No St. Louis Cardinals lineup series would be complete without the inclusion of the team’s greatest player of all-time – and that led to the All-Cardinals Pennsylvania lineup. With 35 players hailing from The Keystone Stats to have played with St. Louis at one time or another, it made for some interesting decisions as to which players would be included.
Here are the final results.
Stan Musial – Donora, PA.
Simply known as Stan “The Man,” Musial was in a league of his own both on and off the field. His prowess on the diamond and character off made him one of the most beloved players in baseball history.
Signed as a left-handed pitcher in 1938 by the Cardinals, Musial injured his left shoulder diving for a batted ball thus changing the course of history. It was described that his batting stance and swing were all wrong, but he did everything right. Only twice in his first 12 seasons, beginning in 1942, did he hit below .320. He led the Cardinals to three World Series appearances and two titles from 1942-1944 before leaving to serve his nation in World War II.
In 1946, he returned to the Cardinals and helped them win their third World Series title in five years and he took home his second of three Most Valuable Player trophies. His final one camg in 1948, the year he missed the Triple Crown by one home run.
When Musial retired following the 1963 season, his 24 All-Star Game appearances were second only to Hank Aaron. He retired as the National League All-Time Hit King with 3,630 – exactly half at home and half on the road. At the time of his retirement, Stan “The Man” Musial held seven major league records and tied for 12 others including hits, total bases, and extra base-hits.
To this day nearly 60 years after he retired, Musial remains the Cardinals career leader in 10 offensive categories including hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI and a career batting average of .331.
Tommy Herr – Lancaster, PA
Herr made his mark on Cardinals baseball in the 1980’s. Undrafted out of high school in 1974 and no longer wanted by Duke University basketball, he accepted the Cardinals offer to play professional baseball.
Developing over the years from a natural right-handed hitter to a switch hitter proved valuable to both Herr and the Cardinals. By 1979, the second baseman had made his major league debut and just waited for an opportunity. The Cardinals opened the door in the 1980 offseason when they sent third baseman Ken Reitz to the Cubs and moved Ken Oberkfell from second to third. Herr played all 103 games of the strike shortened 1981 season batting .268 with 23 stolen bases.
In 10 seasons with St. Louis, the second baseman hit a solid .274 and helped lead the Cardinals to three World Series berths and a title in 1982. Herr was elected into the Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2020 and was inducted in 2021.
Whitey Kurowski – Sinking Spring, PA
Born George John Kurowski, Whitey receievd his nickname from his premature white hair. Along with the white hair, he suffered and injury as a youth that required removing three inches of bone from his right arm. The injury kept most teams from taking a chance on the Sinking Spring native and worked to the Cardinals advantage.
Whitey arrived in St. Louis late in 1941 and by 1942 he and his minor league teammate Stan Musial would help turn the Cardinals into a World Series machine. The Cardinals won titles in 1942, 1944 and 1946. Kurowski put together his best season in 1947, hitting .310 with 27 home runs and driving home 104. He also drew 87 walks and scored 108 runs.
A lifetime .268 hitter, Kurowski finished in the top ten in the league in home runs every season from 1943-1947. From 1945 -1947, he remained one of the most consistent hitters in the National League finishing in the top ten each season in batting average, OBP, slugging percentage, total bases and RBI. The four-time All-Star twice led National League third basemen in fielding. Kurowski held the Cardinals record for most home runs (12) in a month for 50 years and a month before Mark McGwire broke it in September 1997.
Dick Groat – Wilkinsburg, PA.
Groat spent just three seasons in St. Louis but what a stay it was. The MVP of the 1960 season arrived via a trade in 1962. Although Pittsburgh may have thought Groat was on the backside of his career, the rest of the National League found out he wasn’t.
In his first year in a Redbirds uniform, he finished fourth in hitting with a .319 average, smacked a league leading 43 doubles and was third in triples with 11. In 1964, Groat made his fourth All-Star appearance and led National League shortstops in assists and turning double plays all the while hitting .292 and helping the Cardinals to another World Series title.
During his three years in St. Louis, nearly a fourth of his 500-plus hits went for extra bases including 104 doubles. Groat is the only player to be inducted in both the college baseball and basketball hall of fames. His three seasons in St. Louis were so good that he was eventually elected to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.
Chick Fullis – Girardsville, PA.
