The St. Louis Cardinals’ 50 greatest players

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#12 Johnny Mize 1B

Mize had the face of a boxer and made his debut at first base for the Cardinals in 1936, sharing the field with Medwick on some great teams. He played six seasons with the Cardinals and compiled a slash of .336/.419/.600 with 158 homers in those half a dozen seasons, earning a 37.8 fWAR in just 854 games, with at least 200 games less than every player ahead of him in fWAR.

He finished 2nd in the MVP race twice. Mize collected over 10 triples three different times in St. Louis, slugged over .600 in three seasons, and drove in 100 runners or more in six straight seasons.

Laugh at the stat because this is 80 years ago, but Mize’s wRC+ was 170 or more in four straight seasons from 1937-1940. Miles above average. Unfortunately for the team but fortunate for the country, Mize served in the military during World War II from 1943-45, missing out on the prime seasons of his career in St. Louis.

When he returned, Mize went to play for the New York Giants and then the Yankees. Mize played until he was 40. The Georgia native was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1981. Despite the championships he didn’t win with the Cardinals, Mize is one of the best in Cardinals’ history.

Dan Buffa

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