Cardinals All-Time Team v.2012
Last year's inaugural version of the Cardinals All-Time team can be seen here. In addition to our normal annual review process, we had to add an infielder, a fourth outfielder and two starting pitchers as part of our roster revamping.
This is undoubtedly one of the strongest All-Time teams you'll find in our database. There are four players on this team that you could make a strong argument for as the best ever at their respective positions. In all, there are ten Hall of Famers on this squad and one shoe-in (Albert Pujols).
You'd also be hard pressed to find a team with more borderline Hall of Famers in their history than the Cardinals - you'll see that theme repeat itself in this post as we wrestled with leaving off "Hall of Famers."
On the current roster, we considered Yadier Molina over Ted Simmons but Simmons and his 13 years as a Red Bird still gives him an edge over Yadi, in our book.
For the extra infielder, it came down to three Veteran's Committee selection Hall of Famers - Red Schoendienst, Frankie Frisch and Jim Bottomley. While it wasn't a slam dunk for Frisch, we did agree rather easily that he was the best selection. Their numbers were close - like Frisch, Bottomley had an MVP to his name, Schoendienst was a much better defender than Bottomley and spent four more years in St. Louis than Bottomley but Frisch was well-rounded and had the hardware so we went with him.
In the outfield, we compared the body of work as a Cardinal of a handful of players including Jim Edmonds, Chick Hafey (HOF-VC), Curt Flood, Enos Slaughter (HOF-VC) and Ray Lankford. Chick Hafey's HOF monitor score is 69... he's a Hall of Famer because he's in the Hall of Fame but you can't convince me that his enshrinement is well deserved. Slaughter's Hall of Fame argument is slightly stronger and Enos was the best of the bunch in terms of tenure and all-around production so we went with him.
For the two additional starting pitchers, we had a tough time selecting between Veterans Committee Hall of Famer Jesse Haines (who is also second all-time in wins as a Cardinal), Mort Cooper, Chris Carpenter, Bob Forsch and Larry Jackson. Jesse Haines' tenure and Hall of Fame enshrinement would have made him the odds on favorite at the start of this discussion but when you look at the numbers below, you'll see why we went in a different direction.
Here's our roster. Tell us what you think.
C - Ted Simmons
1B - Albert Pujols
2B - Rogers Hornsby
SS - Ozzie Smith
3B - Ken Boyer
IF - Frankie Frisch
OF - Stan Musial
OF - Joe Medwick
OF - Lou Brock
OF - Enos Slaughter
SP - Bob Gibson
SP - Dizzy Dean
SP - Chris Carpenter
SP - Mort Cooper
RP - Bruce Sutter