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St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals

Ballpark:
Busch Stadium III (2006 - present)
Established:
1892
Affiliations:
AAA Memphis Redbirds,AA Springfield Cardinals,Advanced A Palm Beach Cardinals,A Quad City River Bandits
Retired Numbers:
1, 2, 6, 9, 14, 17, 20, 24, 42, 42, 45
Owners:
William DeWitt, Jr. and Fred Hanser
Manager:
General Manager:
John Mozeliak
Played As:
SLN

St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals have won 10 World Series championships, tops in the National League and second in MLB only to the American League's New York Yankees, who have 27.

The Cardinals were founded in the American Association in 1882 as the St. Louis Brown Stockings, taking the name from an earlier National League team. They joined the National League in 1892 and have been known as the Cardinals since 1900.

The Cardinals began playing in the current Busch Stadium in 2006, and were the first team since the Yankees in 1923 to win the World Series in their first season in a new ballpark (the Yankees would repeat the feat in 2009 at the new Yankee Stadium). The Cardinals have a long standing rivalry with the Chicago Cubs as well as a newer rivalry with the Houston Astros.

History

1880s–1930s

The Cardinals were founded in 1882 as a member of the American Association called the St. Louis Brown Stockings. The club quickly achieved success, winning four AA pennants in a row in 1885–1888. St. Louis played in an early version of the World Series, the first two times against the National League's Chicago White Stockings, now named the Chicago Cubs. The 1885 series ended in dispute, but St. Louis won the 1886 series outright, beginning a St. Louis-Chicago rivalry that continues today. The American Association went bankrupt in 1892, and the Browns moved to the National League, leaving much of their success behind for the next three decades. The club changed its name to the "Perfectos" in 1899, before adopting the "Cardinals" name in 1900.

From 1902–1954, an American League Team, the St. Louis Browns, also played in St. Louis. The Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954 and became the Baltimore Orioles.

The Cardinals' fortunes in the National League began to improve in 1920, when Sam Breadon bought the club and named Branch Rickey his general manager. Rickey immediately moved the Cardinals to Sportsman's Park to become tenants of their American League rivals, the St. Louis Browns, and sold the Cardinals' ballpark. Rickey used the money from the sale to invest in and pioneer the minor league farm system, which produced many great players and led to new success for the Cardinals.

Led by Rogers Hornsby, who won the Triple Crown in both 1922 and 1925, the Cardinals improved drastically during the 1920s. They won their first National League pennant in 1926 and then defeated the favored New York Yankees in seven games to win the World Series. In 1927, now led by Frankie Frisch, the Cardinals fell just short, before claiming another pennant in 1928. The Yankees avenged their 1926 loss, however, by sweeping the Cardinals in four games in the 1928 World Series.

The Cardinals kept winning in the next decade, claiming back-to-back pennants in 1930 and 1931. The Cardinals matched up with the Philadelphia Athletics in both World Series, losing in 1930 but returning to win the 1931 series. In 1934 the team, nicknamed the "Gashouse Gang" for their shabby appearance and rough tactics, again won the pennant and then the World Series over the Detroit Tigers. Dizzy Dean won 30 games that season, the last National League pitcher to reach that mark. Joe Medwick won the Triple Crown in 1937, the last National League hitter to achieve the feat, but the Cardinals failed to win a pennant in the second half of the decade

1940s–1970s

Outfielder Stan "the Man" Musial joined the Cardinals in 1941. Musial spent 22 years in a Cardinals uniform and won three NL MVP Awards. Led by Musial, the Cardinals dominated the National League during World War II, winning three straight pennants from 1942–1944. The 1942 "St. Louis Swifties" won a franchise record 105 games and defeated the Yankees in the World Series. The team then posted 105 wins in both 1943 and 1944. The Cardinals fell to the Yankees in the 1943 World Series rematch. The 1944 World Series was particularly memorable, as the Cardinals met their crosstown rivals, the St. Louis Browns, in the "Streetcar Series," with the Cardinals prevailing for their fifth title. In 1946 the Cardinals finished the season tied with the Brooklyn Dodgers, but claimed the pennant in a 3-game playoff series. The Cardinals then won the World Series in 7 games against the Boston Red Sox. In the bottom of the 8th inning in Game 7, with the score tied at 3–3, Enos Slaughter scored on a "Mad Dash" from first on a double to left-center to win the game and the series.

Rickey had left the Cardinals to become general manager of the Dodgers in 1942, and after their 1946 win, the Cardinals slid back to the middle of the National League. In 1953 the Anheuser-Busch brewery bought the Cardinals, and August "Gussie" Busch became team president. He soon purchased Sportsman's Park from St. Louis Browns owner Bill Veeck, renovated the ballpark, and renamed it Busch Stadium. The Browns, who had not been as successful or popular as the Cardinals in three decades, realized they could not compete with the deep pockets of the brewery. After the 1953 season the Browns left St. Louis to become the Baltimore Orioles, and the Cardinals were left as the only major league team in town.

