Cheers to the southpaws!!
Started in 1997, today marks “International Left Handers Day”. Which raises a question, who are the five greatest left handed players to have performed for the St. Louis Cardinals?
For the sake of this discussion, both pitchers and position players have been included–with only players who threw and hit from the left side making the cut.
1. Stan Musial
Easily the most obvious choice. Three MVPs. Three World Championships. Seven batting titles. Musial still leads the franchise in games played, at-bats, runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBIs, and walks.
2. Lou Brock
Again, an easy choice. The stolen bases, the post-season performances. And like Musial, Brock is a Hall of Famer and ranks second in the most games played, at-bats, runs, and hits as a Cardinal.
3. Bill Sherdel
This lefty probably doesn’t get talked about enough as one of the St. Louis Cardinals greats, as he won 153 games for the team between 1918-30. That’s the fourth most in franchise history and most among southpaws. His 2450.1 innings also ranks fourth.
4. Harry Brecheen
This southpaw is more familiar as he will be honored as a team Hall of Famer this weekend. Brecheen ranks 8th in franchise history with 128 wins and held opponents to a .240 batting average.
5. Jim Bottomley
Another Hall of Famer, another MVP, and a World Series champion. Bottomley had a career .325 batting mark and 1727 hits for St. Louis.
Open for debate: Jim Edmonds, Keith Hernandez, and Ray Lankford certainly have strong cases for inclusion on this list. In fact, after continued discussion with Stan McNeal of Cardinals Magazine, would be very inclined to make such a change and include Jimmy Ballgame.
What do you think?
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports