The Mount Rushmore of the St. Louis Cardinals

stan-musial

This much belated post finishes our first pass of each franchise in the Mount Rushmore series.

The St. Louis Cardinals franchise traces its origins to the American Association and the St. Louis Brown Stockings who began play in that league’s inaugural 1882 season. In addition to four AA pennants, the Cardinals have also enjoyed the most success among NL franchises, with 19 pennants and 11 World Series titles. Your task is to choose the four players who best represent this franchise that has operated continuously and always in St. Louis for the past 135 seasons. Have fun!

After a sub-.500 finish in 1882, St. Louis shortened its name to the Browns and quickly established itself as a powerhouse, finishing above .500 in every one of the AA’s remaining 9 seasons, and above .600 in eight of those campaigns. Included were four straight championship seasons (1885-88) under new player/manager Charlie Comiskey (just 25 years old in 1885), with a composite .689 winning percentage over that period. From 1884 to 1890, the AA and NL champs met in a post-season series of varying length that was also known as the “World Series”; the Browns earned a tie and a win (the only triumph by an AA champion) in their first two appearances, before losing the last two. The dominant Browns players of these years were outfielders Tip O’Neill and Tommy McCarthy, infielders Arlie Latham and Yank Robinson, and pitchers  Silver KingBob CaruthersJack Stivetts and Dave Foutz.

With the demise of the AA following the 1891 season, the Browns moved to the NL and found considerably stiffer competition, going from an 85-51 finish in 1891 to just 56-94  in 1892. That was the first of eight straight sub-.500 finishes that culminated with four seasons (1895-98) finishing last or next-to-last and with a composite winning percentage of just .271. With a change in team colors and nickname in 1899 came a first winning season in the NL for the newly christened Perfectos (a bold nickname choice for a team on the heels of such woeful seasons). But, with a second name change to the Cardinals the next year (in response to the popularity of the new team colors) came another long string of losing seasons, with just three, well spaced, winning campaigns over the 1900-20 period and no finish higher than third. The best St. Louis players in almost three decades in the NL wilderness were infielders Rogers HornsbyEd KonetchyMiller Huggins and Bobby Wallace, outfielder Jesse Burkett (with 18.2 WAR in a three season “cameo”) and pitchers Ted BreitensteinSlim Sallee and Bill Doak, as well as legend Cy Young with a very creditable 16 WAR in just two seasons (1899-1900) as a Cardinal.

Hornsby’s arrival in St. Louis in 1915 heralded brighter team fortunes that started to be realized in the 1920s, with contending seasons in 1921 and 1922, and a first pennant and world championship in 1926, the latter decided when, down by a run, Babe Ruth was caught stealing for the final out of the 7 game series. Hornsby made his managerial debut that year, but the combination of his abrasiveness and exorbitant (in the eyes of Cardinal management) salary demands led to his departure before the next season. In spite of losing their most talented player (or, possibly, because of it) the Cardinals continued their winning ways, with four more pennants and two World Series titles from 1927 to 1934, taking the world championship in the last of those seasons as the rough and tumble “Gashouse Gang” (a sobriquet, referring to the dirty, smelly gas works found in most cities of the time, bestowed unkindly on account of the Cards’ supposed unkempt appearance and questionable hygiene habits, at least in the eyes of some, Leo Durocher principal among them). St. Louis continued to be competitive after that, with four second place finishes (none more than 5 games back) and only one sub-.500 campaign in the seven seasons from 1935 to 1941. The leading Cardinal players of the 1921 to 1941 period were infielders Rogers Hornsby (again), Johnny MizeJim Bottomley and Frankie Frisch, outfielders Joe Medwick and Chick Hafey, and pitchers Dizzy DeanJesse Haines and Bill Sherdel.

