The St. Louis Cardinals’ 50 greatest players

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#9 Jim Edmonds

Jim Edmonds, known as “Jimmy Baseball”, played from 2000-2007 for the St Louis Cardinals after being traded from the Angels for Kent Bottenfield and Adam Kennedy (what a steal). After playing 8 seasons for the Cards, he was traded to the Padres for David Freese. Edmonds contributions in two of his peak seasons led to the 2004 & 2006 World Series appearances and a 2006 title.

In an earlier piece we compared Edmonds to the current outfield Hall-of-Famers and found he ranks 5th, behind only Mays (660), Mantle (536), Dawson (438) and Snyder (407). Edmonds hit more home runs than DiMaggio and more than Ty Cobb and Kirby Puckett combined.

His epic walk-off home run to end Game 6 of the 2004 NLCS stands as just one of his dingers. Having a clutch post-season walk-off along with a high overall tally of 393 home runs and hit 30 or more in 5 seasons. In slugging percentage he ranks 7th on the list of HOFers in front of Ty Cobb and Andre Dawson.

While Jimmy Baseball’s offense stands out, his defense was even better. Authors of best of lists and directors of highlight reels always include Edmonds’ catches. In the clutch during Game 7 of the NLCS, down one run to Houston in the second inning with runners on first and second, Brad Ausmus cracked a sure hit into the left field gap.

Edmonds made an incredible catch to rob him of two RBIs. Ausmus later said, “It was a spectacular play. It was not out of the ordinary for Jimmy Edmonds. That may have saved the game for them.”

In 2000 he came in 4th in MVP voting and in 2004 finished 5th. He won 8 gold gloves, was a 4-time all-star and won the silver slugger in 2004 while batting .301 and slugging .643.

Edmonds posted a fWAR of 6.1 or higher in six straight seasons, peaking at 8.3 in 2004. Edmonds hit 241 of his career 393 home runs with the Cardinals. His total fWAR of 42.4 ranks eighth all time amongst Cardinals’ position players. Like Medwick and Mize, the players in front of Edmonds have a lot of games on him, making his fWAR total even better.

Paul Layton

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