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All-Time Cardinal Team Tournament: Smith Second Round

Posted on March 20, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Filed Under: St. Louis Cardinals | United Cardinal Bloggers
Hopefully you have been voting at all the various sites during our All-Time Cardinal Team Tournament.  (Late to the party?  Here's the details.)  The first round is in the books, so it's time to take a look at who advances and what the new matchups are.  So look inside for your chance to vote on who continues on, and be sure to head to Pitchers Hit Eighth, I70 Baseball, and Aaron Miles' Fastball to vote in those regionals as well!

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(1) 2004 (105-57) vs. (8) 1963 (93-69)

How they got here: 2004 defeated (16) 1975 34-6; 1963 defeated (9) 1939 21-12.

The case for 2004105 games speaks for itself.  That ties this team with 1944 and 1943 for the second-most wins in team history, trailing 1942 by one.  They played in one of the great NLCS of all time and perhaps was just a play or two away from winning Game 1 of the World Series against Boston, which could have changed the whole tone of the series.  Key members of the squad: Albert Pujols (9.4 WAR), Scott Rolen (9.2), Jim Edmonds (8.4).

The case for 1963: This team finished second (out of 10 teams in a pre-divisional setup), six games behind a Dodger team that featured Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.  They spent 39 days in first, including as late as July 1.  It was Stan Musial's last year with the club and this team had a number of members that made 1964 so memorable.  Key members of the squad: Dick Groat (6.4 WAR), Bill White (5.3), Curt Flood (5.0)

(4) 1968 (97-65) vs. (5) 1974 (86-75)

How they got here: 1968 defeated (13) 1948 27-3; 1974 defeated (12) 1960 23-7.

The case for 1968: Well, they won the National League, so that has to count for something.  Though they lost to Detroit in seven game (a season and a series that was outlined in a recent book review here on the blog), St. Louis was considered the favorite and perhaps could have won the series if it weren't for Curt Flood's fateful slip.  You have Bob Gibson in his prime, Lou Brock stealing bases, and Orlando Cepeda giving us the phrase that became famous.  Key members of the squad: Gibson (11.9 WAR), Brock (5.1 WAR), Flood (4.0).

The case for 1974: A team not that different from the 1975 squad, but it had a Rookie of the Year in Bake McBride.  They finished second in the National League East to Pittsburgh by a game and a half, after leading the division for 90 days and as late as September 30.  They also pitched 13 shutouts at their opponents, including one by Bob Gibson.  Key members of the squad: Reggie Smith (5.6 WAR), Lynn McGlothen (5.2), McBride (4.5).

(3) 1946 (98-58) vs. (6) 2002 (97-65)

How they got here: 1946 defeated (14) 1992 28-1; 2002 defeated (11) 2010 23-5.

The case for 1946: A World Series title always helps.  The '46 squad won the NL by two games over Brooklyn and then beat the Red Sox on Enos Slaughter's mad dash.  You had Stan Musial and Red Schoendienst and a pitching staff led by Harry Brecheen.  They also went 34-19 in one run games.  Key members of the squad: Musial (9.8 WAR), Whitey Kurowski (5.1), Slaughter (5.0).

The case for 2002: If nothing else, this team gets some sympathy votes.  Just days after losing Jack Buck, the voice of the Cardinals for so many years, the team shockingly lost staff ace Darryl Kile as well.  The team struggled in the immediate aftermath, but righted the ship and won the divisional title before falling in six games to San Francisco in the NLCS.  It was also an active trading season, as the Cards brought in Scott Rolen and Chuck Finley.  Key members of the squad: Jim Edmonds (7.2 WAR), Albert Pujols (5.8), Edgar Renteria (4.2).

(7) 1949 (96-58) vs. (2) 1934 (95-58)

How they got here: 1949 defeated (10) 1993 24-3; 1934 defeated (15) 1999 27-0.

The case for 1949: They led the National League for 64 days before falling one game short of catching Brooklyn for the title.  This team is tied for 13th in Cardinal history with 96 wins and has a lot of the same players that dominated the decade.  Speaking of 13, that's how many shutouts they threw (and how many were thrown at them).  Key members of the squad: Stan  Musial (8.7 WAR), Enos Slaughter (5.4), Red Schoendienst (3.0).

The case for 1934: It was a World Series winner, taking it from Detroit in seven games.  It was also the Gashouse Gang, with a cast of characters that may never again be equaled in St. Louis history.  Dizzy Dean won 30 games and his brother Paul won 19, with both of them winning two games apiece in the Series.  Anytime Leo Durocher isn't the most colorful character, you know you've got something.  Key members of the squad: Ripper Collins (6.1 WAR), Joe Medwick (3.2), Bill DeLancey (2.9).

Get your votes into all the regions and then check back to see who won!

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