Three of the best Cardinals teams to not win the World Series in the 21st century

World Series: Cardinals v Red Sox Game 1
World Series: Cardinals v Red Sox Game 1 / Brad Mangin/GettyImages
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2004

Perhaps the best Cardinals team this century to not win the World Series was the 2004 squad.

That team was very much the same as the 2005 squad, other than the fact that Edgar Renteria was manning shortstop and Mike Matheny was behind the plate. St. Louis also had speedster Tony Womack in their lineup.

After the trade deadline had passed, the Cardinals added Walker to put the final pieces in place for a World Series run. The team beat the Dodgers in the NLDS and won a seven-game thriller in the NLCS against the Astros, with the home team winning every game.

But the World Series is where things came to a screeching halt. The Red Sox had just completed a comeback from down 3-0 in the ALCS against the Yankees. Despite the Cardinals' 105 wins, they were no match for the Red Sox, who broke the "Curse of the Bambino" by sweeping the Cardinals.

The Sox celebrated on the field at Busch Stadium, and what had been a tremendous season for the Cardinals came crashing down.

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