The St. Louis Cardinals’ All-Time 28-Man Roster

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#3 Starting Pitcher – Steve Carlton

This is definitely a case of what could’ve been. Steve Carlton was signed by the Cardinals in 1963 as an amateur free agent and was a budding star after the 1967 season when he went 14-9 with 2.98 ERA (2.47 FIP), with a 7.8 K/9. After winning the World Series with the Cardinals in ’67, Carlton went 13-11 with a 2.99 ERA (2.43 FIP) the next season, making the all star team. However, surprisingly was left out of the starting rotation for the 1968 World Series, appearing only in relief in two games, not helping the team with his 6.75 ERA over four innings.

Carlton went on to have an even better year the next year going 17-11 with a 2.17 ERA, again making an all-star appearance. However, after a record of 30-28 and a 3.64 ERA in 1970-71, and after demanding a $65,000 salary. The Cardinals shipped Carlton off to the Phillies for Rick Wise who was a pretty comparable pitcher at the time. However, the Cardinals paid for it big time, as Carlton went on to total four Cy Young awards including his sparkling 1972 season when he went 27-10 with a 1.97 ERA.

Carlton finished his career with four different teams, but as a Phillie he went 241-161 with a 3.09 ERA (3.05 FIP), 120 ERA+, all these numbers combined led to Carlton being elected to the Hall of Fame in 1994. Carlton is one of the all time greats and credit should be given to the Cardinals for finding him and producing him.

Next: Starting Pitcher #4 - Dizzy Dean