All-Time St. Louis Cardinals Fantasy Team

by on May 8, 2009 · 11 comments

[Ed. note – Today’s guest poster actually wrote his own introduction, which doubly saves us time here!  Jonathan says:  “Pitchers Hit Eighth threw me a biting knuckle curve the other week via Twitter when they actually accepted my self-invitation to write a guest article for them this week. Most of the time, I blog randomly about fantasy baseball and hott baseball wives over at Fantasy Baseball Dugout.”  Jonathan Bentz, who typically writes at the aforementioned location, was kind enough to address something we usually don’t get around to here at PH8…FANTASY BASEBALL.  Thanks Jonathan!]

Below are my selections for the Cardinals All-Time fantasy baseball team. Some ground rules I used for selecting this all-time, all-star, all-Redbird roster:

• This starting lineup was assembled using standard fantasy baseball rosters
• Players were selected using traditional 5×5 fantasy baseball statistics
• The player had to play for the Cards for at least five seasons

While some of the selections for this team were easy, a good bit of research and elimination of productive Cardinals players was done in the assembly of this roster.

If you disagree with my list, I fully respect your opinion. After all, you probably know more about Cardinals history than I do. Shoot me an e-mail with your comments – webmaster [at] fantasybaseballdugout [dot] com. If you can keep your confusion over my selection of any particular Redbird to 140 characters or less, gimme a shout on Twitter – @jonathanbentz.

Now onto my selections for the All-Time St. Louis Cardinals fantasy baseball roster:

C: Walker Cooper – His .296 average in eight seasons makeup for the fact that he lacked power as a Cardinal (35 homeruns as a Redbird).

1B: Albert Pujols – First base is a crowded position in Cardinal history, but Pujols is arguably the most dependable fantasy baseball player this millennium and therefore a lock for this team. Potential to break every Musial team record before his career is over.

2B: Rogers Hornsby – .359 career average, over 1000 Cardinal runs, over 1000 RBI, and nearly 200 homers makes even the most diehard Chase Utley owner drool.

3B: Whitey Kurowski – tough choice between Kurowski and Scott Rolen, but Kurowski’s longevity in St. Louis (9 seasons) and similar production to Rolen (over 500 career runs and 500 RBI, .286 career average) give him the nod.

SS: Ozzie Smith – Shortstop is a thin position and most people forget the Wizard’s productivity at the plate. Nearly 1000 runs scored as a Cardinal with 433 steals.

OF: Stan Musial – all time team leader in homers, runs, and RBI with a .331 average. The unanimous no. 1 pick for an All-Time Cardinals fantasy team.

OF: Lou Brock – 1427 career runs and 888 steals as a Card give you the speed and runs every fantasy team needs.

OF: Enos Slaughter – Hit .305 in 13 years as a Cardinal with over 1000 runs scored and 1000 RBI. Less homers than Hornsby but hard to argue with as a third OFer.

UTIL: Mark McGwire – every team needs an all or nothing masher and McGwire defines that position. One homer every 7.9 at-bats as a Cardinal.

SP: Bob Gibson – 251 career wins and 3117 career strikeouts. No other Cards pitcher in history is even close to Gibson!

SP: Dizzy Dean – only pitched for the Cards for 7 seasons, but pitched 141 complete games and won 64% of his starts. 1.20 WHIP and 2.99 ERA – even 1095 strikeouts.

RP: Lee Smith – the all-time saves leader when he retired logged 160 saves for the Cards.

RP: Jason Isringhausen – Cards all-time saves leader probably wouldn’t have made this squad if Bruce Sutter played one more season for the Cards.

P: John Tudor – had a nice run in 5 seasons for the Cards – a 2.52 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 882.7 innings. Low strikeout total but the lack of baserunners and earned runs can’t be left off the team.

P: Bob Forsch – only three Cards pitchers have struck out over 1000 batters in their career – Forsch is the third. He had a Cardinals career 3.67 ERA and 1.20 WHIP, so he’s the last choice for our starting rotation.

