Top 50 St. Louis Cardinals

In terms of the World Series there is no team more successful than the St. Louis Cardinals.  This is an 11 time World Series winner who would compete for Baseball’s elite 19 times and it has resulted in one of the best baseball fan bases in the country.

It may have always been this way.

Professional Baseball began in 1875 with the St. Louis Brown Stockings in the National Association.  The league folded and they would join the National League as charter members but that too would be short lived as they were expelled for a game fixing scandal and they would barnstorm over the next few years until they were purchased by a German entrepreneur and would join the American Association.  This is where the history of the team becomes official as MLB does not recognize the previous accomplishments of the franchise.

Now named the Browns, the team would become one of the elite organizations of the AA where they won the pennant four times before the league folded in 1891 and they would join the National League, but they would not have the same level of success as they were relatively mediocre until the 1920’s.

With one of the game’s most memorable stars in Rogers Hornsby won the 1926 World Series and in the 1930’s they would field the famous “Gashouse Gang” that would win the 1931 and 1934 World Series.  The 1940’s were even better as they won it all in 1942, 1944 & 1946 when they were led by the most consistent hitter in baseball history, Stan Musial. 

The Redbirds would continue their high level of success in the 1960’s with expert pitching (led by Bob Gibson) and a combination of speed and defense, they won the title in 1964 and 1967 and in the Ozzie Smith era of the 80’s they won again in 1982.  With a power game led by Albert Pujols they would win the World Series in 2006 and 2011.


This list is up to the end of the 2017/18 season.

Note: Baseball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics and post-season accolades.

When you talk about the greatest hitter in history Stan “The Man” Musial is often discussed, and why wouldn’t he be?  Musial played his entire career with the St. Louis Cardinals where he smacked 3,630 Hits (amazingly with an even amount Home and Away), which is still enough for fourth all-time and is the most for any single team.  Musial was incredibly consistent for years and he was a six time National League Hits leader with three second place finishes and two third place finishes and with that kind of production you can imagine there would be multiple Batting Titles. …
This was a little difficult for us. While Albert Pujols was a certified offensive juggernaut throughout the first decade of the 2000’s, we are talking about a baseball organization that has had Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby and Bob Gibson, so ranking Pujols #2 means that we are taking a bit of a risk.
As we mentioned in our selection of Albert Pujols at #2, it was a hard decision as the accomplishments of Rogers Hornsby were incredible and we felt the need the give the edge to Pujols due to the integrated era he played in and the overall higher level of competition. We understand however if you don’t agree.
We don’t think there is much of a stretch to say that Bob Gibson is the greatest St. Louis Cardinals Pitcher of all-time. How can he not be?
We bet the San Diego Padres would like to have this one back. At the time of being traded from San Diego, Ozzie Smith was regarded as only a defensive gem that was never going to give you much in terms of offense.  While he was never going to be confused with a Cal Ripken with his bat, he did raise his Batting Average and OBP as a St. Louis Cardinal and he would slap 1,944 of his 2,460 Hits with the Redbirds.  Smith was not known for extra base hits, but once aboard the base paths he was solid…
If you are a regular reader of Notinhalloffame.com, you know that we are a sucker for what we consider great sports names. Enos Slaughter is a pretty good one on its own, but when you throw in the nickname and you have; Enos “Country” Slaughter, a name that we think is so awesome that we were tempted to jump it up the rankings for that reason alone!
We meant it when we said that Bob Gibson was the greatest St. Louis Cardinal Pitcher of all time, however that does not necessarily mean that he had the most dominant run as a Cardinals hurler. We will give that one to Dizzy Dean.

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Signed as a Pitcher, Ken Boyer would be converted to a Third Baseman in his second season in the minors and that worked out well both for Boyer and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Debuting with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1932, Joe “Ducky” Medwick (thus nicknamed because he apparently walked like that aforementioned bird) would became a major star through the 1930’s.  Before he was traded midway through the 1940 season he would have seven full seasons where he batted over .300 with four 200 Hit campaigns.  While in relative terms, Medwick was not known as an elite power hitter he did blast 152 dingers for St. Louis including a league leading 31 in 1937.  We will get back to that year later.  In addition to decent power, he was a doubles leader…
You could argue that Johnny Mize had three distinct periods of Johnny Mize’s Hall of Fame career that was spent with three different teams. The first third was where he was an elite performer for with the St. Louis Cardinals, the second with the New York Giants where he was still good, but missed three years due to World War II, and the final where he was a role player with the New York Yankees but won five World Series Championships.
Lou Brock arrived to St. Louis in a mid-season trade in 1964 and it turned into one of the greatest steals in trade history.  Brock’s batting seemed to automatically improve and he would help the Cardinals win the 1964 World Series.  With Brock’s increased base presence he also developed stronger baserunning skills and in 1967 he went to his first All Star Game, won his first Stolen Base title and helped the Cards win the World Series.  Brock would be a base stealing machine leading the NL in that metric eight of nine seasons (1966 to 1974), the last of…
As of this writing Adam Wainwright has been with the St. Louis Cardinals his entire professional career after arriving from the Atlanta Braves system via a trade.  We bet they wish they could get that one back!
Harry Brecheen is one of the best left handed Pitchers in St. Louis Cardinals and from 1944 to 1949 he would win 14 or more Games en route to helping the Redbirds win the 1944 and 1946 World Series.  His best season was in 1948 where he posted 20 Wins and was the National League leader in Earned Run Average (2.24), Shutouts (7), FIP (2.37), WHIP (1.037) and SO/BB (3.04) and was fifth in MVP voting.  Overall he won 128 Games for St. Louis, but it was his accomplishments in the 1946 Fall Classic that cements him high on this…
There is so much to love about Yadier Molina. A ferocious player when needed, Yadier Molina has been a clubhouse leader since he arrived to the St. Louis Cardinals, the only team he has played for in the Majors.  Early in his career, the Puerto Rican was universally regarded as being a really good defensive Catcher and a light hitter but in 2008 he improved his Batting Average to .308 and was locked in as the team’s starting Catcher. 
Jim Bottomley would debut for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1922 season and in his first full season (1923) he would set career highs in Batting Average (.371) and On Base Percentage (.425).  This is not to imply that the First Baseman peaked early as he still had seven more .300 seasons in him (all with St. Louis) and he would slowly develop a power and clutch hitting game.
The sabremetricians were right to love Ted Simmons who while he played many knew was a good player, have now been elevated in some eyes to a Hall of Fame snub.
Keith Hernandez is probably more known for his time with the New York Mets but he actually had better stats with the St. Louis Cardinals and it was in the Gateway to the West where he had his best season in Baseball.
Mort Cooper was a pretty good Pitcher but like many who played between 1942 and 1945 you have to wonder just how much of his success had to do with how much of the competition was serving their country during World War II.
Admittedly when we began this process for the top 50 St. Louis Cardinals we did not think that Bob Caruthers would be this high but after looking some of his dominant pitching performances and the fact he also doubled as an Outfielder and was a really good hitter, his actual value to the team was far greater than we initially thought.