A September call-up on the 1941 team would lead St. Louis over the next two decades and become one of the game’s legends. Stan Musial‘s impact was immediate as the Cardinals reeled off three straight 105 win seasons (1942-44) resulting in an NL pennant each time and two World Series titles. St. Louis remained competitive for the remainder of the decade, winning 85+ games each season, including a third World Series title in 1946, made famous by “Slaughter’s Mad Dash” to score the series winning run in the eighth inning of game 7. The Cardinals didn’t post their next  sub-.500 season until 1954, but that would be the first of seven second division finishes over the last 10 seasons of Musial’s tenure, with the Redbirds best record over that period a second place 93-69 campaign in Musial’s farewell 1963 season. Besides Musial, the leading Cardinals over the 1942-63 period were infielders Ken Boyer, Red Schoendienst and Marty Marion, outfielder Enos Slaughter and pitchers Harry BrecheenLarry Jackson and Howie Pollet.

St. Louis posted a second straight 93-69 season in 1964, good enough for a pennant after the Phillies famous collapse in the home stretch of the pennant chase. In the Series, the Cards prevailed in 7 games over the Yankees in the curtain call for the Bombers post-war dynasty.  Two more pennants followed in 1967 and 1968, with St. Louis splitting a pair of memorable 7 game World Series, but then came a stretch of middling Cardinal teams with just one 90 win season from 1969 to 1981. St. Louis posted the NL’s best record in the strike-shortened 1981 season, but failed to win either half of that bifurcated campaign, thus missing out on the post-season. That success, though, presaged three more pennants in 1982, 1985 and 1987, an unusual confluence of titles as the Cardinals finished no better than 11 games back in the intervening years. All three of those World Series went the maximum 7 games, with the 1985 series probably the most memorable because of a blown call in game 6 by first base umpire Don Denkinger that led to a 9th inning comeback by the Royals who sealed the deal with an 11-0 whitewash in game 7. The top Cardinals of the 1964 to 1987 period were catcher Ted Simmons, infielders Keith Hernandez and Ozzie Smith, outfielders Lou Brock and Curt Flood, and pitchers Bob GibsonBob Forsch and Steve Carlton.

The Cardinal loss to the Twins in the 1987 World Series would be the team’s last post-season appearance for almost a decade, until the Redbirds claimed the 1996 NL Central title (in the NL’s new 3 division alignment) before bowing in 7 games to the Braves in the NLCS. St. Louis returned to the NLCS in 2000 and 2002 but didn’t claim its next pennant until a 105 win season in 2004. The Cards were swept in that year’s World Series by the Red Sox (in Boston’s first world championship in 86 years) but made up for it with a World Series triumph over the Tigers in 2006, the first for St. Louis in 24 years. Pennant-winning seasons followed in 2011 and 2013, with an improbable world championship in the former year after the Cardinals were twice down to their last strike against the Rangers before prevailing 10-9 in an unforgettable game 6, and completing the comeback in game 7. St. Louis has remained this century’s most consistently competitive team with twelve post-season appearances and just one sub-.500 finish in the 17 seasons since 2000. The best Cardinals since 1988 have been infielders Albert Pujols and Ozzie Smith (again), catcher Yadier Molina, outfielders Jim Edmonds and Ray Lankford, and pitchers Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter.

To help you with your picks, here are the top 20 career WAR scores among Cardinal batters.

