#18 Frankie Frisch 2B
Frankie Frisch, known as “The Fordham Flash” as he demonstrated speed in multiple sports at both Fordham Prep school in the Bronx, and then Fordham University in New York City, before being picked up as a free agent by the Giants in 1919. He played for the St Louis Cardinals from 1927-1937 after playing nine seasons for the New York Giants.
Oddly, the most notable aspect of Frankie Frisch and his history with the St Louis Cardinals lies off-field with his arrival. Frisch was traded for the great Rogers Hornsby in December of 1926 as the Giants and Cardinals made an epic swap.
The beloved Hornsby hit .370+ between 1920-1925 and played excellent defense at second, but he argued incessantly with management and they wanted him out. How could they trade an MVP? They found another team with another star who needed to go. Frisch’s relationship with manager McGraw had also deteriorated and that’s how the biggest sports trade in all of history went down.
Known for his excellent batting ability, he posted a batting average of .312 while in St Louis with an on-base percentage of .370 while slugging .423. His career numbers were even higher with a .316/.369/.432 line. It seemed that Frisch worked hard to win over St Louis fans as he amassed an amazing 9.7 fWAR in 1927, his first year with the team.
While that’s a number he never repeated, he maintained solid 3+ fWAR most of his career in St Louis, including the 1931 World Series and as a member of the 1934 World Series winning Gas House Gang, finishing with an fWAR of 35.7 with the Cardinals.
Frisch also managed the Cardinals from 1933-1938, won the MVP in 1931 and finished in top 20 of MVP voting 9 times. He was a three time all-star, being named all of the first three seasons the award was available.
He led the NL in stolen bases in both the 1927 and 1931 seasons. With the Giants, he won two additional World Series titles and led the NL in stolen bases in 1921.