The 2023 St Louis Cardinals haven’t been as good as the team is used to. Losing two signature stars like Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina, even if they were old, took a toll on their clubhouse, and the Cardinals roster isn’t that good this time around.
2023 St Louis Cardinals team profile
Once again, Paul Goldschmidt continues to be one of the best Cardinals players this season, and there’s no denying that those fans in Europe won’t hesitate to pay up to get tickets for MLB London series to watch him do his thing.
And even though this wasn’t the best year to get the St Louis Cardinals as one of the MLB London teams, they’re still a historical franchise and one of the winningest teams in baseball. The 2023 St Louis Cardinals might not look like that, but they still are.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the history of this organization, so those who aren’t that familiar with the game know why the league didn’t hesitate to choose them as one of their representatives for their international games.
St Louis Cardinals franchise history
The St. Louis Cardinals are one of the most historied and successful teams in Major League Baseball history. Founded in 1882, the team has left an ever-lasting mark in this sport with its rich legacy.
Throughout their first years, the Cardinals went through a bit of a rollercoaster. However, in 1926, they managed to make it to the World Series for the very first time in history, led by legendary player-manager Rogers Hornsby. They won the pennant that year and started making a name for themselves as a successful franchise.
Then, in the 1930s, the Cardinals enjoyed one of the most glorious periods of their long history. With legendary managers Gabby Street and later Frankie Frisch leading the way, the team’s iconic ‘Gas House Gang’ wrecked havoc around the league. They won the World Series in 1931 and 1934, with Dizzy Dean, Joe Medwick, and Pepper Martin as their most prominent players.
Later, in the 1960s, the Cardinals went through another surge. This time, under managers Johnny Keane and Red Schoendienst. In 1964, they climbed their way through their very first National League pennant in almost 20 years, making it to the World Series. With Bob Gibson as their ace on the mound, the Cardinals faced the almighty New York Yankees, getting the best of them in seven games.
The 1980s were also full of success for the red birds. Iconic manager Whitey Herzog led the team to three National League titles in 1982, 1985, and 1987. With their combination of elite defense, pitching, and speed, the Cardinals became the ultimate aggressive squad, earning the nickname ‘The Runnin’ Redbirds.’
The success was also a part of their story in the 2000s. They won the World Series in 2006 under Tony La Russa‘s tutelage — while he was still relevant. With a team full of stars like Scott Rolen, Chris Carpenter, and — obviously — Albert Pujols, they weren’t going to be denied. They made it back to the Fall Classic in 2011, winning the World Series with an iconic comeback against the Texas Rangers, led by Chris Carpenter’s pitching and David Freese‘s timely hitting.
Notably, the Cardinals have still been fairly competitive over the past couple of years, finding success in the postseason. With players like Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter, and later Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, they’ve managed to stay quite competitive and figure to be that way for years to come.
Simply put, the Cardinals have always been a synonym for excellence throughout the course of baseball history. Winners of multiple National League and World Series pennants, they’re considered by most to be the second-best team in baseball history thanks to their 11 titles.
Greatest St Louis Cardinals players
- Albert Pujols, 1B
- Stan Musial, 1B/OF
- Bob Gibson, SP
- Rogers Hornsby, 2B
- Chris Carpenter, SP
- Dizzy Dean, SP
- Adam Wainwright, SP
- Joe Medwick, OF
- Harry Brecheen, SP
- Jim Bottomley, 1B
- Enos Slaughter, OF
- Johnny Mize, 1B
- Jim Edmonds, OF
- Mort Cooper, SP
- Ray Lankford, OF
- Ted Simmons, C
- Jason Isringhausen, RP
- Ken Boyer, 3B
- Lou Brock, OF
- Matt Holliday, OF
- Todd Worrell, RP
- Keith Hernandez, 1B
- John Tudor, SP
- Yadier Molina, C
- Mark McGwire, 1B
Future of the Cardinals
Even the best franchises in sports often go through some growing pains, and the Cardinals won’t be the exception to that rule. Of course, they were used to being at the top of the game and competing for World Series pennants, but it might take a while before they’re ready to take a step in that direction again.
The Redbirds don’t have that much firepower on their roster nowadays. Some of their legends — such as Adam Wainwright — have struggled because of age, and they need to add more steady and reliable arms to that starting rotation.
Nolan Arenado, Wilson Contreras, and Paul Goldschmidt are obviously more than capable of carrying the load offensively, but they’re not getting any younger, and this team seems long overdue for a full-throttle rebuild that could propel them back to World Series contention sooner rather than later.