Rk Player WAR OPS+ From To Age G PA R H HR RBI BB SO SB BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Stan Musial 128.1 159 1941 1963 20-42 3026 12718 1949 3630 475 1951 1599 696 78 .331 .417 .559 .976 3798H/1
2 Rogers Hornsby 91.4 177 1915 1933 19-37 1580 6716 1089 2110 193 1072 660 480 118 .359 .427 .568 .995 *465/H3798
3 Albert Pujols 86.4 170 2001 2011 21-31 1705 7433 1291 2073 445 1329 975 704 84 .328 .420 .617 1.037 *375/9HD64
4 Ozzie Smith 65.6 93 1982 1996 27-41 1990 8242 991 1944 27 664 876 423 433 .272 .350 .344 .694 *6/H
5 Ken Boyer 58.0 119 1955 1965 24-34 1667 7050 988 1855 255 1001 631 859 97 .293 .356 .475 .832 *58/6H
6 Enos Slaughter 50.3 126 1938 1953 22-37 1820 7713 1071 2064 146 1148 838 429 64 .305 .384 .463 .847 *97/H8
7 Ted Simmons 44.8 127 1968 1980 18-30 1564 6450 736 1704 172 929 624 453 11 .298 .366 .459 .824 *2/H3795
8 Curt Flood 42.2 100 1958 1969 20-31 1738 6913 845 1853 84 633 439 606 88 .293 .343 .390 .733 *8H/7594
9 Lou Brock 41.6 112 1964 1979 25-40 2289 9932 1427 2713 129 814 681 1469 888 .297 .347 .414 .761 *7H/98
10 Joe Medwick 39.8 142 1932 1948 20-36 1216 5057 811 1590 152 923 264 398 28 .335 .372 .545 .917 *7/H98
11 Johnny Mize 39.0 171 1936 1941 23-28 853 3581 546 1048 158 653 424 279 14 .336 .419 .600 1.018 *3/H9
12 Jim Edmonds 37.8 143 2000 2007 30-37 1105 4356 690 1033 241 713 645 1029 37 .285 .393 .555 .947 *8/H3D7
13 Ray Lankford 37.5 124 1990 2004 23-37 1580 6290 928 1479 228 829 780 1449 250 .273 .365 .481 .846 *87H/D
14 Keith Hernandez 34.3 130 1974 1983 20-29 1165 4724 662 1217 81 595 585 536 81 .299 .385 .448 .833 *3/H79
15 Jim Bottomley 33.5 136 1922 1932 22-32 1392 6007 921 1727 181 1105 509 429 50 .325 .387 .537 .924 *3/H4
16 Yadier Molina 33.3 98 2004 2016 21-33 1611 6157 541 1593 108 703 427 584 47 .285 .338 .400 .738 *2/3HD
17 Red Schoendienst 33.1 93 1945 1963 22-40 1795 7447 1025 1980 65 651 497 287 80 .289 .338 .388 .727 *4H7/658
18 Frankie Frisch 32.6 105 1927 1937 29-39 1311 5651 831 1577 51 720 448 133 195 .312 .370 .423 .792 *45/H6
19 Marty Marion 31.6 82 1940 1950 23-33 1502 5926 586 1402 34 605 451 520 35 .264 .323 .346 .669 *6/H
20 Bill White 28.1 119 1959 1969 25-35 1113 4615 627 1241 140 631 383 601 65 .298 .357 .472 .829 *3/7H89
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/12/2016.

And the top 20 pitchers, by career WAR as a Cardinal.

