I have written several posts waxing poetic about the unmatched grace and charm of the Cardinals long-time righthanded darling, Adam Wainwright. We can always use more, though, because
┃┃╱╲ In this
╱╱╭╮╲╲ we love
▔▏┗┛▕▔ & appreciate
That meme format is still relevant and cool, right? RIGHT?!
Anyway let’s talk about Adam Wainwright. Waino made his debut with the Cardinals in 2005 and has been with the team ever since. In those 17 seasons (16 playing since he missed 2011 recovery from Tommy John surgery) he has amassed 44.1 fWAR, started 350 games, pitched 2324 innings, and has a record of 178-105. His career ERA is 3.37 and career FIP is 3.43. In his 14 seasons as a starter he only has four below replacement level (2.0 fWAR) seasons — all of those were shortened seasons either to injury or global catastrophe. Waino is a three-time All Star, two-time Gold Glover, a Silver Slugger, and a four-time Cy Young finalist, coming in second place twice. He has 1.97 career Cy Young voting shares, the most of any player to not win the award and more than many players that have won the award.
Among Cardinals he is second in fWAR and in strikeouts to the late great Bob Gibson, third in wins, sixth in inning pitched, and fourth in games started. He is 23rd in career shutouts with 11, and has 27 complete games.
Among pitchers over age 39 or older Wainwright’s 2021 season is tied for 96th in history in fWAR with 2.8. He is currently 47th in ERA. Among Cardinals pitchers 39 or older he is having the fourth best season according to fWAR. There are very few pitchers that were able to continue pitching with this type of sucess late into their career. Even some of the very best could not.
On top of it all, he is just a cool dude. Remember when he painted his face for the US Men’s National Soccer Team match?
Or when he started his foundation Big League Impact and was awarded the Roberto Clemente Award?
Or all his cool family Halloween costumes?
Or his “Day After Pitching Old Man Walks”?
Today's "Day After Pitching Old Man Walk" brought to you from the great Progressive Field in Cleveland. Lot of really cool things about this stadium. Music selection: @STPBand radio on @pandoramusic I spy Jake Woodford pic.twitter.com/1hteFkO0N3— Adam Wainwright (@UncleCharlie50) July 28, 2021
Today's "Day After Pitching Old Man Walk" was pretty special. Not many parks can compare to the incredible PNC Park in Pittsburgh! Also, got to take a picture with my man Roberto Clemente. Cool story of all the intricacies of the statue itself that's worth a read if you get time. pic.twitter.com/DM8Rl4JDbp— Adam Wainwright (@UncleCharlie50) August 12, 2021
Or when Waino and Yadier Molina were The Cutest Friends?
We love these guys! Good luck to our friends @yadimolina04, @UncleCharlie50 and the @Cardinals on #OpeningDaySTL! Go Cards!! #TimeToFly pic.twitter.com/oSWNFgjPJB— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) April 5, 2019
I think Lexi Maddux put it pretty nicely in her tweet after Wainwright’s complete game shutout this season:
So Waino is almost 40, threw a complete game shutout in 88 pitches, also got 2 hits, only have up 2 hits, and is somehow also the nicest person you’ll ever meet. Right, got it.— Lexie Maddux (@LexieMaddux) August 12, 2021
Adam Wainwright deserves the world!