June 16, 2019

The All-Time St. Louis Cardinals (a draft book chapter)

December 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Who would be selected for a mythical All-Time Cardinals franchise dream team roster? Who would be the starters and who the backups? Who gets snubbed, not quite good enough to make the squad? And how have other authors, as well as fan surveys and the like, answered this fun question throughout the years?

This is the latest of my Seamheads postings  that summarize draft book chapters in my forthcoming book on baseball “All-Time Teams” (book title TBD.) As I update/write each chapter, I will post an abstract here, with a link to the full draft chapter as a PDF file hosted at my personal website. I am doing this in part to get comments and feedback as I continue the writing process. To read the entire draft chapter for the Cardinals, please see the  index web page and see the PDF for the Cardinals chapter. Also, I encourage you to read the draft of the book introduction as well, which explains a few ground rules for this project (e.g., that I am not separating  OF positions into RF, CF, LF, and that I am only counting the time players played for that particular franchise, not their time played for other teams).

I will here list my selections for starter and backup at each position, including six outfielders (without separation by RF/CF/LF), and also including 10 pitchers (any combination of up to 8 starters and up to 4 relievers). For my write-ups on why I chose each player, and for the many other players I considered at each position, see the full draft chapter for this team.

  • 1B: Albert Pujols, Jim Bottomley
  • 2B: Rogers Hornsby, Frankie Frisch
  • 3B: Ken Boyer, Pepper Martin
  • SS: Ozzie Smith, Marty Marion
  • C: Ted Simmons, Tim McCarver
  • OF: Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter, Lou Brock, Curt Flood, Joe Medwick, Jim Edmonds
  • SP: Bob Gibson, Dizzy Dean, Jesse Haines, Harry Brecheen, Mort Cooper, Bob Forsch
  • RP: Bruce Sutter, Todd Worrell, Lee Smith, Jason Isringhausen

There were some tough decisions, and lots of good players who didn’t make this roster, so see the full draft chapter for details. And for each team I am picking one “extra” player, the one who I felt was most deserving amongst those who were not selected as a starter, backup, or amongst the ten pitchers. Who do you think it should be for the Cardinals?

So assuming no DH, and without concern for a proper RF/CF/LF split, one reasonable starting lineup might be:

  1. Rogers Hornsby  2B
  2. Enos Slaughter  OF
  3. Stan Musial  OF
  4. Albert Pujols 1B
  5. Ken Boyer  3B
  6. Ted Simmons  C
  7. Lou Brock  OF
  8. Ozzie Smith  SS
  9. Bob Gibson SP

Or would you bat Brock leadoff and then perhaps move Slaughter to the fifth hole?

In the full draft chapter I then discuss the selections from other authors and fan surveys, including:

  • 1957: Sport magazine, October issue 
  • 1958: Named by St. Louis Chapter of Baseball Writers Association
  • 1969: The Sporting News Fan Poll 
  • 1990: The Baseball Research Journal 
  • 1992: The All-Time All-Star Baseball Book, Nick Acocella, and Donald Dewey 
  • 1992: Fan Survey
  • 1995: Baseball Ratings by Charles S. Faber 
  • 2003: Rob Neyer’s Big Book of Baseball Lineups by Rob Neyer 
  • 2003: Few and Chosen: Defining Cardinal Greatness Across the Eras, by Tim McCarver with Phil Pepe
  • 2006: The Team By Team Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball, by Dennis Purdy 

Do you know of any books or fan surveys that I’ve missed here? Please let me know in the comments to this posting.

Finally, as part of this project I am determining the all-time team that would be determined by Bill James’ innovative  Win Shares system. To see those results, see the full draft chapter for this team.

Again, your comments and feedback on the draft chapter are very much appreciated, as I hope to get the book published in the next year or so.

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