The St. Louis Cardinals have had several terrific keystone players in the long, storied history of the franchise.
The history of National League baseball in the Gateway City stretches back in time to 1900 using their current nickname and all the way back to 1882 when the Perfectos, Browns, and Brown Stockings appellations are included. Since the start of the 20th century, St. Louis has had a number of very good second basemen over those dozen-plus decades of baseball.
The best of the best second sackers have reached Hall of Fame status, though none of them has played his entire career with the Cardinals. Others have been very good if not worthy of induction in Cooperstown. And there have been a number of notable second basemen who deserve recognition if not a position among the all-time team's top five.
The most recent honorable mention is Kolten Wong, who played his first major league seasons with St. Louis. After a brief appearance in 2013, Wong had a strong full rookie season in 2014, finishing third in Rookie of the Year voting. Pairing a roughly league-average bat with terrific defense, Wong was a solid contributor throughout his Cardinals tenure, peaking in 2019 with a Gold Glove and a 20th-place finish in MVP voting, tied with this year's Cardinals MVP, Paul Goldschmidt.
One of the longest-tenured Cardinals among everyone in this article, Jose Oquendo has endeared himself with St. Louis fans since joining the franchise in a 1985 trade with the New York Mets. The Secret Weapon not only manned second base 649 times, he played shortstop in 364 games, and in fact, in 1988 he played all nine positions at various times throughout the year. Following his playing career, Oquendo coached and managed in the minors before getting back to the majors and serving as the team's third-base coach during the 200-2015 period.
There have been a number of other players who were solid contributors or burned brightly for a short period of time as St. Louis second basemen, but with this prelude out of the way, it's time to get to the top five players ever at this position.
This is a part of a running series on Redbird Rants ranking the top 5 Cardinals at each position. You can find the other position groups we have ranked so far below.