The St. Louis Cardinals are actively looking for an outfielder this offseason and have made it clear that it is a top priority. If all goes well, maybe that oufielder turns out to be a Cardinal great.
This is the first time in recent memory, for me at least, that the status of the outfield has been truly questioned. The last big question the outfield left the fans of this organization was about how good the late Oscar Taveras could have been.
Right now, there are a lot of talented young outfielders that have made contributions, such as Tommy Pham, Steve Piscotty, and Randal Grichuk. Not to mention the recently departed, and beloved, Matt Holliday.
Since the Cardinals have decided to part ways with the aging Holliday, it is a good time to look at some of the great players that have patrolled the outfield for St. Louis. This list is the top five players to ever have done it however there are many players deserving of consideration.
To make a list of top outfielders for this organization takes a lot. With 11 World Series wins, 19 pennants, and a storied history of post season play, there are a lot of talented players to choose from.
The Cardinals organization has been around since 1900. Prior to that they were the Perfectos and were also the Browns in the late 1800s in the National League. In order to make the list of all time great outfielders for the Cardinals, consideration is only given to those that have played under the name.
It is also important to make the distinction that in order to be on the list, they needs to have played several seasons as a Cardinal. If a player had a great year or two they will not be considered for this list. That being said, players who played more than a few seasons in the outfield, then moved positions will be eligible.
Because there will only be five choices, there are some honorable mentions that I considered, but decided not to add. Among these players are J.D. Drew, Red Schoendienst, Matt Holliday, and Albert Pujols. Even though Pujols came up as an outfielder, he only had three season of substantial playing time out there. So he does not meet the requirements.
The same reason Pujols is off the list is why Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst is not on the list. He only had one season of substantial playing time in the outfield grass. Though he had a great career, he played second base for the majority of it.
These players are who I consider to be the top five outfielders in Cardinal history, but they are presented in no particular order.