History of the St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals, first established as a team in 1882, have won more World Series (11) than any other National League team. Only the New York Yankees, with 27 wins, have more World Series championship titles. The Cardinals' first win was in 1926 and their last World Series title came in 2011. In those 85 years, the Cardinals also won 18 National League pennants, 7 National League Central Division titles, 3 National League East Division titles, and three National League Wild Card positions.

The Cardinals have been a part of the city of St. Louis since 1882 when they were founded as the St. Louis Brown Stockings. They were originally included in the American Association but when the league went bankrupt in 1892, the St. Louis Brown Stockings moved to the National League. They changed the team's name to the St. Louis Perfectos in 1899 and, just one year later, they made a final name change to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The St. Louis Brown Stockings were successful in their first 7 years, winning the American Association championship title every year from 1885 through 1888. Unfortunately, that early success did not last past 1888 and they did not win another title until 1926.

The foundation for the Cardinals' 1926 win began in 1920 when Branch Rickey was named general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals. Rickey, best known as the man who gave Jackie Robinson his start in the major leagues, helped the St. Louis Cardinals by first investing money in a minor league farm system for the team. Next, future Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby was added to the team. By 1926, the St. Louis Cardinals team was the best team in the National League and in major league baseball, winning the National League pennant and then the World Series. Two years later, they again won the National League pennant but lost the World Series to the New York Yankees, the team the Cardinals had defeated in 1926.

The St. Louis Cardinals remained a strong team throughout the 1930s and 1940s. From 1930 until 1946, the Cardinals won 7 National League pennants and 5 World Series championships. Their era of baseball dominance ended, however, after their 1946 win, and it took almost 20 years for the St. Louis Cardinals to again experience post-season play.

One of the key players for the Cardinals during the 1940s through the early 1960s was Stan Musial, who became a member of the team in 1941. A year later, long time general manager Rickey left to lead the Brooklyn Dodgers. Although the Cardinals continued to have success after Rickey's departure, the team began to slip in the rankings by the late 1940s. The Anheuser-Busch brewery company bought the Cardinals in 1953 and their old ballpark soon became the renovated Busch Stadium. But new ownership and a renovated ballpark did not lead to victory for the Cardinals.

The Cardinals' fortunes did not change until the mid-1960s when they acquired some key players, including Lou Brock and Bob Gibson. Behind the hitting and running of Brock and the pitching of Gibson, the St. Louis Cardinals won 3 National League pennants (1964, 1967, 1968) and 2 World Series (1964, 1967). After those wins, however, the team once again went into a slump, not winning another post-season victory until 1982.

The 1980s brought a new manager, Whitey Herzog, and a new shortstop, Ozzie Smith, to the St. Louis Cardinals. Under Herzog's leadership, the Cardinals again became a winning team. In the 1980s, they won 3 National League East Division titles and 3 National League pennants (1982, 1985, 1987) and one World Series title (1982). The 1990s, however, were not such a good decade for the Cardinals. Their only post-season win from 1988 through 1999 was a National League Central Division title in 1996.

The year 1996 marked the beginning of Tony LaRussa's long-term relationship with the Cardinals as their successful manager. Behind the leadership of LaRussa and the hitting and fielding of Albert Pujols, the St. Louis Cardinals played well from 2000 through 2011. In those 11 years, they won 6 National League Central Division titles (2000-2002, 2004-2006), 3 National League pennants (2004, 2006, 2011) and 2 World Series championships (2006, 2011). In 2012, Mike Matheny took over as manager and he led the team to the playoffs with a National League Wild Card win.

Source for Information
Wikipedia - St. Louis Cardinals