As David Letterman bids his farewell to Late Night and the television audience tonight, here’s a tip of the cap to the host with the Top 10 “Daves” in St. Louis Cardinals franchise history (thanks to Randy, Pat, and all the others who texted in during STL Baseball Weekly with suggestions)…
10. Dave Rucker…The lefty pitched in 84 games for the Cardinals during the ’83-’84 seasons (7-6, 2.21 ERA) and struck out 60 batters in 110 innings.
9. Dave Guisti…”Justy” spent only the ’69 season in St. Louis (3-7) and worked primarily middle relief innings. He moved to Pittsburgh the next season and began a run of four straight 20+ save seasons.
8. David Bell…The current Cardinals bench coach, Bell had 99 hits as a player for the team in the mid-90’s.
7. Dave Veres…The right-hander recorded 48 saves in his three seasons with the Cardinals, including nine playoff games where he allowed only one unearned run on six hits and had 13 strikeouts in nine innings.
6. David Green…The batter at the plate when Glenn Brummer stole home, Green never reached the superstar expectations and was traded to San Francisco as part of the deal for Jack Clark.
5. Dave Ricketts…The back-up catcher on the ’67 and ’68 Birds, Ricketts is still revered for his coaching contributions by Mike Matheny and others in the organization.
4. Dave LaPoint…Acquired in Whitey Herzog’s mega-trade with Milwaukee in 1980, LaPoint helped the Cardinals win the World Series in 1982 and returned for a brief bullpen stint in 1987.
3. Dave Duncan…Letterman is a Hall of Fame television star and the long-time pitching coach is equally deserving of honors in Cooperstown.
2. David Eckstein…Still a fan favorite, the three most productive years of his career were spent as a Cardinals player as Eckstein was a 2x All-Star and then the 2006 World Series MVP.
1. David Freese…It just doesn’t get any better than a hometown kid delivering on the biggest stage to help bring home a World Series championship to cap off the historic 2011 title run.
photo credit: CBS