Fullis arrived in St. Louis on June 16, 1934 via a trade for Kiddo Davis. It was the second time that the two had been traded for each other in barely 18 months. Fullis’ arrival took him from the last place Philadelphia Phillies to a Cardinals team in the thick of pennant race. The arrival also meant that Fullis would now be coming off the bench, as St. Louis already had Joe Medwick in left field.
The Cardinals eventually won the 1934 pennant and faced off against the Detroit Tigers. Fullis was a defensive replacement in Game 1 and recorded a hit. He got the start in Game 5 for Ernie Orsati and the usually surehanded outfielder committed two errors leading to a 3-1 loss.
With the Tigers one game away from a World Series title, St. Louis won Game 6 and set up redemption for Fullis. In the top of the sixth Medwick laced a triple off the centerfield wall. As he slid into third. an altercation ensued between Medwick and Tigers third baseman Marv Owen. Although peace was initially restored, Medwick was met by a barrage of food and trash thrown by fans when he went to left field for the top of the seventh. The trash barrage happened not once, not twice but three times forcing baseball commissioner Mountain Kennesaw Landis to remove him from the game. Enter Fullis who got a chance to redeem himself and not only played flawlessly but got another hit, ending the series with a .400 average.
Red Murray – Arnot, PA.
Murray could play all three outfield positions as good as anyone. He patrolled left field for 128 games, center field for 99 and right field for another 95 games before being traded to the then New York Giants following the 1908 season. Recognized as one of the best of his era, Murray led all National League outfielders four times in a seven-season span in home runs, RBI, stolen bases and assists.
His best season in St. Louis was 1908 when he finished second in stolen bases and third in hits and home runs all the while hitting .282. The five-tool outfielder is one of only three players in baseball history to twice finish in the top five in home runs and stolen bases.
During his three seasons in St. Louis, Murray averaged nearly a hit per game with 331 base knocks in 332 games. He is credited with hitting the longest home run in Cardinals’ history at the time, a mammoth 471 foot shot in 1908 during the Deadball Era.
Rip Collins – Altoona, PA.
Is there a better nickname for a hitter than the Ripper? Collins played both corner outfield positions early in his career until the Cardinals made way for him to take over the first base bag in 1933.
Collins was proof that one can achieve their dream if they are willing to work for it. He spent nine years bouncing around between professional baseball and coal mining in his hometown before making his major league debut in 1931. Collins’ career .307 average with St. Louis still has him 10th on the team’s all-time list. He is also in the Cardinals all-time top 10 in slugging and OPS. In 1934, he became the first switch hitter to hit 30 home runs in a season and tied Mel Ott for the home run title with 35. In addition to his 35 home runs, he smacked 40 doubles, 12 triples, knocked home 128 runners, and recorded the only 200-hit season of his career.
Doc Marshall – Butler, PA.
Doc Marshall is another Cardinal who played in the Deadball Era. Marshall arrived in St. Louis on July 13, 1906. Although never a regular, Marshall did enjoy one of his finer seasons in St. Louis when he hit .276 in 39 games following the trade. His playing time increased to 84 games in 1907 but his average took a hit and by mid-season 1908 he was dealt to the Chicago Cubs.
As the Cardinals catcher in 1907, Marshall had the dubious distinction of leading the league in both assists and errors. During his playing time, he studied medicine and after his big-league career ended in 1909, he practiced medicine for 45 years in Clinton, Illinois, thus the nickname Doc.
Bill Sherdel – McSherrytown, PA.
Before there was Dizzy Dean and Bob Gibson, there was Bill Sherdel. The left-hander toiled for the Cardinals in 14 of his 17 seasons in the big leagues.
He still ranks in the top 10 Cardinals all-time pitching categories for wins (153), games (465), games started (243), complete games (144), and innings pitched (2450.2) among others. He started four games in the 1926 and 1928 World Series combined but lost all four.
Bruce Sutter – Lancaster, PA.
His bio on baseballhall.org begins with these words; “Bruce Sutter was on the fringes of professional baseball, a struggling minor league pitcher with an injured arm, until he received a gift that changed his life forever. He learned a new pitch, a split-fingered fastball.” The six-time All-Star mastered the pitch and became one of the most dominant closers in baseball history.
As a member of the Cardinals from 1981-1984, Sutter was perfect in 127 save opportunities. “Engine #42” recorded a career high 45 saves in 1984. In the 1982 World Series, he had a win and two saves in four appearances. Sutter’s number 42 is retired by the team (as part of MLB’s honoring Jackie Robinson).
Prior articles in this series
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