Rk Player WAR From To Age G GS CG SHO W L W-L% IP BB SO ERA FIP ERA+
1 Bob Gibson 81.9 1959 1975 23-39 528 482 255 56 251 174 .591 3884.1 1336 3117 2.91 2.89 127
2 Harry Brecheen 38.6 1940 1952 25-37 292 224 122 25 128 79 .618 1790.1 505 857 2.91 3.25 133
3 Dizzy Dean 38.5 1930 1937 20-27 273 196 141 23 134 75 .641 1737.1 407 1095 2.99 3.18 132
4 Jesse Haines 35.6 1920 1937 26-43 554 387 209 23 210 158 .571 3203.2 870 979 3.64 3.96 109
5 Ted Breitenstein 34.9 1891 1901 22-32 251 222 198 6 94 125 .429 1934.1 843 629 4.28 4.51 108
6 Adam Wainwright 34.4 2005 2016 23-34 320 254 22 10 134 76 .638 1768.1 449 1487 3.17 3.21 126
7 Max Lanier 29.6 1938 1951 22-35 277 187 85 20 101 69 .594 1454.2 524 764 2.84 3.07 133
8 Silver King 29.1 1887 1889 19-21 168 161 154 10 112 48 .700 1432.2 310 574 2.70 3.12 143
9 Mort Cooper 28.9 1938 1945 25-32 228 186 105 28 105 50 .677 1480.1 478 758 2.77 3.10 133
10 Larry Jackson 28.5 1955 1962 24-31 330 209 70 15 101 86 .540 1672.1 479 899 3.67 3.55 113
11 Howie Pollet 28.3 1941 1951 20-30 247 177 96 20 97 65 .599 1401.2 473 635 3.06 3.32 127
12 Chris Carpenter 27.8 2004 2012 29-37 198 197 21 10 95 44 .683 1348.2 296 1085 3.07 3.28 133
13 Bill Sherdel 25.7 1918 1932 21-35 465 243 145 11 153 131 .539 2450.2 595 779 3.64 3.75 105
14 Bob Caruthers 25.7 1884 1892 20-28 165 152 151 10 108 48 .692 1395.0 246 509 2.75 3.15 133
15 Slim Sallee 24.4 1908 1916 23-31 317 212 123 17 106 107 .498 1905.1 467 652 2.67 2.91 111
16 Bill Doak 23.5 1913 1929 22-38 376 320 144 30 144 136 .514 2387.0 740 938 2.93 3.09 105
17 Al Brazle 21.8 1943 1954 29-40 442 117 47 7 97 64 .602 1377.0 492 554 3.31 3.60 120
18 Bob Forsch 21.5 1974 1988 24-38 455 401 67 19 163 127 .562 2658.2 780 1079 3.67 3.82 101
19 Steve Carlton 20.9 1965 1971 20-26 190 172 66 16 77 62 .554 1265.1 449 951 3.10 3.02 114
20 John Tudor 20.0 1985 1990 31-36 128 125 22 12 62 26 .705 881.2 195 448 2.52 3.36 146
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/12/2016.

Please choose 4 players, or write in your own. Polls are open until midnight Pacific time on Sun, Oct 30th. You can check on results using the link at the bottom of the ballot.


If the ballot does not display properly in your browser, you can also vote here.

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52 Comments on "The Mount Rushmore of the St. Louis Cardinals"

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David P
Guest

Musial, Hornsby, Gibson and Pujols with apologies to The Wizard.

oneblankspace
Guest

Cardinals retired numbers:

—, Hornsby
1, OSmith
2, Schoendienst
6, Musial
9, Slaughter (also worn by Maris)
10, LaRussa
14, Boyer
17, Dizzy Dean
20, Brock
24, Herzog
42, JRobinson (BKN)
42, Sutter
45, Gibson
85, Gussie Busch
Microphone, Jack Buck

Luis Gomez
Guest

The Man, The Machine, The Wizard, Hoot (I did not knew this nickname).

no statistician but
Guest

Hey, David P:

For once we agree.

Musial, Hornsby, Gibson Pujols.

What’s sad to me is that Pete Alexander played a big role on three franchises, Cardinals being the last, and he not on any team’s Mt. Rushmore. Mize is another multi-team giant who gets no votes anywhere (even though he played on the Giants).

What about a Mt. Rushmore for greats who 1) played in the original sixteen team era—thus not having the chance, like Nolan Ryan, to dominate expansion team ballots—but 2) changed teams mid-career, so that their impact on any one team’s history was limited?

