- The St. Louis Cardinals was also the name of a National Football League team based in Saint Louis, Missouri, which moved and became the Phoenix Cardinals (now known as the Arizona Cardinals) in 1988.
The St. Louis Cardinals are an American Major League Baseball team based in Saint Louis, Missouri. They are in the Central Division of the National League.
- Founded: 1882 in the American Association. Moved to National League in 1892.
- Formerly known as: St. Louis Brown Stockings (1882), St. Louis Browns (1883-1898), St. Louis Perfectos (1899). Name became "Cardinals" in 1900.
- Home ballpark: Busch Stadium (1966-2005)
- Uniform colors: Cardinal red, White, and Navy blue
- Logo design: One or two cardinals perched on a baseball bat.
- Mascot: Fredbird, an anthropomorphized Northern Cardinal
- Wild Card titles won (1): 2001#
- Division titles won (7): 1982, 1985, 1987, 1996, 2000, 2001#, 2002, 2004
- American Association pennants won (4): 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888
- National League pennants won (16): 1926, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1934, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1946, 1964, 1967, 1968, 1982, 1985, 1987, 2004
- World Series championships won (9): 1926, 1931, 1934, 1942, 1944, 1946, 1964, 1967, 1982
- In 2001, the Cardinals finished the season with a record of 93-69. The Houston Astros, in the same division as the Cardinals finished with the same record. Since the two teams finished tied in the standings, the league went to a tie breaker to determine who would be the division champion and who would be the National League Wild-Card winner. Since Houston won the season series against the Cardinals, Houston was declared the division champion and St. Louis recieved a wild card berth. Many St. Louisians were unhappy with this decision and refer to the 2001 Cardinals as "co-division champions," along with Houston.
The team was formed as part of the American Association in 1882 where they enjoyed a four-year dynasty under flamboyant owner Chris von der Ahe. At that time they were called the Browns, under which name they joined the NL in 1892 when the American Association went out of business. They were briefly the Perfectos during 1899 before settling on their present name.
Highlights from Cardinal history include the 1930s era "Gas House Gang" featuring Dizzy Dean, Joe Medwick, Pepper Martin and Enos Slaughter. In 1934, Dean and his younger brother, Paul, combined to win 49 games - still a single season record for brothers. Dizzy, whose real name was Jerome Herman Dean, won 30 of them, with Paul (nicknamed "Daffy") contributing 19 wins. Dean's country humor made him a popular favorite, particularly in the rural south and midwest where the Cardinals had many fans.
In the 1940s, the Cardinals dominated the National League, and in 1944 they met their crosstown rivals, the St. Louis Browns, in the "trolley car Series". Stan "The Man" Musial arrived in St. Louis. Known to loyal fans as "Ol' Number 6", Musial spent 23 years in a Cardinal uniform. In the 1970s, a statue of Musial was constructed outside Busch Stadium downtown.
In 1947, the Cardinals gained notoriety by attempting to boycott games against the Brooklyn Dodgers to protest the Dodgers' signing of a black player, Jackie Robinson. The alleged ringleader of the boycott was Enos Slaughter. National League president Ford Frick threatened to ban any players who boycotted any games, and the boycott never happened. The Cardinals did not sign a black regular until Curt Flood in 1958.
The 1960s brought three National League pennants to St. Louis. Hall of Famers such as Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, and Orlando Cepeda led the "Redbirds" to World Series titles in 1964 over the Yankees and in 1967 over the Boston Red Sox. The Cards then lost to the Detroit Tigers in a closely contested 7 game contest in 1968, the last series before baseball adopted a divisional format.
After a less-than-successful 1970s, new Cardinal manager Whitey Herzog revived the winning tradition at Busch Stadium. Herzog's brand of baseball, known in St. Louis as "Whiteyball", featured speed on the base paths, sparkling defense, and unconventional roster moves. In his 11 years as Cardinal manager, Herzog won three National League pennants, and a 1982 World Series title. The 1980s era Cardinals included stars Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee (who won two batting titles in a Cardinal uniform), John Tudor, Tom Herr, Jack Clark, Bruce Sutter, Keith Hernandez, Terry Pendleton, and Joaquin Andujar.
