The St. Louis Cardinals’ 50 greatest players

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#20 Jim Bottomley 1B

The husky first baseman played for 11 seasons in St. Louis before departing for Cincinnati and was a model of consistency. Bottomley drove in 100 runners in six straight seasons, slugged 30 or more doubles in nine straight seasons and seven straight seasons of 160 hits or more. He slugged, got on base, and hit for average, and posted a 36.5 fWAR.

Bottomley hit .325 in his time as a Cardinal and had an 11 year average OPS of .925. The guy could hit, and did so from 1922 until 1937.

The best of those seasons coming in 1925 when he slashed .367/.413/.578, knocking 77 extra base-hits (44 doubles, 21 homers, 12 triples), and knocked in 128 RBI. That year brought him a value of 6.0 fWAR and a wRC+ of 149, despite the fact that he won the MVP in 1928, cranking 93 extra base-hits (42 doubles, 31 homers, 15 triples).

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1974. He wasn’t a remarkable first baseman and declined rapidly after 1930 and even further when he was traded to the Reds.

Looking at Bottomley stats, it may be hard to see the merit for the HOF but he was a great Cardinal, putting together his best seasons in St. Louis.

Dan Buffa

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