A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Friday, February 8, 2013

30 Teams in 30 Posts: Cardinals

As a countdown to the 2013 season, I'll be doing a feature on each Major League team.  This has been done before - probably better - in other places by other people.  I'll try to mix it up as much as I can though.  I am listing the teams in order of proximity to my current location; central Texas.  I'll be doing one of these posts (hopefully) every other day, with the last post featuring the Padres on Opening Day. Enjoy!

Ok, with my last post, I thought I was scraping the bottom of the barrel.  The Royals haven't had many players/cards that have made their way into my collection, but I'm alright with that.

However, the Cardinals are not the Royals.  They've been good.  Really good.

And stars?  Yeah, they've got 'em.  Pujols, McGwire, Brock, Musial, Hornsby, Gibson, Carpenter.  The list goes on.

But guess what?  I have even less Cardinals than Royals.

Hang in there, at some point I'll be able to focus on more cards.  Today just isn't that day.

794 miles.

Not at all.

I've heard that Cardinals fans are among the best in baseball.  Never having personally conversed with one, I'm still able to believe it.  The Cards have been around a long time, have a loyal fan base, and have had plenty of great players wear their uniforms.  Plus, they've won the World Series more times than every other team not named the Yankees.

But, here are my feelings:  I hate the Cardinals.

There are plenty of reasons to not like a team.  You might not like how the team is run.  You might have a heated rivalry with a team.  Maybe there's some bad blood from on the field confrontations.

But the reason I hate the Cardinals can be summed up by this fact:

The Padres have made the playoffs five times in their 43 year history, and have gone to the World Series every time they don't play the Cardinals (which happened in 1984 and 1998).  Every time they play the Cardinals, they are eliminated in the first round (1996, 2005, 2006).

I need to devote a post to my only playoff baseball experience, the game that eliminated the Friars from the playoffs in 1996, but I'll say here that it was the most devastated I've ever been over a baseball game that I wasn't playing in.

The most high profile trade between the Cards and Pads would undoubtedly be the swap that sent Garry Templeton to San Diego and Ozzie Smith to St. Louis.  Though Tempy would lead the Padres to the World Series in '84, Smith would have the superior career and later be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.  Ranger-killer David Freese was drafted by the Padres, before becoming a post-season assassin.  Edward Mujica is (at least to my knowledge) the only other former Friar currently on the Cardinals roster.  Other players who played for both cities include Ray Lankford, Ron Gant, and Bob Tewksbury.

Former: Ozzie Smith

Current: Jaime Garcia

Former: Brian Jordan

Current: Matt Holliday, but not for anything he did as a Cardinal.

I actually have more Cardinals cards in my trade box, but these are the only ones that are in any of my binders.  All are former Padres.  One of the reasons that I like Bob Tewksbury so much (besides the fact that he likes to make caricatures of his teammates, according to the card on the right) is because, as a Padre, he once threw a change up that clocked in at something like 48 miles per hour.  In a real game.

Not often that a pitcher throws a pitch in a game that's slower than one that I could throw.

This is my only card that I have of Khalil as a Redbird.  It looks pretty weird to me, not seeing him wearing the Padre blue (or "sand" color, depending on the year).  But there are plenty of close ups of KG that look kinda weird.

I haven't really gone out on any limbs in my predictions so far.  I'm sticking it pretty close to the same as last year's script for this one as well.  I like the Reds in the NL Central, with the Cards coming in second.  It wouldn't surprise me if they won the division, though, since the Cards never lose when I want them to.  Trust me on that.  I thought they'd be toast after losing Pujols last year, but they still did what they do and won plenty of games without him.


  1. That pinnacle Ozzie - how have i not seen that before? Looks like a pop & lock dance move.

  2. Cardinals fan here. I'm pretty sure the "Best Fans in Baseball" moniker came from a "survey" in one issue of Sporting News, based in St. Louis at the time. We latched onto that designation like it came from heaven itself. But trust me, there are plenty of guys at the park who will boo a slumping player, or taunt a guy on the visiting team for his off-field troubles. And there was plenty of anger toward Pujols for leaving. One thing you can count on as a Cardinal, though, is a standing ovation for your first at-bat, first hit, first HR, final AB of the season, first time back off the DL, first time back as a visitor, and for being named Willie McGee (seriously, it got to be multiple times a game toward the end of his career). A nice ego boost for the players, I suppose, but a little tiresome too. It will be interesting to see the reaction to Pujols his first time back, though that won't be until 2014 barring a World Series matchup.

  3. All-Time Favorite: Willie McGee
    Current: Jon Jay

    Least Favorite All Time: Ozzie Smith
    current: Yadier Molina

    Favorite card: '77 Gary Templeton

    Prediction: 3rd NL Central