The 1985 World Series, christened the "I-70 Series" because it featured in-state rival Kansas City, is perhaps the most controversial in Cardinal history. Game 6 of that series featured "The Call". In the 9th inning, umpire Don Denkinger called Royals batter Jorge Orta safe at first base - a call later refuted by instant replay. The Cardinals, leading 1-0 at the time of the play and needing that victory to clinch the title, went on to lose Game 6 and then Game 7 the following night.
The Cardinals again won the National League in 1987, losing to Minnesota 4-3 in the World Series.
1990s and beyond
The Cards reached the playoffs 1996, but the Atlanta Braves defeated them for the National League pennant.
In 1998 Cardinals' first baseman Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs battled to set the record for most home runs in one season. McGwire broke Roger Maris's record on September 8 with #62, and pulled away to finish with 70, a record that stood until Barry Bonds hit 73 in 2001.
In 2000, the Cardinals lost to the New York Mets for the title of National League champion. In 2001, the Cardinals advanced to the post-season as a "Wild Card" team after posting the second-best record in the National League, but losing the division to the Houston Astros. The Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Cardinals in a five-game playoff series.
In 2002, the Cardinals won the Central Division and this time defeated the Diamondbacks 3 games to none to reach the NLCS, but lost 4 games to 1 to the San Francisco Giants. The year was also marred with tragedy for the Cardinal family. On June 18, beloved broadcaster Jack Buck passed away at the age of 77. Just ten months earlier, Buck stirred emotions when he addressed the crowd at Busch Stadium when Major League Baseball resumed after the September 11th terrorist attacks. The biggest shock of all came just four days after Buck's passing when ace pitcher Darryl Kile died suddenly of heart failure while in Chicago for a series against the Cubs.
In 2004, St. Louis posted the best record in the National League, and their most wins since the 1940s, earning home advantage for the NLDS and NLCS. In the Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Cardinals rolled, winning the series 3-1. Facing off against wild card and rival Houston in the NLCS, the Cards took a 2-0 lead, then lost three straight on the road. Coming home for Game 6, the Cardinals took a 4-3 lead into the 9th inning, but blew it. Jim Edmonds homered in the bottom of the 12th to win the game, and the next night, Albert Pujols helped St. Louis win Game 7 to take series, and was named MVP. The Cardinals then played the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 World Series, the third time the teams have faced each other in the Fall Classic. However, the spirit and zest of the team seemed to elude them in this championship series, as the Red Sox retained a leading position through the entire series. (The best demonstration of St. Louis' troubles in the Series: Pujols, Scott Rolen, and Jim Edmonds, the normally fearsome 3-4-5 hitters for the Cards, were a combined 6-for-45 with 1 RBI.) The Cardinals were unceremoniously swept by the Sox in four games, with the Sox winning their first World Series championship since 1918 and burying the so-called "Curse of the Bambino."
Other historical notes
For much of the last half of the 20th century, the legendary broadcaster, Jack Buck, was the voice of the Cardinals, calling play-by-play on St. Louis' KMOX radio. His son Joe Buck took over for Jack as the radio and television announcer for the Cardinals in 1991.
Between 1960 and 1987, St. Louis was home to two big-league Cardinals teams, baseball and football. Sports fans and local news coverage got into the habit of saying "the St. Louis baseball Cardinals" or "the St. Louis football Cardinals" to distinguish the two. Locals also got into the habit of using "Redbirds" to refer specifically to the baseball team, partly because this nickname had been commonly used decades before the football team came to town.
Players of note
- Dave Foultz
- Silver King
- Bill Gleason
Mark McGwire broke the single-season home run record while playing with St. Louis in 1998
Not to be forgotten
Minor league affiliates
- St. Louis Cardinals official web site (http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/stl/homepage/stl_homepage.jsp)
- CardsClubhouse: The premiere web community for fans (http://www.CardsClubhouse.com)
- St. Louis Cardinals photo gallery (http://www.CardsClubhouse.com/photos)
- RedbirdCentral: Exclusive Cardinal Insider (http://www.Redbirdcentral.com)