St. Louis Cardinals All-Time Lineup

Best at each position, in one season, in team history

A look at the all-time starting lineup for the St. Louis Cardinals in the team's history. It's not a career record - it's taken from the best season any player had at that position in team history to create a lineup.

1
Starting pitcher: Bob Gibson

Bob Gibson photo
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1968: 22-9, 1.12 ERA, 13 shutouts, 304.2 IP, 198 H, 268 Ks, 0.853 WHIP

Rest of the rotation: Dizzy Dean (1934, 30-7, 2.66 ERA, 7 shutouts, 311.2 IP, 288 H, 195 Ks, 1.165 WHIP); Chris Carpenter (2005, 21-5, 2.83 ERA, 241.2 IP, 204 H, 213 Ks, 1.055 WHIP); John Tudor (1985, 21-8, 1.93 ERA, 10 shutouts, 275 OP, 209 H, 169 Ks, 0.938 WHIP); Adam Wainwright (2010, 20-11, 2.42 ERA, 230 IP, 186 H, 213 Ks, 1.051 WHIP)

One of the most intimidating pitchers of all-time, Gibson earned his Hall of Fame credentials when the Cardinals won the NL pennant in 1968. Gibson won the first of his two NL Cy Young Awards and was named NL MVP. The rest of the rotation has just one Hall of Famer in Dizzy Dean, who had one of the greatest six-year stretches in baseball history. In his best season, he was MVP in 1934, winning 30 games. Chris Carpenter was the Cy Young winner in 2005, when he was 21-5. John Tudor was the ace on the Cardinals' team that won a pennant in 1985, finishing second in Cy Young voting. Also finishing second in Cy Young voting was Adam Wainwright in 2010, when he won 20 games.

2
Catcher: Ted Simmons

Ted Simmons photo
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

1975: .332, 18 HR, 100 RBI, .887 OPS

Backup: Tim McCarver (1967, .295, 14 HR, 69 RBI, .822 OPS)

Simmons had a very good 21-year career, and spent the entire decade of the 1970s as the St. Louis catcher. He was in the top 16 of MVP voting in six of those years, and was sixth in 1975, when he hit a career-best .332. The backup was his predecessor in McCarver, who was the catcher on two championship teams in the 1960s and also played for 21 seasons before becoming one the most successful baseball broadcasters ever. He was second in MVP voting in 1967.

3
First baseman: Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols photo
Bob Levey/Getty Images

2008: .357, 37 HR, 116 RBI, 1.114 OPS

Backup: Mark McGwire (1998, .299, 70 HR, 147 RBI, 1.222 OPS) - 2nd MVP

Every team seems to have one absolutely loaded position, and first base is that one with the Cardinals. There are four players who were NL MVP, two others who were second in MVP voting, and three players who are in the Hall of Fame. And neither of them are on the team. The starter is likely to be there one day in the three-time MVP in Pujols, who led the Cardinals to two World Series titles in his 10 seasons in St. Louis. The backup admittedly took performance-enhancing drugs, but his stats were mind-boggling in 1998, when he set the then-record with 70 home runs. The MVPs at first base were Jim Bottomley (1928), Orlando Cepeda (1967), Keith Hernandez (1979) and Pujols (2005, 2008, 2009). Johnny Mize, Bottomley and Cepeda are in the Hall of Fame.

4
Second baseman: Rogers Hornsby

Rogers Hornsby photo
Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images

1925: .403, 39 HR, 143 RBI, 1.245 OPS

Backup: Frankie Frisch (1930, .346, 10 HR, 114 RBI, .927 OPS)

Hornsby is the best second baseman of all-time, which makes him a shoo-in. He won the first of his two MVP awards in 1925, and is also in the Cubs' all-time lineup. The backup is also in the Hall of Fame in Frisch, who was MVP a year after his stellar 1930 season, when he was at his best statistically.

