The Cardinals 15 best all time first baseman

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    Rick Hummel has a piece on who he believes are the best all time Cardinal first baseman. You would have to think that he should be a good subjective source, as he has followed the team for so many years and probably having the time to consider the older players. Its a fun read.

    Brian Walton

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    Thank you for sharing, Ny. I was just thankful the P-D did not make me hit enter 15 times to see the list!

    Because I was curious, I compared this list to TCN’s Cardinals Top 40 All-Time list. I organized it 12 years ago, including with my vote that of my then-partner Ray Mileur, reader Jerry Modene and veteran sportswriter Rob Rains. (The list is still accessible here via the “TOP ALL-TIME PLAYERS/TEAMS” link at the upper left.)

    One area that is a bit sticky on The Commish’s list is the position qualifying rules. For example, Musial and Torre appear among the first basemen, though they played more at other positions. Still, it is his list and so are his rules. I just lined up our names to his.

    Remember at the time of our list, prior to the 2007 season, Albert was just midway through his Cardinals career. All things considered, they line up very well.

      Commish TCN 2007 (overall)
    1 Pujols Musial (1)
    2 Musial Pujols (6)
    3 Bottomley Bottomley (13)
    4 Mize Mize (18)
    5 McGwire McGwire (22)
    6 Hernandez Hernandez (26)
    7 White Torre (28)
    8 Torre White (34)
    9 Cepeda  
    10 Collins  
    11 Clark  
    12 Jefferies  
    13 Guerrero  
    14 Allen  
    15 Craig  

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    Where’s The BIG Cat???? I believe if Andres Galarraga had not left us for the Mile High City in ’93, The BIG Feline would have ended up somewhere around that coveted #11 slot on our Cardinals all time greatest 1st baseman list.



    I am sure BicycleMike will chime in on this thread. So, having said that, Strat-O-Matic is re-releasing the 1980 season this winter with all of their super advanced features. Player cards for 1980 – and 2018 – will start shipping next Monday the 11th.

    1980 was a good year for Keith Hernandez. Coming off his co-NL MVP award (with Stargell) and his .344 average in 1979 he put up another outstanding year in 1980 with a .321 average, 16 homeruns, 99 rbi’s, and I believe another gold glove.

    I’m surprised that Hernandez isn’t higher on everyone’s list. A lot of Cardinal folks consider him to just about be one of the absolute best fielding 1stbaseman in the history of the game. Plus if he would have played during the lively ball era we have experienced for the last generation his power numbers would probably have increased as well.



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    Rat, I had all of the Strat-O-Matic cards from 1979-1987. Some years I would play a full season or close to it and keep stats. Good times.

    As for the list I can’t complain about it too much. I might be a little biased but I would rank Jack the Ripper a little higher. Pedro was great too.


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    I would have had Big Ed Konetchy in there. He was the Cardinal first baseman from 07-13. Compiled a 27.9 WAR on the way to a career 46.4. Certainly his best years were with Boston and Brooklyn. The Cardinals traded him to the Pirates one year ahead of his jumping to the Federal League.

    He had a career batting average of .281 with 74 home runs in the dead ball era. Also had 182 triples and stole 255 bases.

    Compare that with Allen Craig’s 5 years with the Cardinals and a 7.2 WAR.

    And there is also Jack Fournier with an 8.8 WAR in only 3 years with the birds. He had a 41.2 career WAR.

    Brian Walton

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    Konetchy is a great addition.


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    It is always fun to make these all-time lists, and debate the merits of the various great players in Cardinal history. Sometimes trying to fit guys into a particular position on a list can be unfair. Musial is a perfect example. He played some 800 games more as an outfielder than a first baseman, so adding him to a list of great first baseman sort of makes him two “half players”.

    The Commish also erred in his comments on Joe Torre, saying he played first base during his best season in 1971. He actually exclusively played third base that season. So again, we have a guy who was a great Cardinal, but when you try to list him by position he loses some value.

    The mention of Ed Konetchy is a great call. Fournier as well. The Frenchman OPS’d .808, .914, and .838 in three season with the Redbirds. Another guy on my top fifteen list is Charlie Comiskey, who gets there as much for his leadership as his on-field play. A decent argument can be made for the great Roger Connor, who had his best years behind him before he finished up in St. Louis, but still had something left in the tank as he played his final seasons in St. Louis.

    Another hybrid player is our incumbent first sacker, who will move again to third base for 2019, Matt Carpenter. He had his best season in 2018, primarily playing first base, and sneaks in to my list at #15.

    So having said all that, I go this way 1 thru 15:


    Brian Walton

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    Here is the unfortunate problem with Charlie Comiskey in reference to the Cardinals Hall of Fame. His time with the team almost completely overlaps the 1882-1891 American Association years, which the team does not officially recognize. I’d like to fix that, though.

    Coincidentally, as this remains a big deal to me, I was discussing the problem with the period with the DeWitts when Bill III surprised me by saying that he agrees with me that the 10 years should be counted in team history. I need to follow up to sense his level of interest to take on the matter with MLB (as three other NL teams are also affected).


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    Leon Durham should get an honorable mention just for the fact that he produced Bruce Sutter for us.

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