St Louis Cardinals Information
The roots of the modern day St. Louis Cardinals stretch back to 1899. By the 1920's the Cardinals had built a successful team around second basemen Rogers Hornsby. In 1926, the Cardinals won their first World Series by knocking off the feared Yankees in seven games. Soon thereafter, in 1928, the Cardinals won another pennant. In 1934, comic pitcher Jerome Herman 'Dizzy' Dean and his younger brother Paul combined for 49 wins, still a record to this day for two brothers.
The 1940's displayed the Cardinals' utter domination of the National League. In 1942, the team won 106 games, a franchise record. Stan "The Man" Musial led the '44 team to another World Series victory against the team's cross-town rivals, the St. Louis Browns. In 1946, the Cards won yet another World Series, with the eventual winning run coming in the eighth inning by Enos Slaughter in Game 7.
In 1964, with the help of Lou Brock and Bob Gibson, the Cardinals once again defeated the New York Yankees to take the World Series. In 1967, future Hall of Famers Lou Brock, Orlando Cepeda, Steve Carlton, and Bob Gibson led St. Louis to another World Series victory over the Boston Red Sox. In 1970, Gibson was recognized for his outstanding pitching by being awarded the Cy Young Award.
Compared to the history of the St. Louis Cardinals, the team did not have much success in the 1970's. However, there were highlights. Famed New York Yankee manager Joe Torre won the National League MVP award in 1971, while in 1979 Lou Brock had his 3,000th hit. With the unconventional Whitey Herzog taking on the role of manager, the Cardinals restored their great position in the 1980's. Players such as Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee and Darrell Porter played crucial roles in the successes of the Cardinals in this era.
The team went on to win the 1982 Fall Classic and win pennants in '85 and '87. In 1998, Mark McGwire set the record for most home runs in a season with 70, breaking Roger Maris' previous record of 61. In 2001, the Cardinals shared the NL Central Championship with the Houston Astros. The same year, rookie sensation Albert Pujols slammed 37 home runs, and it would not take long for all of baseball to realize that he would be one of the greatest players ever to play the game.
In 2004, Pujols helped launch the team into the World Series by getting the game tying hit in Game 7, only to lose to the long overdue Boston Red Sox. In 2005, Chris Carpenter was awarded the Cy Young Award, and Albert Pujols was named National League MVP. The '06 Cards introduced the new Busch Stadium before producing a memorable World Series run. After defeating the New York Mets in the NLCS, the Cards faced a formidable opponent in the Detroit Tigers. With the great play of David Eckstein, Chris Carpenter, and Jeff Weaver, and the great managing by Tony LaRussa, the Cardinals once again were victorious by a margin of 4-1.
The Cardinals finished the 2009 season with an 91-71 regular season record to claim the NL Central. From there they fell short in the NLDS to the LA Dodgers in three games. The 2010 Cards placed second behind the Cincinnati Reds with an 86-76 record.
In what would be the final year in St. Louis for both manager Tony La Russa and all-star first baseman Albert Pujols, the Cardinals won the 2011 World Series. They placed second in the division behind the Brewers, but their 90-72 record was good enough for the NL Wild Card. After defeating the Phillies in the first round of the playoffs, the Cardinals then beat the Brewers. In an exciting seven game series, with an intense game six where the Cardinals were an out away from losing the Fall Classic, they came back to win.
The 2012 Cardinals are looking to move forward without Pujols, who they lost to free agency to the Angels. Behind new manager, Mike Matheny, the team added outfielder Carlos Beltran and hope to match the success of 2011.