David P
Guest

Ha! I think we’ve agreed plenty NSB. And life wouldn’t be any fun if we always agreed. 🙂

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

8+ WAR seasons since 1901:

12.1 .. Rogers Hornsby
11.2 … Bob Gibson
11.1 .. Stan Musial
10.8 .. Rogers Hornsby
10.4 … Bob Gibson

10.2 .. Rogers Hornsby
10.0 .. Rogers Hornsby
9.9 … Rogers Hornsby
9.7 … Albert Pujols
9.6 … Rogers Hornsby

9.4 … Stan Musial
9.3 … Stan Musial
9.2 … Frankie Frisch
9.2 … Albert Pujols
9.1 … Stan Musial

9.1 … Scott Rolen
8.9 … Bob Gibson
8.8 … Stan Musial
8.7 … Albert Pujols
8.6 … Stan Musial

8.6 … Albert Pujols
8.5 … Joe Medwick
8.5 … Albert Pujols
8.4 … Albert Pujols
8.4 … Albert Pujols

8.4 … Mort Cooper
8.1 … John Tudor
8.1 … Willie McGee (same year as Tudor)
8.0 … Stan Musial

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

After having 6 of the top 8 offensive seasons in Cardinals history, Hornsby, in 3 consecutive years, had:

The 10th best in Giants’ history
(10.1)

The 4th best in Braves’ history
(8.8)

The best ever in Cubs’ history
(10.4)

Steven
Guest

Musial, Gibson, Simmons and Boyer. Left Pujols off because he voluntarily left the Cardinals.

Hartvig
Guest

Actually when I was looking over Albert’s career on Baseball-Reference I looked at the bottom where it shows how much the Angel’s still owe him on his contract.

If I were a Cardinal fan rooting for a team with a limited budget I don’t think I’d want that contract taking up that much of my teams payroll.

oneblankspace
Guest

Voted for:

That man Stan (and his harmonica)
the pitcher so good they had to lower the mound
.424
and
Go Crazy Folks

Dr. Doom
Guest

For every one of the posts (since a LONG time ago), I’ve tried to think of the top four before I open the link. In the case of many of these posts, I’ve forgotten someone, or I’ve seen something in the post that causes me to change my mind. In this particular case, my original thought was “Hornsby, Musial, Gibson, Pujols.” It’s hard to think that’s changed.

Apologies to Ozzie Smith, Ken Boyer, and (write-in candidate) Whitey Herzog.

Doug
Guest
If you were thinking, as I was, that one pitcher with 40 WAR must be a pretty low number for an original 16 franchise, well you’re (we’re) right. Every other original franchise has at least two. Here’s the list. Rk ▴ Tm #Matching 1 Atlanta Braves 9 Tommy Bond / John Clarkson / Tom Glavine / Greg Maddux / Kid Nichols / Phil Niekro / John Smoltz / Warren Spahn / Vic Willis 2 New York Yankees 8 Whitey Ford / Lefty Gomez / Ron Guidry / Andy Pettitte / Mariano Rivera / Red Ruffing / Bob Shawkey / Mel Stottlemyre… Read more »
oneblankspace
Guest

Every Original 16 team has at least 3 except the two from St Louis (and the two from the O’s are both from their Baltimore days) and Cincinnati.

Doug
Guest

The Reds last 40 WAR man was Eppa Rixey. Next longest without one is the Rangers (never) and the Pirates with Bob Friend.

Dr. Doom
Guest

Doug, I don’t know if you noticed, but Lefty Grove and Pete Alexander appear on your list for two different franchises. That is extremely impressive.

Steven
Guest

If Gussie Busch hadn’t gotten so angty with Steve Carlton over a few dollars, the Cardinals almost certainly would’ve had two.

Doug
Guest

Impressive indeed DD.

Two more who came close are Randy Johnson (39.3 WAR for Seattle) and Mike Mussina (35.1 WAR for Yankees).

