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All True Cardinals Team

Of course Musial is on the team.
Of course Musial is on the team.


This True Team idea is based off of a Twitter conversation with Jason Wojciechowski about True Teams. This past season, Grant Green - a prospect in the Oakland Athletics organization - was moved from shortstop to center field because his defense wasn't good enough. However, Billy Beane told Green that the purpose of this move was that Cliff Pennington was blocking him at short. I snarkily replied that "Cliff Pennington is a True Athletic. Can't move him from short."

We often hear about a player being a True Yankee, but what about the rest of the teams? I'll run through each team in alphabetical order.

Many of the players on these teams will be current players, just because they haven't had the opportunity to go elsewhere just yet. The average amount of current players per team is nine.


Here are the links to the previous posts in this series:

Angels | Astros | Athletics | Blue Jays | Braves | Brewers



1. The player must have played for the team in question for their entire career, as found by the "C" column in the Franchise Encyclopedia on baseball-reference. The reason for this is simply to make the data gathering process as simple as possible. Unfortunately, this strict rule leads to the omissions of players such as Willie Mays and Hanley Ramirez.

2. Players are ranked based on fWAR for batters and rWAR for pitchers (this is based on the relative ability to gain these values. Plus, pitcher WAR is not available on Fangraphs as far back as it is on baseball-reference.)

3. Pitchers are defined as starting pitchers if they have started more than 60% their career appearances.

4. For hitters, the position they play on the All-True Team may not have been their main position in real life, but they must have played there at some point in their career.

5. If two players are similar in overall WAR, their length of career will be the deciding factor as to which one makes the team.

6. A 25-man roster will be chosen for each team. This includes a starting player for each defensive position, five starting pitchers, five relief pitchers and seven bench players. These bench players will be the seven best remaining players.

7. A Mr. Team may be chosen if their career WAR is greater than 30% of the total All-Team WAR. There will be nine Mr. Teams chosen.


Position Player WAR
C Yadier Molina 16.9
1B Albert Pujols 87.8
2B Skip Schumaker 4.6
SS Specs Toporcer 6.7
3B Whitey Kurowski 28.1
LF Stan Musial 139.3
CF Pepper Martin 20.5
RF Mike Shannon 11.1
SP Bob Gibson 85.6
SP Adam Wainwright 18.4
SP John Fulgham 4.8
SP Jaime Garcia 3.6
SP Andy Rincon 1.6
CL Al Brazle 20.5
RP Dick Hughes 5.6
RP Howie Krist 4.9
RP Art Reinhart 4
RP Kyle McClellan 3
BENCH (OF) Terry Moore 20.5
BENCH (C) Tom Pagnozzi 11.2
BENCH (OF) Austin McHenry 10.5
BENCH (OF) Ernie Orsatti 7.6
BENCH (OF) Rube Ellis 6.9
BENCH (C) Bill DeLancey 4.9
BENCH (OF) Ray Blades 18.1


Team Established: 1882

Total Team WAR: 546.7

Total WAR Rank: 7/30 teams

Mr. Cardinal: N/A. The player with the highest WAR is Stan Musial, who only has 26% of the team total, which is less than the required 30%.

Team MVP: Stan Musial, 139.3 WAR.

Number of Active Players: 6. This is three fewer than the average for all true teams.

Free Agent(s): Albert Pujols. If Pujols leaves this offseason, David Freese (4.4 WAR) would replace him on the team.

Players That Just Missed (90% of Career on Team): Curt Flood (99% of PA, 42.9 WAR in STL), Jesse Haines (99.8% of IP, 33.6 WAR in STL), Bob Forsch (95% of IP, 21.3 WAR in STL), Bill Sherdel (90% of IP, 22.1 WAR in STL), Harry Brecheen (94% of IP, 36.5 WAR in STL)

The Cardinals are the first of the top ten teams overall to be posted, led by Musial, Bob Gibson and Albert Pujols.

The offense is very deep on this team with Schumaker at second base and Toporcer at short stop being the only weaknesses.The pitching behind Gibson, Wainwright and Brazle is also thin.

There won't be many conclusions drawn here, but feel free to discuss this team in the comments. Anyone I missed, any surprises, any memories of specific players?

Read about the Cardinals on SBNation at Viva El Birdos!

Follow me on Twitter at Steal of Home!