The 3 greatest infields in St. Louis Cardinals history

Ozzie Smith #1 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws to second base from his knees against the New York Mets during a Major League baseball game circa 1989 at Shea Stadium in the Queens borough of New York City. Smith played for the Cardinals from 1982-96. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Ozzie Smith #1 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws to second base from his knees against the New York Mets during a Major League baseball game circa 1989 at Shea Stadium in the Queens borough of New York City. Smith played for the Cardinals from 1982-96. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /
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Ozzie Smith #1 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws to second base from his knees against the New York Mets during a Major League baseball game circa 1989 at Shea Stadium in the Queens borough of New York City. Smith played for the Cardinals from 1982-96. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Ozzie Smith #1 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws to second base from his knees against the New York Mets during a Major League baseball game circa 1989 at Shea Stadium in the Queens borough of New York City. Smith played for the Cardinals from 1982-96. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

So which one is the best?

Sometimes comparing eras is unfair. Differences in turf can make a difference in results. For example, the 1982 Cardinals played on a very fast astroturf, which is very different than what the 2004 and 2021 played on.

Analytics are also hard to compare. Baseball today relies on analytics which weren’t available or used in previous eras, especially in 1982. For example, I used analytics from Baseball Reference for all three teams. However, many now use Statcast and for defensive purposes, OAA is now preferred.

Regardless, in spite of all the analytics available to us, picking the best infield in St. Louis Cardinals history is still more subjective than objective. Therefore, I understand that opinions will vary.

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But to answer the question, I agree with Ozzie Smith. The 1982 infield was one of the greatest ever assembled.

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