St. Louis Cardinals All-Time Team

August 26, 2012 4 Comments »
St. Louis Cardinals All-Time Team

No National League team has won as many World Series as the St. Louis Cardinals, who have captured 11 of them. The Cards All-Time Team boasts a great lineup (five Hall of Famers), and there are great bats on the bench too. The pitching staff is led by Bob Gibson, one of the best post-season performers in the history of the game.

Ted Simmons – C

No, he wasn’t a fantastic defensive catcher, but he wasn’t bad, and his bat made up for it anyway. Only one man has more hits as a catcher than Simmons. He spent 13 of his 21 seasons as a member of the Cardinals and then had some very good years with the Brewers.

Albert Pujols – 1B

One of two Cardinals to lead the league in hitting, homers, and RBI during their career with the team (the other, Joe Medwick, did it in the same season). Pujols is our cleanup man on the Redbirds All-Time Team.

Frankie Frisch – 2B

Perfectly suited to leadoff on this team, Frisch was a playmaker. The switch-hitter got on base, could run, and could drive in runs when needed. He played just over 1,300 games for St. Louis and an even 1,000 for the Giants.

Ken Boyer – 3B

No other Cardinal third baseman can match Boyer’s glove at the hot corner. He won five Gold Gloves and in 1964 he won the NL Most Valuable Player Award when he led the league in RBI and helped the Cards to their first pennant in 18 seasons.

Ozzie Smith – SS

How about Ozzie and Boyer on the left side of the infield for an airtight defense? Smith is universally acclaimed as the greatest defensive shortstop in the history of the game, and rightfully so. Not much of a hitter, Ozzie could steal you a bag when he got on base though.

Rogers Hornsby – DH

the Rajah won six straight batting titles for the Redbirds in the 1920s. He was the first player to win MVP Awards with two different teams, and he was a successful manager too. We’ll bat him third in our lineup, behind Frisch and Musial and in front of Pujols and Medwick.

Stan Musial – LF

With “Stan the Man” hitting second with his seven batting crowns, that’s 14 batting titles between him and #3 hitter Rogers Hornsby. Musial was one of the greatest players ever, period.

Jim Edmonds – CF

Another great defender, and also a good power hitter. Edmonds won eight Gold Gloves, six with St. Louis. He averaged 30 homers, 90 RBI, and a .555 slugging percentage in his eight years as a Cardinal, helping the club to the playoffs six times.

Joe Medwick – RF

In 1937 Medwick won the Triple Crown for the Cardinals, and no NL batter has done so since. A career .324 hitter, Joe was one of the most feared batters of his era.

Bob Gibson – SP

Speaking of fear, Bob Gibson was fearless. The best big game pitcher of all-time? Possibly. He was 7-2 with a 1.89 ERA in the World Series, and that’s why he’s the ace of this staff.

Dizzy Dean – SP

The hard-throwing right-hander only had six full seasons before his arm was injured, but he was so dominant that he still earned a Hall of Fame nod. Dizzy led the NL in strikeouts in each of his first four seasons.

Harry Brecheen – SP

It took Brecheen a while to get to the majors, but once he did (at the age of 28) he was good. He had a 2.92 ERA and ranks in the top ten in victories for the Cardinals.

Jesse Haines – SP

Only Haines and Gibson won 200 games as members of the Cardinals, and both are in the Hall of Fame. He used a knuckleball, and he wasn’t a dominant pitcher (his 3.64 ERA is the highest of any HOFer), but he did toss a no-hitter with his flutter ball.

John Tudor – SP

The lefty had a brief career with the Cardinals, but he was the best starting pitcher on the 1985 and 1987 pennant-winners. His 2.52 ERA in a St. Louis uniform is second all-time in franchise history. He won 70.5% of his decisions for the Cardinals and 62% for his career.

Todd Worrell – RP

Bruce Sutter is a Cub, and so is Lee Smith, so that means Worrell is our closer. The big right-hander ranks third between Smith and Sutter on the Cards all-time saves list. He saved 129 for the Redbirds and also saved 127 for the Dodgers.

Mort Cooper – RP

Like several Cardinal hurlers, Cooper was really good for 5-6 seasons and then petered out or was traded. The right-hander won 20 games in 1942, 1943, and 1944, as St. Louis won three straight pennants. Along with Gibson and Dean, he’s one of three pitchers to win the MVP Award as a Cardinal.

Max Lanier – RP

The left-handed counterpart to Cooper during the WWII years, Lanier was just about as good as Mort, but didn’t win as many games. He missed almost three full seasons of his prime when he jumped to the Mexican League. He had posted a 2.22 ERA in his four years in the majors prior to making the move south for more money.

Chris Carpenter – RP

An absolute horse, Carpenter is the first guy in this bullpen who would get a crack at the rotation if needed. Like Gibson, Carpenter was a fantastic post-season pitcher (9-2, 3.05 ERA).

Adam Wainwright – RP

Already, the converted reliever is earning a place on this team with his performance. He has posted an ERA under 3.00 twice, winning 19 and 20 in 2009 and 2010.

Jason Isringhausen – RP

The all-time saves leader in Cardinal history, Isringhausen isn’t the best reliever to wear the uniform, but he was good. The hard-throwing righty had six seasons of 30 saves or more for the Redbirds, helping the team to the playoffs four times in five seasons.

Walker Cooper – C

Mort’s brother was a helluva hitter – he batted .300 six times and slugged 173 homers in his 18-year career with six National League teams. His best year was with the Giants in .47 when he hit 35 homers and drove in 122.

Johnny Mize – 1B

One of the best hitters in the Hall of Fame who hardly anyone ever talks about. Mize led the National League in slugging four times, home runs four times, RBI three times, doubles and triples once, and he won a batting title. He finished second in MVP voting twice and third another time. He was really, really good with the lumber. He also missed three seasons in his prime to service in World War II, otherwise he would have had 500 home runs. He hit .336 in his six seasons as a member of the Cardinals, and he’s not that far behind Pujols as a hitter.

Keith Hernandez – 1B

Possibly the best defensive first baseman in baseball history, Hernandez also won a batting title. But on this team he can’t get past Pujols or Mize at first base.

Marty Marion – SS

The guy they called “The Octopus” can serve as our infield backup on this All-Time Team. Had there been Gold Gloves in his era, Marion would have won several.

Willie McGee – OF

Probably the most popular player in Cardinals history, which is saying a lot. McGee gives this team a switch-hitter (who won a batting title) with blazing speed who can play any outfield position.

Lou Brock – LF

On any other All-Time Team, Brock would probably have a starting spot, but the Cardinals are deep, especially in the outfield and in left where Lou usually played. He was a career .300 hitter and also of course, set the all-time record for stolen bases, which has since been broken.

Chick Hafey – RF

Another hard-hitting outfielder for our bench, Hafey could slug for power, hit for average, and he was a fast runner. Before he was forced to retire due to nagging injuries at 34, Hafey won a batting title, slugging title, and averaged 43 doubles, eight triples, and 21 homers per season. He also had one of the best throwing arms of any outfielder in the 1920s and 1930s.

Enos Slaughter – RF

The fifth Hall of Fame outfielder on this roster, Slaughter was a good, but not great ballplayer. He was famous for his hustle and his ornery temperament. He wanted to win as much as anyone who ever stepped on a ballfield. Like many players on this team, Slaughter missed several prime seasons while he was in uniform in World War II. Add those in and he probably gets 3,000 hits and boosts his career average well above the .300 mark where it rests.

Tony LaRussa – MGR

Both Frisch and Hornsby were successful player/managers, but LaRussa’s a better choice for this club. The Cards also have several other great Hall of Fame managers – Billy Southworth, Whitey Herzog to name two – but Tony had a 16-year career with St. Louis filled with success. He guided the Redbirds to a first-place finish eight times and won the pennant three times. He also won three pennants as manager of the Oakland A’s.

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4 Comments

  1. Jory February 3, 2013 at 8:16 AM - Reply

    Leaving Yadier Molina off of your roster is a huge oversight. Easily the best defensive Catcher I have ever seen and is one of the most clutch hitters in baseball.

    Yadi is much improved with the bat and few would argue that after Albert left for L.A. Yadier Molina is the leader of this ballclub.

    • Dan Holmes
      Dan Holmes March 18, 2013 at 9:37 PM - Reply

      Good point, and maybe Yadier should be on eventually. But the history of the Cardinals goes back farther than just the last five seasons or so. I appreciate your debate though!

  2. Jory February 3, 2013 at 8:18 AM - Reply

    Walker Cooper….. seriously?

    • Dan Holmes
      Dan Holmes March 18, 2013 at 9:36 PM - Reply

      Who would you have in front of Walker Cooper? The Cardinals have had several catchers who didn’t stay with the team long enough to qualify for the all-time team (our standard is they can only be eligible for the team they played the most games for).

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