St. Louis Cardinals: Pro Sports’ Most Underrated Franchise
Over the last 30 years, they have appeared in six World Series, winning three of them. In all they have won 11 titles, second in their sport to the New York Yankees. The only other franchises with more championships are the Green Bay Packers, Montreal Canadians, Boston Celtics and Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers. Other organizations with less pedigree are often looked at more favorably. Yet when it comes to success, not many teams define that term better than the St. Louis Cardinals.
Go ahead, look at the all-time history of the franchise. I’ll make it easy for you; click on this link. Now then, did you see how many times they lost 90 or more games in a season over the past 90 years? Three. Even when they do not make a postseason appearance, they are usually competitive. In that same 90 year stretch, they have had one last place finish. Even the Yankees can’t make that claim. It doesn’t matter who manages the team, who makes the personnel decisions or who takes the field for them, you know the Cardinals will be a tough team to beat year in and year out.
Yet, there are so many more teams out there that make a lot more noise but don’t have the credentials of St. Louis. As much as it pains me to say this, the Dallas Cowboys are one of those teams. The Pittsburgh Steelers are kind of similar to the Cardinals but A-they get a little more recognition and B-they don’t have as many championships as the Redbirds. The Red Sox and Phillies seem to have a lot more bark and definitely more positive press but if you combine their number of World Series titles, that number won’t reach the number won by the Cardinals. And living in New York you always have to hear about the Mets, Giants, Jets, Knicks and Rangers. Yet, those five teams have combined to win their sport’s championships 17 times only six more than that little old team in St. Louis. And fans? I guarantee you those Cardinal fans are probably the best in sports. Remember, obnoxious fans don’t make the best fans (hear that New York, Boston and Philadelphia)?
If you need any more evidence of the greatness of the Cardinals, consider this. They lost Albert Pujols to free agency and Tony LaRussa to retirement. Chris Carpenter has not pitched this season and now Lance Berkman is out at least two months. Yet, after being in first place most of the season, they have slipped to second, only a half game out. Would it surprise you if they won the division? Heck, it shouldn’t surprise you if they make it back to the World Series. So forget all of the sound and fury of all the other franchises. Take a moment to respect the consistent and committment to excellence (sorry, not you Oakland Raiders) of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Follow me on Twitter @ltj41 and covering the Arizona Diamondbacks at www.venomstrikes.com