St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals are the second most decorated MLB team in the National League with 10 world series, just behind the New York Yankees who have 26. Playing in the Central Division of the National League, they are sometimes referred to by the nicknames ‘the cards’ or ‘the redwings’.

The early days

Based in St. Louis, Missouri, the Cardinals were founded in 1882 as the St.Louis Brown Stockings and joined the National League ten years later. In 1900, the name was changed to the Cardinals.

As the Brown Stockings, the club was quick to win honours and achieved the feat of winning four American Association Pennants in a row between 1885 and 1888. In 1892, the American Association went bankrupt, forcing the ‘Browns’ to move into the National League. One year prior to choosing the Cardinals as a name, the club was known as the St. Louis Perfectos.

Things started to look up for the Cardinals in 1920, when Sam Breadon purchased the club and brought in Branch Rickey as General Manager. Rickey’s first decision as G.M was to sell off the ballpark and use the funds to support his idea of the minor league farm system, which produced several outstanding Cardinals’ players in the years that followed.

1926 saw the Cardinals win their first National League pennant and they went on to defeat the Yankees in seven games to take the World Series. At this time the club was led by Two-time Triple Crown winner and Hall of Famer, Rogers Hornsby.

The following year, led by Frankie Frisch, the Cardinals fell just short but claimed another pennant in 1928. Unfortunately they later fell to the Yankees in the World Series. In 1930 and 1931, the Cardinals won back to back pennants and were also pitched against the Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series, losing in 1930 but storming back to take it in ’31. The team went on to win a further World Series in 1934, a season which saw Dizzy Dean win 30 games, the last National League pitcher to do so.

Stan ‘the man’ Musial and the 40’s-70’s

“Ol’ Number 6” Stan Musial joined the Cardinals in 1941 and spent 22 years with the team. Musial is widely considered the greatest Cardinals’ player of all time and is also one of Major League Baseball’s greatest players.

He won 4 National League MVP awards during his time with the Cardinals and was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969, six years after leaving the Cardinals and his first year of eligibility. At the time of his retirement, Stan Musial held 17 Major League, 29 National League and 9 All Star game records.

Musial had a statue built in his honour outside the Busch Stadium where the Cardinals played their home games in 1969; the statue was moved to the new Busch Stadium when the team moved there in 2006.

The Cardinals dominated the National League during World War II, winning three straight pennants between 1942 and 1944. They also won a franchise record 106 games in 1942 and defeated the Yankees to take the World Series.

In 1943 and 1944, the team racked up 105 wins. In the World Series, the Cardinals were unfortunate to fall to the Yankees in the 1943 series. The next year was to turn out better, however, as the Cardinals met their rivals, the St. Louis Browns, in the World Series and defeated them to take their fifth series. The Cardinals claimed the pennant and the World Series in 1946, defeating the Boston Red Sox thanks to Enos Slaughter.

The Cardinals took a further World Series in 1964, defeating the Yankees yet again. The team, which had been bought in 1953 by the Anheuser-Busch brewery, moved to the new Busch Memorial Stadium in 1966 and hosted the MLB All-Star game that summer.

The team went on to win the 1967 World Series over the Red Sox but failed to repeat the task in 1968 against the Detroit Tigers and went on a decade-long run of failing to win a pennant.

From the 80’s to now

It was not until 1981 that the Cardinals regained their winning mentality but they failed to make the play-offs due to the season being shortened as a result of the Major League Baseball strike. In 1982 the Cardinals exchanged a player for Ozzie Smith from the San Diego Padres, and this spurred them into action, finally taking the World Series again in a victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

In the following years, however, the Cardinals would have to wait until 1985 to reach the World Series when they were defeated by Kansas City Royals. Two years later in 1987 defeat to the Minnesota Twins spoiled the party.

The late eighties and early nineties would prove difficult for the Cardinals and it was not until 1996 that they made a renewed effort and won the National League Central. The Cardinals also defeated the Padres in the National League Division Series but fell to defeat at the hands of the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series.

At the turn of the millennium, the Cardinals again came into their own and started to win, taking the National League Central in six of the seven seasons. The Cardinals were play-off losers in 2000, 2001 and 2002 and missed the play-offs completely in 2003.

The next year was an epic year for the Cardinals who stormed the National League, defeating the Dodgers in the National League Division Series, the Houston Astros in the Championship Series and making it through to a showdown with the Red Sox who defeated them to win their first World Series in 86 years. In 2005, the Cardinals again made it through to the Championship Series but lost out this time to the Astros.

