5 wildly successful reclamation projects for past Cardinals teams

These five former St. Louis Cardinals exemplified the team's past skill of turning scraps into stars.
New York Mets v St. Louis Cardinals
New York Mets v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
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Jim Edmonds

Jim Edmonds was far from a nondescript player with the California/Anaheim Angels; from 1993 to 1999, he hit .290 with a 119 OPS+. But while Edmonds had an All-Star nod and two Gold Gloves on his mantel with the Angels, he really found his groove in his 30s after he was traded to the Cardinals for Kent Bottenfield and Adam Kennedy.

From 2003 to 2007, Edmonds was a part of a three-headed monster in the batting order with Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen, and he discovered a new power stroke in St. Louis, hitting 241 long bombs over his eight years wearing the birds on the bat after hitting 121 with the Angels. With the Cardinals, Edmonds had a career .285 batting average and was 43 points above league average.

Edmonds was not just a threat at the plate; he won six consecutive Gold Glove Awards with the Cardinals while patrolling center field. After the 2007 season, Edmonds was traded to the San Diego Padres for future World Series hero David Freese, and he later bounced around the National League Central division, playing with the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers before signing as a free agent with the Cardinals in 2011 and retiring two weeks later.

Edmonds fell off the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame ballot in his first year of eligibility but was inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2014 and later rejoined the community as a broadcaster for the Cardinals — an exceptionally entertaining and informative one, in this writer's mind.