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 1920s.

With one of the game’s most memorable stars in Rogers Hornsby won the 1926 World Series and in the 1930s they would field the famous “Gashouse Gang” that would win the 1931 and 1934 World Series.  The 1940s 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 1960s 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 80s, 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 2022 season.

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

An All-Star in five straight seasons (1943-47), Whitey Krukowski was a beneficiary of the glut of talent that went to serve their country in World War II.  Playing at Third Base, Krukowski had 150 Hits in all of his All-Star years where he would have three 20 Home Run Seasons, and in three years of those seasons he batted over .300.  Kurowski was also a good defensive player who twice finished first in Fielding Percentage among National League Third Basemen and was in the top four on four other occasions.  He would notably finish fifth in MVP voting in 1945.…
Larry Jackson went to three All-Star Games as a St. Louis Cardinal where he went 101 and 86 overall.  Jackson’s best season with St. Louis was in 1959 (in a year where he wasn’t name to an All Star Game) where he was first in bWAR for Pitchers with 7.3 and was also first in the National League in FIP and HR/9.
Bob Forsch is the only Pitcher in Cardinals history to pitch two no-hitters for the team and he is one of the most tenured hurlers for the team with nearly 20 years of service since he was drafted.  Forsch was a late round pick in 1968 and would finally crack the roster in 1974 and in 1977 he had his best season with a 20 and 7 record and his 163 Wins are third all-time in St. Louis history..  He would lead the NL in BB/9 the next season and was a member of the Cardinals 1982 World Series win,…
A very popular player with fans and teammates alike, Pepper Martin was the engine that drove the famed “Gashouse Gang” of the 1930’s.
In terms of longevity, lefthanded Pitcher Bill Sherdel was one of the most tenured in franchise history as he spent fifteen seasons with the team.  As such it is not a surprise that he is currently in the top five in Wins (153), Games Pitched (465) Innings Pitched (2,450.2) and Games Started (242).  Despite the long duration, Sherdel was never considered a star but rather a good hand who could be used to start or finish, which wasn’t very common at the time, especially a player who played as long as Sherdel competed. 
Paying for the St. Louis Cardinals for the first eight of his thirteen year Major League career, Chick Hafey was known for hitting a very Batting Average.  Hafey never batted lower than .329 in a five year stretch for the Cardinals (1927 to 1931) and in that final season his .349 was good enough to secure him the National League Batting Title.  Hafey did not just hit for average as he was a 25 Home Run hitter three times and in 1927 he would lead the NL in Slugging.  He helped St. Louis win two World Series Championships.
Matt Holliday’s best season in baseball may have taken place in Colorado where he was the runner-up for the MVP in 2006 but he was with the St. Louis Cardinals for a longer period of time and actually compiled better overall statistics.
Ed Konetchy was with the St Louis Cardinals for the first seven years of his professional career before he jumped to Pittsburgh of the Federal League.
We return back to the 1800’s where we have another Pitcher who was with the organization only for a brief time but again was so good that he belongs here.
Slim Sallee began his Major League career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1908, and the Pitcher played for the Redbrids until he was traded to the New York Giants during the 1916 season. The southpaw had three 15-win years with St. Louis, tallying 106 against 107 Losses.  Sallee started and finished his share of games, twice leading the National League in Saves twice as a Cardinal.  His versatility was unheralded in his day, but is certainly recognized here.
We return back to the Cardinals’ famed Gashouse Gang where we have Ripper Collins who was a rookie in their World Series Championship win in 1931.  He would become a starter the season after and he would be a quick fan favorite with his nickname of Ripper and his power despite having a small frame.  Collins would have his best season in 1934 (where he also helped the Cards win the World Series where he was the National League leader in Home Runs (35), Slugging Percentage (.615) and OPS (1.008) with a sixth place finish in MVP voting.  He was…
Steve Carlton will always be best remembered as a Philadelphia Phillie, and he should be as he was in Eastern Pennsylvania for 15 seasons, won four Cy Youngs and a World Series Ring.  Before he became a Phillie, he was s St. Louis Cardinal, in the shadow of Bob Gibson, and slowly becoming a feared flamethrower in his own right.