The St. Louis Cardinals’ 50 greatest players

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#35 Howie Pollet SP

Here we have the ace of the postwar Cardinals. As a part time starter in 1941-1943, Pollet posted a fWAR of 5.1 through just 25 starts and 27 appearances out of the bullpen. These numbers earned Pollet the rank of ace when he returned from the war in 1946.

That year he went 21-10 with a 2.10 ERA (3.19 FIP), he kept hitters at bay with a .247 BABIP that year and a fWAR of 3.9. Things normalized on him the next two seasons as his ERA and FIP number rose.

However, Pollet got control of things again in 1949, when he posted his best season as a Cardinal. That year he went 20-9, posting an ERA of 2.77 and his best FIP as a full time starter of 2.87, and led the league with his five shutouts. That year Pollet’s numbers netted him a 6.0 fWAR, easily one of the best seasons by a starter in Cardinals’ history.

Pollet went on to post a 4.7 fWAR the next season in what would be his final full season as a Cardinal, as he was traded to the Pirates in June of the 1951 season. Altogether, Pollet went 97-65, with a 3.06 ERA and 3.34 FIP, while posting a 25.2 fWAR.

Next: One of the best closers ever