In 2006, the Cardinals took their tenth World Series having defeated the San Diego Padres in the Division Series and the New York Mets in the Championship Series. They faced the Detroit Tigers for the World Series and secured the win in five games to take the series.

The new millennium saw tragedy as well as triumph strike the Cardinals as they saw several of their franchise die. In 2002, at the age of 77, long time Cardinals’ radio broadcaster, Jack Buck passed away. Four days later, a shock was to come as 33 year-old Cardinals’ starting pitcher, Darryl Kile, suffered heart failure in his sleep and died on the eve of a game with the Chicago Cubs. In 2007, Josh Hancock another Cardinals’ pitcher, was killed in a car accident aged 29.

2007/8 Spring Training Roster

Pitchers

  • 29 Chris Carpenter
  • 33 Matt Clement
  • 34 Randy Flores
  • 31 Ryan Franklin
  • 77 Blake Hawksworth
  • 44 Jason Isringhausen
  • 56 Kelvin Jiménez
  • 19 Tyler Johnson
  • 52 Josh Kinney
  • 41 Braden Looper
  • 68 Kyle McClellan
  • 64 Jason Motte
  • 30 Mark Mulder
  • 65 Mike Parisi
  • 35 Joel Piñeiro
  • 23 Anthony Reyes
  • 36 Russ Springer
  • 48 Brad Thompson
  • 50 Adam Wainwright
  • 37 Todd Wellemeyer
  • 67 Mark Worrell

Catchers

  • 21 Jason LaRue
  • 4 Yadier Molina

Infielders

  • 62 Brian Barden
  • 8 Troy Glaus
  • 70 Jarrett Hoffpauir
  • 3 César Izturis
  • 7 Adam Kennedy
  • 12 Aaron Miles
  • 5 Albert Pujols
  • 13 Brendan Ryan

Outfielders

  • 24 Rick Ankiel
  • 66 Brian Barton
  • 16 Chris Duncan
  • 43 Juan Encarnación
  • 86 Cody Haerther
  • 47 Ryan Ludwick
  • 88 Joe Mather
  • 55 Skip Schumaker

Manager

  • 10 Tony La Russa

Coaches

  • 20 Lou Brock (special instructor)
  • 18 Dave Duncan (pitching)
  • 45 Bob Gibson (special instructor)
  • 38 Marty Mason (bullpen)
  • 39 Dave McKay (first base)
  • 15 Hal McRae (hitting)
  • 11 José Oquendo (third base)
  • 49 Joe Pettini (bench)
  • 2 Red Schoendienst (special asst)

Retired Numbers

  • 1 Ozzie Smith
  • 2 Red Schoendienst
  • 6 Stan Musial
  • 9 Enos Slaughter
  • 14 Ken Boyer
  • 17 Dizzy Dean
  • 20 Lou Brock
  • 42 Jackie Robinson
  • 45 Bob Gibson
  • 85 Gussie Busch (Owner)

Roll of Honour

Major league titles World Series titles (10) 2006, 1982, 1967, 1964
1946, 1944, 1942, 1934, 1931, 1926
NL Pennants (17) 2006, 2004, 1987, 1985, 1982, 1968, 1967, 1964
1946, 1944, 1943, 1942, 1934, 1931, 1930, 1928, 1926
AA Pennants (4) 1888, 1887, 1886, 1885
Central Division titles (7) 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1996
East Division titles (3) 1987, 1985, 1982
Wild card berths (1) 2001

Owner(s): William DeWitt, Jr. and Fred Hanser
Manager: Tony La Russa
General Manager: John Mozeliak

The Stadium

The Cardinals now play at the Busch Stadium where they have played since 2006. It cost $346 million to build and has a capacity of 46,861, of which 43,975 is seated. This is the third Busch Stadium that has been home to the Cardinals.

Their original stadium was Sportsman’s Park where the team were housed from 1882-1892, before moving to Robinson’s Field in 1893. Robinson’s Field was named Sportsman’s Park (they kept the name as homage to the original stadium) until 1899 when it changed its name to League Park and then to Cardinal Field in 1917.

In 1920, the team moved once more to Sportsman’s Park, again in homage to the original. This incarnation of Sportsman’s Park was later renamed ‘Busch Stadium’ when the Cardinals were purchased by the Anheuser-Busch brewery in 1953. In 1966, the Cardinals built a new Busch Stadium and moved in there until 2006 when a third Busch Stadium was built and the Cardinals now reside there.

Field Dimensions

  • Left Field – 336 ft / 102.5 m
  • Left Center Field – 375 ft / 114 m
  • Center Field – 400 ft / 122 m
  • Right Center Field – 375 ft / 114 m
  • Right Field – 335 ft / 102 m