St. Louis Cardinals’ Top 20 Hitters

11 of 21

Embed from Getty Images

#11 – 1B Keith Hernandez

Keith Hernandez is one of those Baseball limelight guys that not many younger Cardinals’ fans know of as a Cardinal. However, before Hernandez’ more popular Mets’ tenure he played in parts of ten seasons for the Cardinals, and was a pretty good player.

He posted a slash of .299/.385/.448 in his career with the Cardinals, with 196 extra-base hits (265 doubles, 81 homers, and 50 triples). Hernandez wasn’t your typical first basemen, who bops 30 homers and drives in 100.

However, like many on this list Hernandez was nothing short of consistent for the Cardinals. He was a hitting machine for many years and was a guy who was always getting on base as is represented by his .385 OBP.

His best season as a Cardinal was without a doubt in 1979, when he slashed .344/.417/.513 with 70 extra base-hits (48 doubles, 11 homers, and 11 triples), and a wRC+ of 156. Not only were his average, doubles, and runs scored tops in the league that year; but that year Hernandez also took home the MVP crown.

Hernandez would go on to produce a 155 wRC+ in the very next season, leading the league in runs scored (111) and OBP (.408). Continuing in the best three years of his career, he finished with a 144 wRC+ in 1981. Hernandez would help the team win the title in 1982, where his 7 hits and 8 RBI were a key cog in bringing the title to St. Louis for the first time since 1967.

Unfortunately, in 1983 Hernandez was dealt to the Mets for a whole host of reasons, as is outlined here in RetroSimba’s piece on the trade. Hernandez went on to have a fine career with the Mets, leading them to the World Series in 1986.

After finishing the 1990 season with Cleveland playing only 43 games, he decided to hang it up. Hernandez was definitely one of the top hitters to ever wear the birds on the bat.After his career, Hernandez became apart of Mets’ lore and joined their broadcast team. He also appeared on an episode of Seinfeld in 1992.

Next: The greatest manager of all-time?