FanPost

all time greatest cardinals to me.

This is to spark conversation that are based soley on life experiences and perception rather than stats...ultimately thats what got us into the game so it is fun to visit. I dont think there is a better time to reflect than just before the start of a new season. So here is how it works, my favorite cardinals, a super brief description of why I love them and their stats from their best season with the redbirds. Some of my picks are based on reality others are based on my perceptions at the age of 9. Others are based on my fascination with Bat S!@# Crazy people. I avoided digging in to old cards and line ups to try and be clever, these are all off the top of my head...if you cannot name your top 25 favorite cardinals off the top of your head, what kind of cardinal fan are you? I tried to make this look as much like a fantasy league roster as possible, so I only list OF vice LF, CF, RF...it makes it much easier. The stats are from baseballreference.com. Additional Disclaimer: this list obviously reflects my disinterest in baseball from 1995 to 1998 when  I was more interested in music and girls than baseball...luckily, I got over it. Also, this list could be completely different tomorrow. Submitted for your approval...  

HITTERS    Year  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG    

1B -  Jack Clark 1987 131 419   93  120  23  1    35    106   1    2    136 139  .286  .459  .597

Jack Clark hit the first homerun that I recall witnessing in person. I was 6 years old. I was 12 rows behind home plate (my mom was old friends with a distant relative of Marge Schott and we were playing the Reds, it would be another 10 years before I would see a game closer than the nose bleeds) and Jack knocked the shit out of the ball. It could have just cleared the fence, but I heard him grunt and in my mind it went 750 feet. He also knocked Mike Scocia out cold and blew a small fortune on muscle cars and women...a man's man.

2B - Jose Oquendo 1989 163  556   59  162  28  7   1      48      3   5    79   59   .291   .375    .372  
Jose, as pointed out by his 92 Topps Studio card was born on the 4th of July and his favorite t.v. show is Night Court. In an alternate universe I would birth his children...our first born would have been named Harry, our second, Danfielding. He also has the record for best single season fielding percentage at 2nd Base in the history of baseball (1989).  Being known only as a great utility infielder is a disservice to his talent and career.

3B - Ken Boyer    1961 153  589   109 194  26  11 24   95    6     3    68    91   .329  .397  .533
Tough call as Boyer is essential a 1960s version of Rolen. Incredibly hard nosed. gifted fielder from the Midwest with a great bat whose career came up just short of the Hall of Fame. Bill James considers him one of the greatest players NOT in the Hall of Fame. Died too young to sway the Veterans Committee.  

SS - Ozzie Smith 1987 158  600   104  182  40  4   0   75      43    9   89   36  .303   .392    .383  

He was pretty good. His only drawback is that he never delivered a clutch homerun or anything too exciting. Very boring player.

OF - Stan Musial 1948 155  611   135   230  46 18  39 131     7  NA  79  34  .376    .450    .702

Stan was good at baseball.  

OF - Curt Flood 1965 156  617   90  191  30  3  11     83     9   3     51    50   .310   .366    .421

But for Curt Flood's challenge to MLB he would be in the Hall of Fame. He would have remained in St. Louis and had a long career. He was the best fielder of his generation and hitting well in the NL when pitchers were dominating. He was a casualty of the times but went down swinging. Not to be confused with Cardinal great Curt Ford...which I often did as a child and teenager.

OF -  Willie McGee 1985 152  612   114  216 26 18  10    82   56  16   34     86  .353    .384    .503

Willie was the most likeable person in the history of baseball. He had a great career that impacted me at a very young age. I remember pleading with him in game seven of the 1987 world series that if he delivered a game winning base hit I would never call him "E.T. McGee" again behind his back. E.T. McGee also was great to watch finishing his career with the Cards.

C - Tony Pena 1988 149  505   55  133  23  1  10      51    6   2     33    60    .263    .308  .372

Chalk this one up to 7 year old me. He was the catcher for the Cards, I was the catcher for the MBI Pinto league Cubs (I didn't get to pick the team I was on). He had a weird catching stance, I had to have a weird catching stance. He backed up 1st base, I backed up 1st base. It was a thing we had.    

PITCHERS (by the way, this was hard. I guess I don't like pitchers that much)
SP - Gibson Year W   L   G   GS  CG SHO  GF SV   IP     H       R   ER   HR  BB   SO  HBP  WP  BFP  IBB  BK  ERA
1968 22   9  34   34    28   13      0     0  304.7 198   49   38     11   62    268   7        4    1161   6       0    1.12

He is the one with the wallet that says Bad Mother F@%*er on it.

SP -  Alexander 1927 21  10  37  30   22    2        4     3   268.0  261   94  75     11   38    48      1       1    1082   NA   0  2.52

Grover Cleveland Alexander  was 40 when he pitched for the Cards but he is one of my favorite baseball characters. He was like an early version of Roger Clemens if steroids were alcohol. He was a complex man who finished up playing with my favorite barn storming team, the House of David.

