Star is among the all-time top ten catchers in WAR (tenth), games played (third), runs scored (sixth), doubles (second), hits (second), and RBI (second). "Simba" is seventh in St. Louis history with a 45.0 career WAR and his 172 home runs rank ninth among all Cardinals. Five of his six 20+ home run seasons and six of his seven season batting over .300 were produced during his thirteen seasons with the Cards. 

Batting ninth.. the Shortstop.. Ozzie Smith

The all-time leader in defensive WAR, Ozzie Smith set the standard for sterling shortstop play over his 19-year career. "The Wizard" won 13 consecutive Gold Gloves from 1980-1992, earning enshrinement into Cooperstown in 2002. Ozzie contributed to the Cardinals' offense as well. The 15-time All-Star collected 1,944 hits for St. Louis (eighth in team history) and stole 433 bases for the runnin' Redbirds (third in Cards' annals.) Though he hit just 28 career home runs, the 1987 NL MVP runner-up won NLCS MVP honors in 1985 after a memorable walk-off homer in Game 5.

 The Starting Pitcher for the Cardinals.. Bob Gibson

An imposing presence on the mound, Bob Gibson was nearly unhittable in 1968, baffling hitters to the tune of a 1.12 ERA and 0.853 WHIP. The unanimous NL Cy Young winner also took home NL MVP honors that season. Gibson earned a second Cy Young award in 1970, as well as nine All-Star nods, nine Gold Gloves, two World Series rings, and two World Series MVP trophies. The first-ballot Hall of Famer is first in Cardinals history in wins, strikeouts, complete games, and shutouts. His 89.1 career WAR is more than double the next-highest total for a Cardinal pitcher.

Now let's take a look at the Cardinals' bench and bullpen:

Catcher - Yadier Molina
1st Base - Jim Bottomley
Infield - Frankie Frisch
Outfield - Joe Medwick
Outfield - Enos Slaughter

Molina has won nine Gold Gloves, made nine All-Star teams, and played in four World Series. Bottomley batted .325 over eleven seasons with the Cardinals; the Hall of Famer won NL MVP honors in 1928. Frisch may have ushered in some questionably-qualified Hall of Famers but his own career was certainly Hall-worthy. As player-manager, Frisch led the "Gashouse Gang" to victory in the 1934 World Series. Medwick batted .335 over his eleven seasons in St. Louis and was named NL MVP in 1937. Both he and Slaughter earned ten All-Star nods and a plaque in Cooperstown. 

#2 Starter - Dizzy Dean
#3 Starter - Adam Wainwright
#4 Starter - Chris Carpenter
#5 Starter - Mort Cooper

Dean dominated hitters from 1932-1936, leading the league in strikeouts four times and complete games three times. The Hall of Fame hurler won the 1934 NL MVP award and shut out the Tigers in that year's World Series clincher. Wainwright has the second-most strikeouts in Cardinals history and finished top-3 in Cy Young voting four times. Carpenter owns the franchise-best strikeout-to-walk ratio and the 2005 NL Cy Young award. Cooper won NL MVP honors in 1942 and posted three straight 20-win seasons. Harry Brecheen accumulated more WAR for the Cardinals and pitched brilliantly in the World Series. Their Cardinals stats are about equal. Flip a coin. 

RH Reliever - Lindy McDaniel
LH Reliever - Al Brazle
RH Reliever - Trevor Rosenthal

LH Reliever - Al Hrabosky
RH Reliever - Todd Worrell
RH Reliever - Jason Isringhausen

McDaniel led the NL in saves three times and his 987 career appearances are 17th all-time. Brazle led the NL in saves in 1952 and 1953. Rosenthal has two of the top-5 single-season save totals in St. Louis history - including a team-record 48 in 2015. Hrabosky finished top-5 in Cy Young voting twice; the "Mad Hungarian" led the NL in saves in 1975. Worrell won Rookie of the Year honors in 1986 after leading the senior circuit in saves. The three-time All-Star is third in team history with 129 closeouts. "Izzy" is tops in team history with 217 saves and saved 47 contests for the 2004 pennant-winning Cardinals.

Stay tuned for our next All-Time Team, the San Diego Padres.

Thanks for reading!




  1. When your entire bench is in the HOF or will be (Molina), then I think you're doing alright. LOL

  2. The photo on that Pujols card, though. Wow.

    1. I know right? You can almost hear Verlander's reaction after serving up that blast.

    2. My favorite Pujols card. Three Hall of Fame talents and three of my personal favorites all on one card. And it documents a moment on the way to the Cards 10th World Series title.

  3. I'm going to just flat out say it. That starting lineup is overall better than the Yankees team. You got speed, power, defense - in a one game winner-take-all with Gibson on the mound, they'd be almost impossible to beat.

  4. Cardinals fandom in my family goes back to the 1940s when my uncle picked the Cardinals instead of any of three NY teams to root for. They've been my dad's, and then my, NL team ever since.

    1. That's awesome. The Cardinals are an excellent franchise, it's hard not to like them.

  5. Always happy to see Simba make the starting lineup... especially when it involves an all-time team.

    1. It will be nice to see him in Cooperstown too!

  6. Brock walks to lead off the game. LaRussa puts on the hit-and-run. Hornsby singles, Brock to third. Musial and Pujols drive them both in. Repeat.

    1. I like it! No easy outs in this lineup (except Ozzie I guess)

  7. The one thing I'm curious of is....
    What version of Busch? There are three of them..
    Sportsman's Park/Busch
    Cookie Cutter Busch
    Current Busch.

    1. That's a good question! Probably the cookie cutter Busch, not the new one.

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