Eight records held by St. Louis Cardinals players that may never be beaten

ST LOUIS, MO - JULY 14: Former St. Louis Cardinals (L-R) Lou Brock, Red Schoendienst, Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter, and Bob Gibson look on before the 2009 MLB All-Star Game at Busch Stadium on July 14, 2009 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - JULY 14: Former St. Louis Cardinals (L-R) Lou Brock, Red Schoendienst, Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter, and Bob Gibson look on before the 2009 MLB All-Star Game at Busch Stadium on July 14, 2009 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Images) /

Among others, there are eight specific records belonging to St. Louis Cardinals players that are profound. Which are unlikely to ever be beaten?

There are a lot of St. Louis Cardinals players that hold MLB records. Today, we are just going to look at eight of them though. Since five of these belong to the HOF Robert “Bob” Gibson, we will give a brief description of who were he as a player.

Bob Gibson was born on November 9, 1935, in Omaha, Nebraska. Even though he was part of a low-income family and had rickets and asthma as a child, he had the willingness and fortitude to play sports with great discipline and effort. This allowed him to receive a scholarship from Creighton University to be part of their basketball team. At that university, he grew and developed physical faculties that allowed him to play baseball as well.

It was in 1957 that he received a $4,000 bonus offer from the St. Louis Cardinals to report to his Omaha AAA Affiliate. From there, he worked his way up through the Cardinals’ system until he debuted on April 15, 1959.

During the 1961 season, Gibson finally stuck as a starter where he then went on to dominate the world until his retirement on September 3, 1975. Much has been speculated about the racist treatment of Bob Gibson and Curt Flood from manager Solly Hemus during the 1959/1961 seasons which affected his performance. Hemus was fired in the 1961 season and Johnny Keane who had been his manager in Omaha.

Let’s look at his MLB records:

No. 1: Lowest ERA (while also throwing 300+ innings)

This live-ball era record belongs to Bob Gibson, who during the 1968 season playing for the St. Louis Cardinals set a mark of a 1.12 ERA that remains the lowest to date. In the 1968 season Bob Gibson made 34 game starts for the St. Louis Cardinals, having emerged victorious in 22 games with 9 losses and three no-decisions in 304.2 innings released. He had a total of 28 complete games of 9 or more innings (21/9 – 1/10 – 2/11 – 1/12 innings) with 13 shutouts, 5 of them consecutively,

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His 9 losses were against Chicago Cubs (1), Houston Astros (1), Phillies of Philadelphia (1), Pittsburgh Pirates (1), Los Angeles Dodgers (2), San Francisco Giants (2), dueling against pitchers Don Drysdale from Los Angeles Dodgers, and with the Dominican Juan Marichal from San Francisco Giants.

It is worth noting that St. Louis did not have a good offense that year and only had one batter above a .300 batting average (Curt Flood), although the Cardinals did have the home run and RBI leader in Orlando Cepeda. Gibson’s offensive support was so rickety that catcher Tim McCarver jokingly remarked that Gibson was a “lucky pitcher,” as rival teams didn’t bat the day Gibson had his turn to pitch.

Bob Gibson was so dominant in 1968 that it promoted that the mound be lowered from 15 inches to just 10 inches (some stadiums had more than 15 inches) in relation to home plate, thus reducing the pitchers’ dominance over batters.

That year, Bob Gibson attended the All-Star Game, won the CY Young Award, and was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player, an honor that had not been awarded to a pitcher before.

Chance of breaking this mark: LOW as long as the mound doesn’t get raised again.

No. 2: The most strikeouts in a World Series Game

Bob Gibson holds the record with 17 strikeouts in a World Series game, a record he set in the first game of the 1968 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Detroit Tigers.

Bob Gibson faced off against the Tigers in Game 1 on October 30th, 1968 in a highly publicized game against Denny McLain who had won 31 games and the American League Cy Young trophy in the same year, as well as a strong lineup composed by Dick McAuliffe, Mickey Stanley, Al Kaline, Norm Cash, Jim Northrup,  Willie Horton, Bill Freehan, Don Wert.

Gibson struck out McAuliffe and Kaline in the first inning, struck out Cash, Northrup, and Horton in the second; in the third, Freehan and McLain; Kaline in the fourth; Wert in the fifth inning; in the sixth inning, Stanley and Cash; in the seventh, Northrup and Freehan; in the eighth Eddie Mathews; and in the ninth inning fanned Kaline (to match the record of 15 strikeouts held by Sandy Koufax). Gibson then fanned Cash and Horton to complete a total of 17 strikeouts in 9 innings.

Chance of breaking this mark: LOW because managers don’t currently let starters go that deep in World Series games.

