Monday, July 22, 2013

Facts About The St. Louis Cardinals

OK, so you think you're a St Louis Cardinals fan?  How many of these facts did YOU know?

The original name of the St Louis Cardinals was the Brown Stockings.  They were formed in 1882 in the American Association.

 In 1891, the team moved to the National League and changed the team name to the St. Louis Browns. In 1899, the name was changed to the Perfectos, and in 1900, the name was changed to the St. Louis Cardinals.  Later there was an American League team named the St. Louis Browns, from 1902 to 1954.  In 1954 that team moved to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Orioles.

From 1901 to 1918, The St. Louis Cardinals played at Robison Field, averaging 4,200 fans per game.

 The Cardinals have won more than 9,300 games, 11 World Series Championships, 18 National League Pennants, 3 National League Eastern Division Titles, and 8 National League Central Division Titles.

The Cardinals beat the New York Yankees to win their first world series in 1926.  Since then they have won the World Series in 1931, 1934, 1942, 1944, 1946, 1964, 1967, 1982, 2006 and 2011.

"Sunny" Jim Bottomley had more than 100 RBIs in 6 consecutive seasons for the Cardinals, from 1924 to 1929.

The Cardinals teams in the 30s were known as The Gashouse Gang. They got the nickname because of the unkept appearance.  According to one version, the nickname stuck when shortstop Leo Durocher said, "they think we're a bunch of gashousers," referring to workers in the plants which produced gas for heating and lighting in cities.  Another version is they got the nickname when Dizzy Dean bought a local gas station in Florida.

 There are more than 40 former Cardinal players and managers enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.

In all, the Cardinals have had 20 League MVPs and 3 Cy Young Award Winners.

 Although St. Louisans love their Cardinals, 90% of Cardinals fans come from outside the city of St. Louis!

The Cardinals radio network is the second largest in baseball with 117 stations in nine states (Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee) with the potential to reach over 21 million listeners.

Each year at Busch Stadium, Cardinals fans eat more than a half million hotdogs!

Albert "Red" Schoendienst did 3 stints as the Cardinals manager, from 1965 to 1976 (Winning 2 World Series), and in 1980, prior to the hiring of Whitey Herzog and 1990, after the departure of Herzog.

From 1996 to 2012, Tony LaRussa managed the Cardinals to 3 NL Pennants and 2 World Series Championships before retiring as the third winningest manager of all time, behind only Connie Mack and John McGraw.

Cardinal outfielder Lou Brock ranks second all-time in Major League Baseball with 938 stolen bases, leading the league 8 times.

In his first three seasons with the Cardinals, Vince Coleman stole more than 100 bases in each season. In 1985,  Coleman was injured as the automatic tarp at Busch Stadium rolled over his leg!

Cardinals legend Stan "The Man" Musial got his 3,000th hit off the arch rival Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.  He finished with 3630 hits:  1815 at home and 1815 on the road.

Before signing Jackie Robinson in 1945 and breaking baseball's color barrier, the innovative Branch Rickey managed the Cardinals in the 1920s and was credited with starting the minor league farm system which set the stage for successful Cardinals teams from then on.

The only Cardinal pitcher to win 30 games in a season was Dizzy Dean, who went 30-7 in 1934.  Tony Mullane with a 35-15 record in 1883 did it for the previous incarnation of the Cardinals, the Browns in 1887.

In the 1940s, a Cardinals player won the MVP 5 times: Mort Cooper in 1942, Marty Marion  in 1944, Stan Musial in 1943, 1946 and 1948.

In 1946, Enos Slaughter's "Mad Dash" from 1st base with 2 outs scored the winning run as the Cardinals beat the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. Slaughter scored exactly 100 runs in 1942, 1946 and 1947.

The Cardinals season home run leader is Mark McGwire, who hit 70 in 1998.  Outside of the "Steroid Era" the Cards Johnny Mize hit 43 in 1940.

 Rogers Hornsby was the first to hit 40 home runs for the Cardinals in 1922.  He also won the Triple Crown that year.  Hornsby won the Triple Crown twice in his career.

Bob Gibson only led the league in strikeouts once, in 1968, when he struck out 268 batters.  In 3 other seasons, he actually had more strikeouts but was beaten out by Sandy Kofax in 1965 and Sam McDowell in 1969 and 1970.  In 1968, Gibson led the league with a 1.12 ERA, which caused Major League Baseball to lower the height of the pitching mound.  Also in 1968, Gibson became the only Cardinal to win the Cy Young and MVP awards in the same season.

The Cardinals pitcher with the most no-hitters is Bob Forsch with 2. Bob Gibson and Dizzy Dean had one each.  The first Cardinals pitcher to throw a no-hitter was Jesse Haines in 1924.

Fernando Tatis  hit 2 grand slams in one inning for the Cardinals in 1999, off pitcher Chan Ho Park.  That's also a record for RBIs in one inning (8).  Ironically, Tatis later played for the minor league team in New Orleans, where he was on the same roster as Park.

Mark Whiten became the first Cardinal to hit 4 home runs in a game, in the second game of a doubleheader with the Cincinnati Reds in 1993.

Jose Oquendo played all nine positions in his major league career with the Cardinals, and even recorded a decision as a pitcher, losing in a 19 inning game to the Atlanta Braves.

Mike Laga was the only player to hit a ball completely out of the old Busch Stadium (it was a foul ball).

Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith played 4 seasons for the San Diego Padres before being traded to the Cardinals. He finished his career with 13 Gold Gloves, and 16 All-Star Game appearances.

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