The Cardinals achieved another period of success in the 1960s with the help of a trade and a dominating pitcher. In 1964 the Cardinals traded pitcher Ernie Broglio and two other players to the rival Cubs for outfielder Lou Brock and two other players. The trade, since nicknamed "Brock for Broglio," has become definitive of a trade which in retrospect is ridiculously lopsided. The Cardinals would prove to be on the good side of the trade, as Brock would successfully replace Musial, who had retired at the end of 1963, in left field. Behind Brock and pitcher Bob Gibson, who won 20 games for the first time, the Cardinals won the 1964 World Series over the Yankees, with Gibson named series MVP. In 1966 the Cardinals moved to the new Busch Memorial Stadium, where they hosted the MLB All-Star Game that summer. The next year the team reached and won the 1967 World Series over the Red Sox. Gibson pitched three complete-game wins, allowing only three earned runs, and was named World Series MVP for the second time. In 1968, nicknamed the "Year of the Pitcher" for the domination of pitching over hitting throughout the majors, the Cardinals' Bob Gibson proved to be the most dominant pitcher of all. Gibson's earned run average of 1.12 is a live-ball era record, and he won both the NL Cy Young Award and the NL MVP Award. Behind Gibson's season the Cardinals reached the 1968 World Series against the Detroit Tigers. Gibson would pitch another three complete games and set a World Series record with 35 strikeouts, including a single-game record 17 in Game 1. However, a key error by Cardinals outfielder Curt Flood in Game 7 allowed the Tigers to win the series. Gibson would win a second Cy Young Award in 1970, and Joe Torre won the NL MVP Award in 1971, but the Cardinals would fail to win a pennant during the 1970s.

1980–1989

The Cardinals returned to their winning ways in 1981, but were left out of the playoffs in the strike-affected season; despite posting the best overall record in the NL East, they finished in second place in each half of the split season. But just like in 1964, a trade would propel the Cardinals upward. Before the 1982 season began the Cardinals acquired shortstop Ozzie Smith from the San Diego Padres via a trade in exchange for Garry Templeton. With Smith, and playing a form of baseball nicknamed Whiteyball after manager Whitey Herzog, the Cardinals won the 1982 World Series over the Milwaukee Brewers. Herzog's Cardinals then reached the 1985 World Series against the Kansas City Royals. The series was nicknamed the "I-70 Series" after the highway that connects the two in-state rivals. The Royals won in seven games, but the series is most remembered by Cardinals fans for a blown call by umpire Don Denkinger in Game 6. The Cardinals would also reach the 1987 World Series, losing to the Minnesota Twins in seven games.

1990–1999

The Cardinals hit another period of little success in the early 1990s. Joe Torre replaced Herzog as manager, but failed to make the playoffs despite several winning seasons. Before the 1996 season the Cardinals were purchased by new owners led by William DeWitt, Jr. and hired Tony La Russa away from the Oakland Athletics. The team won the NL Central that season and defeated the Padres in the NLDS before falling to the Atlanta Braves in 7 games the NLCS. In 1998, the Cardinals were the focus of the baseball world as slugging first baseman Mark McGwire broke the single season home run record by hitting 70 home runs. McGwire's epic pursuit of Roger Maris' record along with the Cubs' Sammy Sosa helped to re-popularize baseball after the 1994 strike.

2000–present

The new millennium brought new success. The Cardinals, led primarily by Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina, and a decent pitching roster, won the NL Central in six of seven years. The Cardinals reached the playoffs in 2000, 2001, and 2002, then missed in 2003. In 2004, the Cardinals won 105 games, the best record in baseball, then defeated the Dodgers in the NLDS and the Houston Astros in a seven-game NLCS to reach the 2004 World Series against the Boston Red Sox, who swept the Cardinals in four games. The Cardinals lost only 4 times in a shutout in the regular season, but were shut out 3 times in the postseason, including 1 shutout loss in every series in the playoffs (4–0 to the Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLDS, 3–0 to the Astros in Game 5 of the NLCS, and 3–0 to the Red Sox in Game 4 of the World Series).

The Cardinals won 100 games and another Central Division title in 2005, but lost in an NLCS rematch to the Astros.

In 2006, the Cardinals moved to the new Busch Stadium. Despite winning only 83 games during the season, the Cardinals defeated the San Diego Padres in the NLDS and the New York Mets in a seven game NLCS. In the 2006 World Series, the Cardinals faced the heavily-favored Detroit Tigers, but won in five games for the franchise's tenth World Series title.

On August 22, 2009, they defeated the San Diego Padres for the 10,000th win in franchise history, becoming only the fourth team to accomplish the feat, after the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, and Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Cardinals became the first Major League Baseball club to clinch a division title in 2009, beating the Colorado Rockies on September 26. The Cardinals were considered strong contenders for the league pennant because of their strong starting pitching and offense, but were swept in three games by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the best-of-five National League Division Series, despite having beaten the Dodgers five of seven times in the regular season.

The 2009 season also saw three Cardinal players lead the National League in three categories. Pujols's 47 home runs was tops in the majors, pitcher Adam Wainwright's 19 wins was the most in the National League (and tied for most in the majors with three American League pitchers), and Chris Carpenter's ERA of 2.24 was the best in the National League. Pujols won the MVP award, while Carpenter and Wainwright finished 2nd and 3rd in Cy Young Award voting. Carpenter was also named the National League's Comeback Player of the Year.

The 2000s were not all happiness and light. On June 18, 2002, long-time Cardinals radio broadcaster Jack Buck died. Four days later, Cardinals starting pitcher Darryl Kile died in his sleep, apparently of heart failure, before a game in Chicago against the Cubs. On April 29, 2007, also during a series with the Cubs, Cardinals relief pitcher Josh Hancock, 29, was killed in a car accident while driving drunk when his vehicle collided with a stopped tow truck that was aiding a disabled motorist on Interstate 64, not far from Busch Stadium.

 
 
 
Tagged:
1982 World Series, 2006 World Series, Albert Pujols, Baseball History, MLB Current, St. Louis Cardinals, Stan Musial, Stan Musial Statue
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