Gutiérrez takes first career victory, Reds beat Cardinals 4-2
The St. Louis Cardinals are one of Major League Baseball’s iconic franchises. The team with the “Birds on the Bat” has won more World Series titles than any other club in the National League, and is second behind the New York Yankees overall.
St. Louis has been home to a National League franchise since 1892, but the franchise was not known as the Cardinals until 1900.
Behind future Hall of Fame second baseman Rogers Hornsby, the Cardinals won their first World Series in 1926 against the Babe Ruth / Lou Gehrig Yankees. The Cardinals of the “Gashouse Gang” era dominated the 1930s thanks to Dizzy Dean, Johnny Mize and Joe Medwick and won the 1934 World Series.
Did you know that Branch Rickey, who would later become famous for bringing Jackie Robinson to the major leagues and breaking baseball’s color barrier, invented the minor league farming system we know today with the St. Louis? It was Rickey who set up an affiliate team system to develop the talents that would later shine in St. Louis. In the 1930s and 1940s, this system produced future Hall of Fame members Stan Musial, Red Schoendienst, and Enos Slaughter, all of whom won the World Series championships for the Cardinals.
The Musial-era Cardinals would later give way to a new generation, and it was Bob Gibson and Lou Brock who helped bring the World Series back to St. Louis in the 1960s. Gibson had one of the seasons. the most dominant in baseball history in 1968. He was so good at baseball that he lowered the mound the following year.
The 1970s saw the end of the Gibson and Brock years, the exchange of Steve Carlton in Philadelphia, and the arrival of Keith Hernandez. Hernandez would share the 1979 NL MVP award with Pittsburgh’s Willie Stargell.
For the Cardinals, the 1980s could be summed up in one word: Whiteyball. Behind manager Whitey Herzog, baseball in St. Louis has become synonymous with speed, stolen bases and defense. Shortstop Ozzie Smith was acquired from San Diego, and with Hernandez, second baseman Tommy Herr, a rookie outfielder named Willie McGee and closest Bruce Sutter, the Cardinals won the 1982 World Series against the Brewers of Milwaukee. After Hernandez dealt with the New York Mets, that core of players, along with slugger Jack Clark, would take the Cardinals on two more World Series trips this decade.
The 1980s saw the end of Gussie Busch’s ownership era for the Cardinals. When he died in 1989, the Anheuser-Busch brewery took over after nearly 40 years under his supervision.
In 1996, the brewery sold the club to the group of owners still led today by Bill DeWitt, Jr. The DeWitt family brought in former Oakland A manager Tony LaRussa, who would go on to become the most successful manager. victorious in team history. Along with another former Oakland employee running the front office at Walt Jocketty, the team acquired Mark McGwire from the A’s in 1997. The bumping first baseman would break Roger Maris’ 1998 Home Run record in a lawsuit with Sammy Sosa that captivated the nation, only later to be marred by the use of performance enhancing drugs that McGwire admitted years later.
In 2001, a young rookie named Albert Pujols burst onto the Saint-Louis scene. Playing all over the court, he was the runaway National League MVP winner, paving the way for the most dominant decade of offensive performance ever seen in a player’s first ten years in Major League Baseball. Wide receiver Yadier Molina came on board in 2004 as the Cardinals made their first World Series appearance since 1987. Two years later, a rookie pitcher named Adam Wainwright would replace the closest to a club that won their first World Series. since 1982.
The Cardinals’ third World Series appearance in eight seasons was perhaps the most unlikely when it arrived in 2011. A team that was left for dead in early September managed to advance to the playoffs on the final day of the regular season behind the heroism throw of Chris Carpenter down the stretch. Once in the playoffs, the legend of David Freese was born. Freese, a native of St. Louis County, won the National League Championship Series MVP with three home runs against Milwaukee. Then in the World Series against Texas, until the team’s last strike in what would have been a decisive Rangers game, a Freese triple tied the game. A Freese homerun in extra innings forced a Game 7, which the Cardinals won, bringing home an 11th World Series crown.
Albert Pujols left via free agency in the offseason and LaRussa retired, but the Cardinals kept advancing, reaching the 2013 World Series against the Boston Red Sox with former wide receiver Mike Matheny who now manages the club. In some ways, the Cardinals are still recovering from what happened on October 26, 2014, when outfielder Oscar Taveras, seen as a potentially generational talent who could have become the face of the franchise, died in a car crash. in the Dominican Republic.
The Matheny era will last for 6.5 seasons, until he is replaced by current manager Mike Shildt in 2018.