St. Louis Cardinals
The team was formed as part of the American Association in 1882 where they enjoyed a four-year dynasty under flamboyant owner Chris von der Ahe. Initially they were known as the "Brown Stockings", named for a previous professional team in the city, whose name was one of several "Stockings" teams inspired by the success of the Cincinnati Red Stockings. This new team's nickname was quickly shortened to "Browns". The Browns squared off against the National League's Chicago White Stockings twice in the early version of the World Series. The Series of 1885 ended in dispute and with no resolution. St. Louis won the 1886 Series outright, the only Series of that era that was won by the AA against the NL. The vigorous St. Louis-Chicago rivalry continues to this day.
During the mid-1880s, the National League also had a St. Louis entry, the Maroons, which had come in from the Union Association. The Maroons were by far the strongest entry in the UA, but they had the misfortune of arriving at the time when the Browns were in their glory, and they soon folded.
The Browns joined the National League in 1892 following the bankruptcy of the American Association. They were briefly called the Perfectos in 1899 before settling on their present name, a name reportedly inspired by switching their uniform colors from brown to red. There was already a "Reds" team at Cincinnati, so the St. Louis team became "Cardinals". Legend also has it that the name came from a female fan, who exclaimed within earshot of a reporter, "What a lovely shade of cardinal!" The sportswriter began using it and the name stuck.
Also in 1899, the Cardinals' owner transferred much of the talent from the other team he owned, the Cleveland Spiders, to the St. Louis franchise. This led to the demise of the Spiders. Dropping brown as the team color led to its adoption by the new American League franchise, the St. Louis Browns, which co-existed with the Cardinals during 1902-1953 before transferring to Baltimore and being renamed the Orioles.
The Cardinals have played in various venues. The last three stadiums have born the name Busch Stadium. Busch Stadium II was opened in 1966, as the Cardinals left Busch I, which was originally named Sportsman's Park. They stayed in the circular bowl of Busch II for 40 years until the new stadium, Busch III, opened in April of 2006.
The Cardinals are the most storied franchise in the National League, bringing home ten World Series titles, second only in baseball to the New York Yankees. The Cards' last title was in 1982, when they defeated the Milwaukee Brewers in seven games. Since then they have reached the series three times (1985, 1987 and 2004) with two Game 7 defeats and a sweep to show for their efforts. The Cards won their tenth World Series title in 2006 when they defeated the Detroit Tigers in five games. Manager Tony LaRussa chose jersey number 10 in 1996 to mark his determination to win a 10th World Series for the Cards. St. Louis played 1850 games before beating Detriot and grabbing that 10th title.
The Cardinals were upon the national stage in 1998, when first baseman Mark McGwire made a run at and ultimately surpassed Roger Maris's single season home run record, bashing 70 that year to take the title for three years before it was passed by Barry Bonds in 2001. Number 62, a screaming line drive off of Chicago Cubs pitcher Steve Traschel, was hit in front of the Cardinal faithful, which included the Maris family.
- 1 - Ozzie Smith (SS)
- 2 - Red Schoendienst (2B)
- 6 - Stan Musial (OF-1B)
- 9 - Enos Slaughter (OF)
- 14 - Ken Boyer (3B)
- 17 - Dizzy Dean (P)
- 20 - Lou Brock (OF)
- 42 - Bruce Sutter (P)
- 45 - Bob Gibson (P)
- 85 - August Busch, Jr. (Executive)
- St. Louis Cardinals - Baseball-Reference.com