Willson Contreras has joined some rare company in his first season with the Cardinals

In a relationship that started with some controversy and drama, Contreras put up some offensive numbers that puts him on a small list of Cardinal catchers.
Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals / Joe Puetz/GettyImages
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Joe Torre- 21 home runs in 1970

The Cardinals acquired Torre from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Orlando Cepeda, a swap of two future hall of famers, and Torre did not disappoint in St.Louis.

Torre was a five-time All-Star in Atlanta and a Gold Glove winner, but some of his best years came with the Cardinals. He hit .289 with 18 home runs and 101 RBI in his first season in 1969, then in 1970 he surpassed the 20-homer plateau with 21, something he did with the Braves four years in a row from 1964-1967. He also hit a career-high at the time .325 with 100 RBI.


1971 was Torres's best season in St.Louis, and arguably the best of his career, where he led the league in hitting (.363), hits (230), RBI (137), and total bases (352). Those numbers were enough for Torre to win the NL MVP. Torre hit 24 home runs that year, but he did so as a third baseman because the aforementioned Ted Simmons took over catching duties in '71. But the year before Torre was the first catcher in Cardinals history to hit 20+ home runs in a single season.