P: Todd Worrell – because we always recommend having at least 3 closers at Fantasy Baseball Dugout, Worrell also makes the squad. A 2.56 career ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 129 saves and 33 wins from a reliever? Hard to argue against that

Jonathan Bentz usually deals with current players on his fantasy teams, and writes about it all at Fantasy Baseball Dugout.  You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanBentz.

Writing about the Cardinals and other loosely associated topics since 2008, I've grown tired of the April run-out only to disappoint Cardinal fans everywhere by mid-May. I do not believe in surrendering free outs.
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Rob May 9, 2009

You’ve done your homework! Great site that brings back a lot of memories.

PHE May 10, 2009

Wish I could take credit for this one, Jonathan did some great work digging through all of that Cardinal history.

Thanks again Jonathan!

Lee May 10, 2009

I wonder how much of a difference there would be between this team and an “All-Cards” team. Or if there should be (I would think so).

The usual suspects like Simmons, McCarver, Boyer, and Frisch are missing here… which isn’t a criticism, just an observation. And I must not be a very good Cards fan because I’ve never heard of Kurowski.

PHE May 11, 2009

I’m thinking it’d be pretty close. You have to keep in mind that fantasy stats can sometimes be a bit different than what most fans would view as a “stud” at a position. Runs scored is a big deal, stolen bases have become ridiculously valuable as they have become less a part of the MLB game…

Lee May 11, 2009


I suppose the “All Cards” team also opens a can of worms about how you assess value in a player… never mind how to account for how many years a player played for a given organization.

So yeah, that’s probably best saved for another day and another post. Thanks 🙂

PHE May 11, 2009

Well, any “All-time Cards” list will always stir up debate, regardless of criteria. There’s just that much history.

Not to mention the other point you bring up…

Steve Carlton was a great MLB pitcher, Hall of Fame. But would you include him on an All-time Cardinal team? Probably not, he’d be with the Phils.

Seals May 14, 2009

Not including Ted Simmons and Ken Boyer is quite surprising. Those two are almost always starters on any all-time Cardinals team.

Including players like Steve Carlton, Bruce Sutter, Johnny Mize, Frankie Frisch, Orlando Cepeda, Joe Torre, or Joe Medwick depends on the rules regarding using players on multiple teams because many of those players are deserving of being listed among the all-time greats on more than one team.

Carlton was a Cardinal two seasons longer than McGwire but he almost always gets left off these kind of lists because he had better years (and more years) in Philadelphia. Some would say the same about McGwire’s years in Oakland but everyone thinks of McGwire as a Cardinal because of his two monster seasons in 1998 and 1999.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it depends on how many teams a guy can play on.

PHE May 14, 2009

Well, I think the argument was to only include seasons that these players wore a Cardinal uniform. So for guys like Carlton, he only had one really good year in St Louis. He played several seasons for the Cards, but only one that really stands out compared to the St Louis seasons of other guys on the list.

You’re not the first one to note the omissions of Simmons and Boyer though, perhaps our guest writer will come back to defend himself here in the comments. 🙂

Jonathan Bentz May 14, 2009

In defense of Boyer, he almost made the squad. Although be honest, if you only had to have one first baseman on an All-Time Cards team… would you pick seriously pick Boyer on a team over Pujols? Ditto for Johnny Mize.

Carlton had some nice seasons in St. Louis, but clearly his best years were in Philly. Torre and McCarver lacked the career offensive numbers to make the team despite the obvious advantage of name recognition.

And steroids or not, McGwire hit homers at an all-time historic clip during his time in St. Louis. I am a big proponent of always having a masher on a fantasy team – McGwire is the definition of a masher.

Keep in mind you only get to play one player at each position in most fantasy leagues.

Remember in fantasy baseball that you pick with your head, not your heart. After looking over the organization’s all-time records and eliminating players to meet my criteria of at least 5 seasons of service, I feel like this team is pretty solid.

PHE May 14, 2009

Erm, Boyer played 1785 of his career games at third base. 🙂

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