St. Louis Cardinals' 5 all-time best starting pitchers
5. Mort Cooper
The National League MVP in 1942 with 22 wins and an ERA of 1.78, Mort Cooper endured arm troubles throughout his career, but he still led the major leagues in victories in 1942 and 1943, throwing consecutive one-hitters in the latter year. He also won two World Series with the Cardinals in 1942 and 1944. After three consecutive seasons of more than 20 wins, Cooper and his brother Walker, who served as Mort's catcher from 1940 to 1944, demanded contract raises, leading Mort to be traded to the Boston Braves in 1945.
Cooper's arm woes led him to have three operations, and he wasn't the same pitcher after the trade, as his arm continued to deteriorate. From 1946 to 1949, Cooper went 16-21 with a 3.89 ERA. His final game was an ill-fated appearance with the Chicago Cubs, where he gave up a walk, threw a wild pitch, surrendered a single and finally allowed a home run. It was his only appearance with the team. Cooper retired in 1949 and died at age 45 of liver cirrhosis after struggling with alcoholism.