Monday, March 1, 2010

Few and Chosen: Defining Cardinal Greatness Across the Eras

Go figure. I go to Chicago for the weekend and find a book about the Cardinals amid all the Harry Caray bios. I picked this up at Half Price Books for a fraction of the publisher's price. Looks like this is a series from Triumph Books with books covering a few other clubs available here:

Triumph Books: Few and Chosen Series.

Published in 2003, so presumably written even earlier, I wonder how the last 7 - 8 years might have changed some of the position rankings. Pujols was just starting his attack on the record books, Edmonds had a few more years to move from the 4th ranked CF-er, and LaRussa has since surpassed Red as the winningest coach in Redbird history. Would Carpenter's short, oft-injured, yet spectacular tenure leap-frog him ahead of Bob Forsch?

After paging through the book, I'm amazed at the legends who set the standard so high they might never be surpassed in the future. As good as Wainwright has been and might one day be, will he ever pass Gibson as the best right handed pitcher in Cardinals history? Despite all the riches the franchise has showered on Matt Holliday, how can he ever surpass Brock or Musial in the outfield? And will we ever see another SS or 2B in the same league as The Wizard or Rogers Hornsby? Wainwright might crack the Top Five. Yadi might as well. Pujols is well on his way to passing Big Mac and Keith Hernandez at 1B. How will history remember this Cardinals era?