St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz has been busy with a video series countdown to name the greatest living player to have played for the St. Louis Cardinals.
When Stan Musial passed away in January, we all knew that the discussion was inevitable. At the time, nobody wanted to talk about it. I mean, there were ideas. There’s only a handful of players still living and wearing the Cardinals hat in the Hall of Fame.
Bernie goes with Red Schoendienst for the fifth best living player. For a player that has been wearing the Cardinals uniform for over 60 years, is being ranked #5 too low or just right? I don’t know.
Lou Brock comes in as the fourth best living player. Brock was a speedster that held the stolen base record with 938 bases until the 1990s and also has 3,023 career hits. He finished with a .293 career batting average.
Ozzie Smith is ranked as the third best living player. I can see this. Smith is the one of the best defensive shortstops of all time with 13 Gold Gloves. Offensively, he retired just shy of 2,500 hits and had a .262 career batting average.
Pujols played 11 of his 13 seasons in St. Louis. Because of this, he isn’t the #1 player. In 11 years alone, he was sitting in second place for most career numbers as a Cardinal, second only to Musial. As a Cardinal, Pujols hit .328 with 445 home runs, 1,291 runs, and 1,329 RBI, to name a few.
Gibson is, at the moment, the greatest living Cardinal. Gibson ended his 17 year career with a record of 251-174 and a 2.91 ERA. He finished his career with 3,117 strikeouts.