The St. Louis Cardinals’ 50 greatest players

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#31 Marty Marion SS

Here we have the Cardinals’ first great defensive player in Marty Marion. Marion played all but 70 games of his career with the Cardinals. While Marion only slashed .264/.323/.345 with a career wRC+ of 83 for his Cardinals’ career, he was best known of what he did with his glove.

For his career, Marion was worth 223.6 runs above average on defense, which was the best of any Cardinal until “The Wizard” came around. While Marion wasn’t that great on offense, he didn’t strikeout a ton as he had a career K% of 8.7%. His best season of his career came in 1942 in what was his third season in the big leagues.

That year Marion had his career best wRC+ of 107, slashing .276/.343/.375 and hitting a career high 38 doubles. Not only that, but that season was the only season in which Marion posted a positive offensive value, as he was worth 5.9 runs above average that year. This all led to his career high fWAR of 4.8 that year.

It was the next two seasons were when Marion was at his best defensively, as he posted 29.9 and 32.9 defensive runs above average in the two seasons respectively. His league leading fielding percentage in 1944 is what catapulted him to the NL MVP that year. For more information on how Marion wound up winning that award check out Retro Simba’s piece on that season.

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