Thursday, February 5, 2015

Friday Five: Top 5 Cardinals Right Fielders

Honorable Mention:   Joe Cunningham 

Cunningham was on the Cardinals for 7 seasons in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  He actually first appeared and played half a season for the Cardinals in 1954 before he was sent down to the minors for almost three years.  During his first three full seasons with the club Cunningham hit over .300 with an on base over .430.  He did not have a ton of pop hitting a career high 12 home runs in 1958, but Cunningham could get on base.  He ended his Cardinals career in 1961, but ranks 7th all-time in Cardinals history in on-base percentage.  He was named to the National League All-Star team in 1959 when he posted a .345/.453/.478 line with 7 home runs, 28 doubles, and 60 RBIs.  

5.  George Hendrick 

Silent George came over to the Cardinals in 1978 in a trade with the Padres for pitcher Eric Rasmussen and would spend most of seven season with the club.  His best season with the Cardinals was probably 1983 when he went .318/.373/.493 with 18 home runs, 33 doubles, and 97 RBIs.  He was also named to the National League All-Star team in 1980 and helped the Cardinals win a World Series title in 1982.  While the 1982 season might have been Hendrick's poorest in a Cardinals uniform, he more than made up for his lackluster regular season performance with a great postseason run.  Hendrick hit .308 in the National League Championship against the Braves that year including a big performance in the Cardinals Game 3 (best of 5) clincher when he helped fuel a 4 run second inning breaking the game open early.  In the World Series against the Brewers Hendrick hit .321 and drove in 5 runs including the game winner in the seventh game.  

4.  Pepper Martin 

"The Wild Horse of the Osage" spent his entire career playing for the Cardinals 13 years in all.  Martin was apart of the Gashouse Gang Cardinals and helped the team win the World Series in 1931 and again in 1934.  His best season was probably 1933 when Martin hit .316/.387/.456 with 8 home runs, 12 triples, and 36 doubles all while leading the National League in stolen bases with 26.  He would go on to win a total of 3 stolen base crowns and was named to the National League All-Star team four times.  Pepper Martin's baseball career in the Majors also took an odd turn when the Cardinals named him the player/manager of the Sacramento in the Pacific Coast League following the 1940 season when he went .316/.378/.456 in 86 games.  Martin led Sacramento to the Pacific Coast League crown in 1941 and later would also serve as a player/manager for the Rochester Red Wings.  After World War II broke out and there was a shortage of Major League players, Martin returned to the Cardinals outfield in 1944.  While the Cardinals went on to win the World Series, Martin retired from baseball on October 1st and never appeared in the World Series.  

3.  Chick Hafey 

While Hafey is one of the more controversial Hall of Famers (he does not belong) he is a pretty safe pick on the Cardinals top right fielders list.  Charles "Chick" Hafey played for the Cardinals eight seasons between 1924 and 1931.  During eight years as a Cardinals Hafey posted a .326/.379/.568 line with 127 home runs, 242 doubles, and 618 RBIs. Haley won the batting title in 1931, his final season as a Cardinal which was arguably his best.  To go along with a .349 average Hafey also posted a .404 on-base, .569 slugging percentage, 16 home runs, 35 doubles, and 95 RBIs.  While Hafey was not a major contributor to the team, he was apart of the Cardinals first World Series winner in 1926 when they defeated Babe Ruth's Yankees.  He ended his career with the Reds and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1971.  Friends get you places sometimes.....

2.  Enos Slaughter 

Enos "Country" Slaughter was the Cardinals right fielder for most of the late 1930s through the early 1950s.  He missed three years during World War II, but ended up playing a total of 13 seasons with the Birds on the Bat totaling 1,820 games.  His final Cardinals line was .305/.384/.463 with 146 home runs, 135 triples, 366 doubles, and 1,148 RBIs.  The Roxboro, North Carolina (The Rox) native was named to 10 All-Star games, finished in the Top 5 for MVP voting twice, and helped the Cardinals win World Series titles in 1942 and 1946.  While Slaughter had many great seasons in St. Louis, his best year was 1942 when he hit .318/.412/.494 with 13 home runs, 17 triples, 31 doubles, and 98 RBIs.  The Cardinals traded Slaughter to the Yankees in 1954 where he would help the pinstripes to World Series rings 1956 and 1958.  He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985, the North Carolina Hall of Fame, and the Person County & Roxboro (The Rox) Museum. 

1.  Stan Musial 

This is the third list for Musial.  What else can I say that already hasn't been said?  

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