If you add in his pre-1901 work, Cy Young has 60 WAR and 40 WAA for both the Spiders and Red Sox.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Buffalo Bisons
51.2 … Pud Galvin

Cleveland Blues
52.8 … Jim McCormick

Cleveland Spiders
81.6 … Cy Young

Louisville Colonels
40.1 … Guy Hecker (including offense)

Providence Grays
52.0 … Old Hoss Radbourne

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Pitchers with an impressive WAR with multiple franchises: (and Doug, I think you’re missing Randy Johnson, Seattle on your list) Cy Young 81.6 … CLV 66.2 … BOS 16.0 … STL Roger Clemens 81.3 … BOS 21.2 … NYY 20.1 … TOR 16.8 … HOU Pete Alexander 60.3 … PHI 44.6 … CHC 12.4 … STL Lefty Grove 65.2 … PHA 44.7 … BOS Tom Seaver 81.7 … NYM 18.6 … CIN 11.6 … CHW Randy Johnson 53.0 … ARI 43.6 … SEA Bert Blyleven 54.6 … MIN 22.7 … CLE 11.1 … TEX 10.0 … PIT Nolan Ryan 40.2… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

It is possible that somebody on the above list was over-credited for a season in which they played for multiple teams. I might have oopsed once or twice with that …

Doug
Guest

According to his B-R player page, RJ just misses out with the Mariners, totaling 39.3 WAR for Seattle.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Yep, when I grabbed his 1998 I included his work with Houston.

Hartvig
Guest
I’ve usually tried to vote for the player who best exemplifies an particular era for a franchise- usually it’s the best player but there have been exceptions. For various reasons the Cardinals are about as storied a franchise as any in MLB. The Gashouse gang, the war years, the 60’s, Whitey Herzog’s tenure & the Pujols era. Lot’s of guys connected with those teams or with team lore: Sunny Jim, Pepper, Ducky Wucky, the Big Cat, Country, Red, Lou Brock, Willie McGee, even Big Mac. Guys like Ken Boyer get lost because they were merely very, very good at a… Read more »
Jeff B
Guest

This one looked pretty easy to me.
Gibson, Hornsby, Musial and Pujols.
I understand Ozzie Smith was perhaps the best fielding SS ever, but I still think he is insanely overrated. He seems like he had a slightly better career than Omar Vizquel. I doubt, Omar will be a 1st ballot HOFer, and would be surprised if he makes it at all (at least prior to the veterans committee vote). The WAR numbers say differently, but I don’t really see that much of a difference between the two.

Mike L
Guest
Jeff B, I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I do remember that In one of Bill James’ old Baseball Abtracts, he made an interesting observation about Ozzie–that Ozzie worked at his hitting, and that he grew into a decent offensive player. From his age 29 year to his age 37 year, only once did he have an oWAR of less than 3.2, and his cumulative oWAR was 47.8, as compared to 32.2 for Omar–and all that in about 1400 fewer PA. In dWAR, Ozzie had 43.4 to Omar’s 28.4. and in about 1200 fewer SS innings. Ozzie’s… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest

Remember to that some of Ozzie’s greatest seasons in the field were in San Diego at a time when the Padres got about as much national coverage as the Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota.

birtelcom
Editor

Most Career World Series starts with a Game Score of 80 or more:
Bob Gibson 6
Christy Mathewson 4
15 pitchers tied with 2

Most Career Post-Season starts with a Game Score of 80 or more:
Bob Gibson 6
Christy Mathewson, Madison Bumgarner and Cliff Lee 4
Curt Schilling, John Smoltz, Josh Beckett and Dave McNally 3

e pluribus munu
Guest
It’s really astonishing how a dominant team like the Cardinals, with so many great players over the years, had so few great players over the years. It’s not going to change anything, but Enos Slaughter’s case is better than it appears. He lost his age 27-29 seasons to the War, and those seasons were probably worth about 15 WAR. I’d rank him ahead of Ozzie. But that still leaves him in the foothills, looking up at Musial, Hornsby, Gibson, and Pujols. I don’t really think there’s any way to displace one of those four heads (even though Hornsby’s is hopelessly… Read more »
oneblankspace
Guest
I had a recording of Abbott & Costello’s Who’s on First? routine from their radio show. The five real big-league players that were mentioned were Joe DiMaggio (who was hurt, so Costello would have to play for him), Bob Feller (nine Yankees are going to go up against one feller for Cleveland?), Dizzy Dean and his brother Daffy Dean (they give ballplayers strange names these days), and Enos Slaughter (This bat was made for Slaughter. — Haven’t you got any that were made for baseball? — No, no. Slaughter, the baseball player. — With that bat you could slaughter anybody)
John
Guest

