About the St. Louis Cardinals

By | Apr 6, 2007

The St. Louis Cardinals were one of the original members of the American Association that began play in 1882. At the time they were called the St. Louis Brown Stockings, a name that had been used by previous teams in St. Louis.

There was a St. Louis Brown Stockings as part of the both the National Association for one year and the National league for two. The name was quickly shorten and won 4 American Association pennants in a row from 1885-1888. They joined the National League in 1892 when the American Association folded.

In 1899 the man who owned the Cardinals and the Cleveland Spiders (Their last year was also 1899) moved many players to St. Louis. They changed the colors on their uniforms from brown to red and were called the Perfectos changing to the Cardinals in 1900.

A highlights of Cardinals history came via 1930s era Gashouse Gang featuring Dizzy Dean, Joe Medwick, Pepper Martin, and Leo Durocher. The team earned its nickname from the team’s generally very shabby appearance and rough-and-tumble tactics. The 1934 team fielded five regulars that batted over .300 and the pitcher Dizzy Dean. Dean won 30 games the last time a National League pitcher achieved that mark and only Detroit’s Denny McLain in 1968 has reached it. Dean and his brother Paul pitched the four wins against the Tigers in the World Series with a combined era of 1.43.

Along with the 4 American Associations pennants, the Cardinals have won 10 divisional titles, along with one Wild Card berth. They have won 17 National League pennants, winning 10 World Series, which is also the most of any national League team.

The Cardinals have retired the uniform numbers; 1-Ozzie Smith, 2-Red Schoendienst, 6-Stan Musial, 9-Enos Slaughter, 14-Ken Boyer, 17-Dizzy Dean, 20-Lou Brock, 42-Bruce Sutter (42 is actually retired by every Major League team in honor of Jackie Robinson), 45-Bob Gibson, 85-Gussie Busch (owner). Rogers Hornsby is also honored, but he played before uniform numbers were used. The number 25 has not been used since Mark McGwire retired in 2001 nor has the number 57 used by Denny Kile when he died in 2002. Willie McGee’s number of 51 was used once since he retired in 1999, but not used since 2001.

The Cardinals were the first team since the 1923 New York Yankees to win a World Series in their first season in a new park.


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