5 St. Louis Cardinals shortstops living in Ozzie Smith’s shadow

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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Edgar Renteria #3 of the St. Louis Cardinals runs between bases during the game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 9, 2004 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cardinals defeated the Cubs 12-4. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Edgar Renteria #3 of the St. Louis Cardinals runs between bases during the game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 9, 2004 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cardinals defeated the Cubs 12-4. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Edgar Renteria, living in Ozzie’s shadow

Of the successors to Ozzie, the best of the bunch was Edgar Renteria, who played in St. Louis from 1999-2004.  Although Renteria probably hasn’t been forgotten by most fans, his career with the Cardinals has been overshadowed by Ozzie Smith. Nevertheless, a case can be made he was the second best shortstop in Cardinal history.

Renteria won three Silver Slugger Awards, two Gold Gloves, made three All Star appearances while wearing the Birds on a Bat. In his six seasons in St. Louis, he hit a slash line of ,290/.347/.420, accumulating a 16.7 bWAR.

Per the Cardinal Hall of Fame ballot press release, Renteria leads all Cardinal shortstops in OPS, and he’s in the clubs top three all-time in hits, extra base hits, home runs, RBIs, and batting average among shortstops.

Additionally, his 100 RBIs in 2003 were the most by a Cardinals shortstop since 1899, and his 194 hits were the most since Garry Templeton’s 200 in 1977. Also, since Ozzie, no one has come close to playing the number games at short than Renteria’s 903.

Finally, in spite of these accomplishments, Renteria has been on the Cardinal Hall of Fame ballot for seven straight years without getting enough fan votes to gain admittance.

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