Cardinals 5 all-time best shortstops in franchise history
By Greg Simons
5. Garry Templeton
Probably most famous in St. Louis for the trade that sent him out of town in exchange for a player we'll get to later, Garry Templeton was a strong contributor during his half-dozen seasons as a Cardinal. He did a lot of things well, with an impressive .305 batting average over 700-plus games.
His greatest skill probably was his speed, as he lead the league in triples for three consecutive seasons, 1977-'79, with totals of 18, 13, and 19, respectively, and that first year's number was tops in the majors. While Templeton also stole a good number of bases, nabbing 138 during his time as a Redbird, he was caught 79 times, including a majors-leading 24 times in 1977, indicating his swiftness was better than his decision-making.
That three-season run at the end of the '70s earned Templeton two All-Star bids and down-ballot MVP votes in '77 and '79. He started out in the 1980s by capturing his first Silver Slugger award based on his .319-BA, 4-HR, 43-RBI, 83-run performance.
The strike-shortened 1981 season was Templeton's last in St. Louis, as a bold challenge trade that December sent him to the San Diego Padres. And while that transaction is his most lasting impression for most Cardinals fans, Templeton was a very good contributor while wearing the birds-on-a-bat uniform.