5
Shortstop: Ozzie Smith

Ozzie Smith photo
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

1987: .303, 0 HR, 75 RBI, 43 SB, .775 OPS

Backup: Garry Templeton (1977, .322, 8 HR, 79 RBI, 28 SB, .786 OPS)

The Cardinals' all-time team has to include the Wizard, one of the greatest shortstops ever. Ozzie Smith was perhaps the greatest defensive shortstop in history, and he learned how to hit a little, too, especially in the Cardinals' pennant winning season in 1987. Smith was second in MVP voting in 1987, and won one of his 13 Gold Glove awards. The backup is the man he was traded for in Garry Templeton, who was a better hitter but not as slick in the field.

6
Third baseman: Joe Torre

Joe Torre photo
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1971: .363, 24 HR, 138 RBI, .976 OPS

Backup: Ken Boyer (1964, .295, 24 HR, 119 RBI, .854 OPS)

Torre is also on the Braves' all-time team, and is on the short list of the best managers of all-time. But few remember that he's also a batting champ and was a heck of a player in his day. He won the NL MVP award in 1971, the year he moved from catcher to third base full-time. He led the NL in two of the three Triple Crown categories. The backup was an MVP seven years earlier in Boyer.

7
Left fielder: Joe Medwick

1937: .374, 31 HR, 154 RBI, 1.056 OPS

Backup: Chick Hafey (1930, .336, 26 HR, 107 RBI, 1.059 OPS)

Medwick was the last winner of the Triple Crown in the NL, when he led the league in average, homers and RBI. He's one of four Hall of Famers to play left field for the Cardinals, joined by his backup in Hafey, Jesse Burkett and Lou Brock. And worthy of mention is Tip O'Neill, who hit .435 with 123 RBI in a different era, way back in 1887.

8
Center fielder: Willie McGee

Willie McGee photo
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

1985: .353, 10 HR, 82 RBI, 18 3B, 56 SB, .887 OPS

Backup: Jim Edmonds (2004, .301, 42 HR, 111 RBI, 1.061 OPS)

McGee was a big part of the Cardinals' championship teams of the 1980s, and was MVP in 1985, his best season, when he led the NL in hitting and triples. He also stole a career-best 56 bases. The backup was a different type of player in Edmonds, a great defensive player and a power hitter as well.

9
Right fielder: Stan Musial

Stan Musial photo
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1948: .376, 39 HR, 131 RBI, 1.152 OPS

Backup: Enos Slaughter (1946, .300, 18 HR, 130 RBI, .838 OPS)

The Cardinals team wouldn't be complete without "The Man." Musial is the greatest Cardinal of them all, winning the last of his three MVP awards in his best statistical season in 1948. He led the NL in hitting at .376 and triples with 20. The backup is also a Hall of Famer in Enos "Country" Slaughter, who overlapped a bit with Musial. Musial played first base in Slaughter's top season as the Cardinals' right fielder. Slaughter moved over to left field in 1948.

10
Closer: Bruce Sutter

Bruce Sutter illustration
From Baseball Hall of Fame mural/Getty Images

1984: 5-7, 1.54 ERA, 45 saves, 122.2 IP, 109 H, 77 Ks, 1.076 WHIP

Backup: Lindy McDaniel (1960, 12-4, 2.09 ERA, 26 saves, 116.1 IP, 85 H, 105 Ks, 0.937 WHIP)

Sutter was the first true closer to make the Hall of Fame, one of the greatest relievers ever, and he was at his peak in the early 1980s with the Cardinals. He was third in Cy Young voting in his best St. Louis season in 1984. The backup is McDaniel, wo played in a different era for relief pitchers but was greatly effective in 1960, when he led the NL with 26 saves.

11
Batting order

  1. Rogers Hornsby 2B
  2. Willie McGee CF
  3. Albert Pujols 1B
  4. Stan Musial RF
  5. Joe Medwick LF
  6. Joe Torre 3B
  7. Ted Simmons C
  8. Ozzie Smith SS
  9. Bob Gibson P