SP -  Andujar 1985 21  12  38  38  10      2         0     0  269.7  265  113  102  15  82  112       11      2    1127   12   0    3.40

This is more based on my readings of Whitey's books but he falls into my Bat S!@#$ Crazy category. In a decade of Bob Forsch and John Tudor, he made things interesting.

SP - DeLeon 1989 16  12  36  36   5       3         0     0  244.7  173   96   83  16   80    201        6      2      972     5     0    3.05

I just remember being thrilled that we had a pitcher with over 200 strike outs and 15 wins. Times were tough. He had a sweet little mustache (I think) on one of his Topps cards. I could be wrong.

SP - Kile 2000 20   9   34   34  5      1          0     0  232.3  215  109  101  33   58  192       13     8       960    1     1     3.91

 I liked him...at least better than Morris. I found out he had died in the same letter I found out Jack Buck and my dog had died...while I was in Officer Training. That was a crappy letter.  

RP - Kline 2001  3   3   89   0      0   0          26      9  75.0   53    16     15     3  29  54          4       1       303    7   0    1.80

Steve Kline was great. He gave me his autograph and let me touch his hat. He was a dirt bag. He coached High School wrestling in the off season...oh and he was pretty untouchable in 2001.

RP - Worrell 1986 9  10   74   0       0   0         60     36  103.7 86  29      24      9 41  73          1       1       430   16   0    2.08

Todd Worrell signed a baseball card for me in the large appliance section of Murdale True Value in Carbondale, Illinois.  

CL -  Izzy 2004 4   2    74   0       0   0          66    47   75.3   55  27     24      5  23 71          2        1       308   4    0   2.87  

Being an Izzy fan sometimes reminds me of me being a republican. Sometimes I am so proud but other times he does something so embarrassing and stupid that I want to strangle him and act like I never had anything to do with him.    

BENCH (honorable mentions)Year  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG

Rex "Hurricane" Hudler 1991 101  207   21   47  10  2     1     15    12   8    10   29  .227    .260   .309  

I was young and the Cardinals were pretty weak. I was a slow white kid looking for a speedy white role model...Rex was fast (although his numbers don't show it, or did he think he was fast?)  so I liked him...and he had a life size poster night. He is a funny guy though and he tells some funny stories on sports radio when anyone gives him a chance.

Tim Jones 1988  31   52    2     14    0   0      0      3      4    1   4      10  .269    .321  .269

Tim Jones has the distinction of being the only Citadel graduate with a professional skate boarding contract to play for the Cardinals. I am not making that up. He now owns and operates a BBQ restaurant in     Little Rock, AK.        

Vince Coleman 1990 124  497   73   145  18  9     6   39      77   17  35   88  .292  .340  .400

I loved Vincent Van Go almost as much as he loved launching fireworks at children.

Mark Whitten 1993 152  562   81   142  13  4     25 99      15    8   58   110 .253  .323  .423  

He hit 4 homeruns in a game and you didn't .

Mike Laga 1988 41   100     5     13     0  0       1  4        0     0   2      21  .130  .147  .160  

Hit a foul ball out of Busch. Wore a pink shirt for his 87 Topps pic. Some say hack, I say ICON.

So Taguchi 2005 143  396  45  114   21  2       8  53     11  2   20      62   288    .322  .412  

Was one of the nicest ball players I have ever met in person. The Julio Franco of Japanese players.

Ron Gant 1996 122  419  74  103  14  2       30 82     13  4  73       98  .246  .359  .504

This one time I was at my buddy Jon K's house in 1996 and Ron Gant was up to the plate and the announcer said "the pitcher is throwing his 100th pitch of the night" and I looked at Jon and said Ron is going to hit this one out. And he did.

Reggie Sanders 2004 135  446   64  116  27  3      22  67     21 5 33      118  .260  .315  .482

Reggie was awesome. We wouldn't have had the opportunity to be swept by the Red Sox but for Reggie's performance in the post season of 04. As you can tell, unlike TLR, I like black ball players.

George Hendrick 1980 150  572   73  173  33  2      25 109   6   1 32         67  .302  .342  .498

On July 4th 1980, the day I first graced this planet, George hit a walk off homer in extra innings to win the game, I believe the final was 1 to 0. Ahhh, small ball.  

Honorable other mentions...Joe McEwing, Stubby Clapp, Bo Hart, Scotty, Jimmy, Sweet Lou, Mabry, Julian Tavarez (the other Bat S!@# Crazy candidate) Enos (even though he is a racist, him and my grandpa are the only racists I allow myself to love in spite of their ignorance),  Eck, Larry Walker and Will Clark.

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