Easy for this Cubs fan. Musial, Pulls, Gibson,& Dean. Hans down, no question. For me, that is

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

3+ teams with 15+ WAR:

Roger Clemens
81.3 … BOS
21.2 … NYY
20.1 … TOR
16.8 … HOU

Cy Young
81.6 … CLV
66.2 … BOS
16.0 … STL

Nolan Ryan
40.2 … CAL
25.4 … HOU
15.3 … TEX

Gaylord Perry
37.0 … SFG
33.3 … CLE
15.6 … TEX

Curt Schilling
36.8 … PHI
27.0 … ARI
17.8 … BOS

Tommy John
24.0 … CHW
20.3 … NYY
15.1 … LAD

Kevin Brown
20.5 … LAD
17.8 … TEX
15.0 … FLA
___________

almost…

Jack Quinn
17.0 … PHA
15.9 … BOS
14.0 … NYY

David Cone
20.3 … NYY
19.5 … NYM
14.0 … KCR

Dennis Eckersley
22.1 … BOS
15.9 … OAK
13.3 … CLE

robbs
Guest

Unless I’m reading it wrong or missed it above Adrian Beltre qualifies with 23.3; 37.9 and 21.2 for the Dodgers Rangers and Seattle, respectively. Plus 7.8 for the Bosox. Test case for the negative influence of multiple franchises on the HOF

Richard Chester
Guest

I think it was Voomo’s intention just to do it for pitchers. Other position players to do it are A-Rod and John Olerud.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Interesting how few position players are on the list.

Alex Rod
54.2 … NYY
38.0 … SEA
25.5 … TEX

Adrian Beltre
37.9 … TEX
23.3 … LAD
21.2 … SEA

John Olerud
22.5 … TOR
17.2 … NYM
17.0 … SEA

Close…

Bill Dahlen
33.9 … CHC
20.5 … BRO
14.8 … NYG

Roberto Alomar
22.2 … TOR
20.3 … CLE
12.4 … BAL
12.1 … SDP

Gary Sheffield
17.0 … LAD
13.0 … FLA
11.2 … ATL

Scary Tuna
Guest

Two others who were close:

Johnny Damon
17.3… KCR
16.4… BOS
14.4… NYY

Rogers Hornsby
91.4… STL
16.0… CHC
10.1… NYG
8.8… BSN

Hornsby would have only needed a second season (even partial season) with either the Giants or the Braves to reach 15.0 WAR.

Mike L
Guest
Voomo, just speculating–my impression is that historically, position players were valued more highly than pitchers of equivalent WAR and were therefor less likely to get traded (Hornsby being the clear exception). Roster stability was enhanced by the Reserve System. Once free agency came in, all players could move about more freely. But before, conventional wisdom was that the trade, straight up, of a high quality position player for “just” a pitcher was questionable. And since you didn’t have to trade, why do it unless you were getting rid of a problem? The Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas trade was induced,… Read more »
Robbs
Guest

Sorry missed just pitchers.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest
I’ve argued in previous “Mount Rushmore” discussions that there should be (at least) two sets of four players for The Original Sixteen (1901-on) teams, more for the truly elite franchises (Yankees and could have three or even four). This could be divided into pre-expansion (up till 1961, 1962) and post expansion (1961, 1962 to present). With that in mind, I’ll choose two Mount Rushmore’s, then condense to one. I prefer to honor every great era in a team’s history. With such a storied franchise as the Cardinals, there are just too many eras to fully honor, but here goes: PRE-EXPANSION… Read more »
Joseph
Guest

So many great players. But Musial, Pujols, Hornsby, and Gibson really stand out.

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