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

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April 13, 2012; St. Louis, MO. USA; St. Louis Cardinals hall of famer Stan Musial waves to the crowd during an opening day ceremony before a game against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium. Chicago defeated St. Louis 9-5. Image Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Right Field – Stan “The Man” Musial

There is no chance anybody can make any St. Louis Cardinals’ all-time roster/list without including the greatest Cardinals’ player of all time, Stan Musial. Musial’s statue stands tall as the go to statue for any visiting Cardinals’ fan and is probably the most revered and universally recognized. Just as it should be, as Stan was without a doubt a legend.

I shouldn’t need to make a case for Stan, but I am going to anyways. Stan had a career slash of .331/.417/.559 in 22 seasons with the Cardinals. Stan raked 1,377 extra-base hits in his career (725 doubles, 475 homers, 177 triples), which is just 10 shy of the number that Pujols and Edmonds had in their Cardinals’ careers combined, and it is a Cardinals’ record that may never be broken. Stan was that good, and even missed an entire year in his prime to serve in World War II in 1945, just two years removed from winning his first MVP in 1943.

One of the greatest numbers, that represents Stan’s career the best is OPS+. This is a stat that factors in OPS and adjusts it based on the era the player played in and the park the player played in. For his career Musial has a 159 OPS+, which is exactly even to Albert’s career 159 OPS+ as a Cardinal.

Musial’s greatest season came in 1948 where he led the league in practically everything, slashing .376/.450/.702 with a league leading OPS+ of 200 (Albert never had a season over 192). Besides his ridiculous OPS+, the most glaring number from that MVP performance was his .702 slugging percentage, McGwire’s .752 in 1998 and .746 in 2000 are the only better performances in team history. That’s some pretty special company there.

Musial was ultimately recognized in the Hall of Fame in 1969 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, just two years before his 2013 passing. Musial will live on forever as the greatest Cardinals’ player ever, even had Pujols stayed on, it would have been hard to surpass what “The Man” accomplished in his 22 seasons in St. Louis.

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