The St. Louis Cardinals are one of the grand old teams of the National League. The franchise was formed in 1882 as a member of the American Association, a rival to the National League. The franchise was originally known as the Brown Stockings but changed to the Cardinals in 1900.
The Cardinals were almost immediately successful, winning pennants in four consecutive seasons from 1885 to 1888. In the process the Cardinals established their long standing rivalry with the Chicago Cubs, originating from the Cardinals' controversial victory in an early version of the World Series.
After the American Association ceased operating in 1892, the Cardinals moved to the National League. The move proved to be the beginning of three decades of frustration.
The franchise's turnaround began in 1920 when Sam Breadon bought the Cardinals and hired Branch Rickey as general manager. The Cardinals also benefited from talent they already had in place and that which developed through the team's innovative farm system. Led on the field by two time Triple Crown winner and 1925 MVP Rogers Hornsby, the Cardinals advanced to the 1926 World Series against the fearsome New York Yankees. Nevertheless, the Cardinals won a hard fought series in seven games when Babe Ruth was thrown out trying to steal second base.
The Cardinals again won pennants in 1928 and 1930, but in both cases lost the in the World Series. In 1928, they were swept by the "Murderer's Row" lineup of the New York Yankees. Then in 1930, they lost in six games to another of the greatest teams ever assembled in the Philadelphia Athletics.
The Cardinals squared off against the Athletics the following, but this time came away with a seven game victory. The "Gashouse Gang" Cardinals repeated as World Series champs in 1934 with a seven game victory over the Detroit Tigers. The Cardinals of these years were led by pitcher Dizzy Dean and 1937 Triple Crown winner Joe "Ducky" Medwick.
During the 1940s the Cardinals were a dominant team led by Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter and Red Schoendienst, all future Hall of Famers. Behind Musial's brilliance at the plate, the Cardinals advanced to and won the 1942 World Series against the Yankees in five games. The Yankees exacted their revenge the following year by defeating the Cardinals in five games.
St. Louis won a third consecutive pennant the following year and emerged as champions from the World Series. Known as the "Streetcar Series", the Cardinals defeated the St. Louis Browns in six games.
The Cardinals won yet another World Series title in 1946 against the Boston Red Sox. The Cardinals prevailed in a thrilling seven game series that was capped off by Enos Slaughter's famous "mad dash" in the seventh game. That run provided the margin of victory for the Cardinals' sixth World Series championship.
If the 1950s did not quite reach the heights of the preceding three decades, the 1960s reestablished the Cardinals as one of baseball's elite teams. Led by Bob Gibson and Lou Brock, the Cardinals appeared in three World Series in the decade, winning two. The first appearance was in 1964, when St. Louis defeated the New York Yankees in seven games. In 1967, the Cardinals defeated the Boston Red Sox in seven games. The following year, they returned to the World Series but lost to the Detroit Tigers in seven games.
The 1980s turned out to be another successful decade for St. Louis. The Cardinals made their way back to the World Series in 1982, where they faced the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals won the series in seven games. The Cardinals lost the World Series in their next two appearances, first to the Kansas City Royals in seven games in 1985, then to the Minnesota Twins in 1987 in seven games.
The Cardinals did'nt make another World Series until 2001, when they were swept by the Boston Red Sox. The Cardinals returned to the World Series in 2006, this time defeating the Detroit Tigers in five games.
World Series Appearances
Hall of Famers
- 1926: Won 4-3 over the New York Yankees
- 1928: Lost 4-0 to the New York Yankees
- 1930: Lost 4-2 to the Philadelphia Athletics
- 1931: Won 4-3 over the Philadelphia Athletics
- 1934: Won 4-3 over the Detroit Tigers
- 1942: Won 4-1 over the New York Yankees
- 1943: Lost 4-1 to the New York Yankees
- 1944: Won 4-2 over the St. Louis Browns
- 1946: Won 4-3 over the Boston Red Sox
- 1964: Won 4-3 over the New York Yankees
- 1967: Won 4-3 over the Boston Red Sox
- 1968: Lost 4-3 to the Detroit Tigers
- 1982: Won 4-3 over the Milwaukee Brewers
- 1985: Lost 4-3 to the Kansas City Royals
- 1987: Lost 4-3 to the Minnesota Twins
- 2001: Lost 4-0 to the Boston Red Sox
- 2006: Won 4-1 over the Detroit Tigers
- Grover Cleveland Alexander, picther (1926-1929)
- Jake Beckley, 1st Base (1904-1907)
- Jim Bottomley, 1st Base (1922-1932)
- Roger Bresnahan, catcher (1909-1912)
- Lou Brock, outfielder (1964-1979)
- Mordecai Brown, pitcher (1903)
- Jesse Burkett, outfielder (1899-1901)
- Steve Carlton, pitcher (1965-1971)
- Orlando Cepeda, 1st Base (1966-1968)
- Charles Comiskey, manager (1882-1889, 1891)
- Roger Connor, 1st Base (1894-1897)
- Dizzy Dean, pitcher (1930-1937)
- Frankie Frisch, 2nd Base (1927-1938)
- Dennis Eckersley, pitcher (1996-1997)
- Pud Galvin, pitcher (1892)
- Bob Gibson, pitcher (1959-1975)
- Burleigh Grimes, pitcher (1930-1931, 1933-1934)
- Chick Hafey, outfielder (1924-1931)
- Jesse Haines, pitcher (1920-1937)
- Rogers Hornsby, 2nd Base (1915-1926, 1933)
- Rabbit Maranville, shortstop (1927-1928)
- Bill McKechnie, manager (1928-1929)
- Joe Medwick, outfielder (1932-1940, 1947-1948)
- Johnny Mize, 1st Base (1936-1941)
- Stan Musial, outfielder/1st Base (1941-1944, 1946-1963)
- Kid Nichols, pitcher (1904-1905)
- Red Schoendienst, 2nd Base (1945-1956, 1961-1963)
- Enos Slaughter, outfielder (1938-1942, 1946-1953)
- Ozzie Smith, shortstop (1982-1996)
- Billy Southworth, manager (1929, 1940-1945)
- Bruce Sutter, pitcher (1981-1984)
- Dazzy Vance, pitcher (1933-1934)
- Bobby Wallace, shortstop (1899-1901, 1917-1918)
- Hoyt Wilhelm, pitcher (1957)
- Vic Willis, pitcher (1910)
- Cy Young, pitcher (1899-1900)
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