No. 3: A pitcher to strike out a batter in each of the 9 innings of a WS game

The 17 Detroit Tigers hitters who were struck out in every inning by Bob Gibson during the first game of the 1968 World Series already mentioned. Gibson shares this record with Ed Walsh of the Chicago White Sox who did so in the Game 3 of the 1906 World Series in which he struck out 12 hitters on the Chicago Cubs.

Chance of breaking this mark: LOW (Same reasons set out in point 2)

No. 4: The most strikeouts in one World Series

In the same 1968 World Series between Detroit Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals, Bob Gibson struck out 35 batters total which is the record up to date.

Chance of breaking this mark: Medium (possible in a series of seven games in which one starting pitcher starts three games)

No. 5: The most wins in one World Series

Again, Bob Gibson won three games in the 1967 World Series against the Boston Red Sox in which he won Games 1, 4 and 7 (won 2 against NY Yankees in the 1964 World Series and 2 games against the Detroit Tigers (1968) for a total of 7 games won).

The record of three games won in a World Series is shared with many other pitchers. Among them are Deacon Phillipee (1903), Bill Dinneen (1903), Christy Mathewson (1905), Stan Coveleski (1920), the Cardinal former Harry Breechen (Harry “The Cat” Breechen) (1946), Mickey Lolich (1968) and Randy Johnson (2001)

Chance of breaking this mark: LOW (Likely a relief pitcher or a series that goes seven games)

No. 6: The most stolen bases in a World Series

Lou Brock from St. Louis Cardinals stole seven bases in both the 1967 and 1968 World Series.

Chance of breaking this mark: HIGH, all it takes is one player who’s great at stealing to have a good series.

No. 7: Most stolen bases in World Series games

Lou Brock stole 14 bases in total, during the World Series of 1967 and 1968.

Chance of breaking this mark: HIGH for the same reason for the previous point and cyclical dominance of teams in the World Series, which gives the opportunity to the players who have a lot of opportunities to participate in a great number of World Series Games.

Louis Clark “Lou” Brock was born in El Dorado, Arkansas on June 18th, 1939 played for 16 seasons (1964 – 1979) with the St. Louis Cardinals after was acquired from the Chicago Cubs in a seven-player exchange in which it was included pitcher Ernie Broglio. This trade was later considered one of the greatest thefts in the century.

More from St Louis Cardinals History

Lou Brock had held the MLB records for the most stolen bases in a season with 118 (1974) and total steals with 938. Both records were broken by Rickey Henderson from Oakland A’s.

Brock batted above .300 for eight seasons and was the leader in the National League in runs scored in 1967 and 1971, the leader in doubles (46) and triples (14) in the 1968 season and was incidentally the first batter in the first MLB game held in Canada on April 14th, 1969 against the missing Montreal Expos.

In the 1975 season in an extremely hot Sunday summer game in St. Louis, I had the opportunity to see three extremely fast players roam the bases at an impressive speed. They were Lou Brock, who was as a runner at second base, Bake McBride at first base and Willie Davis connecting a line drive to deep in the right field, Brock and McBride scored running the bases quickly and getting Davis on third base on one of the most impressive and synchronized running bases I’ve ever seen.

No. 8: One player hitting two grand slams in one inning against the same pitcher.

St. Louis Cardinals’ third baseman Fernando Tatis Sr. hit two grand slams in the same inning against the same pitcher, Chan Ho Park on April 23, 1999, at Dodger Stadium in front of 46,687 fans.

The Dodgers had a 2-0 lead in opening the third inning and after two singles and one batter hit, Tatis Sr detonated a home run to the leftfield bullpen with the bases loaded, in what narrator Vince Scully called it a smack with the distance “McGwire” (the game was being broadcast nationally and to South Korea), an out later, the Cuban Eli Marrero, the Cardinals’ catcher, also hit a homer.

Pitcher Chan Ho Park awarded two walks in a row and Dominican pitcher Jose Jimenez tried to sacrifice himself with a touch of a ball to advance the runners, but Park’s throw was late and he was unable to force the runner at third base, refilling the bases. Darren Bragg hit to first baseman Eric Karros who threw to the plate trying to force the runner, but the throw to catcher Todd Hundley was not in time.

Colombian shortstop Edgar Renteria hit a run-producing single and Mark McGwire failed with a short fly ball to the right field which kept the bases full with 2 outs and Tatis Sr. coming up again, but the Dodgers left Park in the game.

On a 3-2 count, Tatis Sr. deposited the ball in the seats in left-center for another grand slam between left field and center field for another Grand Slam. Fernando Tatis Sr. completed a feat that, if not impossible, is likely to never be done again. It will remain in the annals of MLB history as the only player to have hit two grand slams in the same inning against the same pitcher.

Chances of breaking this mark: IMPOSSIBLE

Next. How Mark McGwire reinvigorated St. Louis. dark

These records may stand forever, or they could be beaten next year. Either way, these are etched in St. Louis Cardinals’ history for now.