Major League Baseball team since 1892. Member of the National League Central division. Have won more World Series than any major league team other than the New York Yankees.
Chris von der Ahe founded the St. Louis Brown Stockings in 1881 as a way to boost sales at his nearby pub. The following year they joined the American Association, where they won a number of championships. After the AA folded in 1891, the Browns joined the more stable National League. In 1899 the team was sold to Frank and Stanley Robison, who changed the team name to the Perfectos and the uniforms from brown to red. The following year, the team name Cardinals, for the color of their new uniforms, arrived and stayed.
In 1917, the Cardinals hired Branch Rickey away from their cross-town American League rivals, the unoriginally named St. Louis Browns, to become the team president. Rickey, looking for ways to improve the team, developed contracts with a number of minor league teams who would supply Rickey with talented players in exchange for financial support. This gave the Cardinals a large advantage over the other major league teams, who had to buy players from minor league teams and had no place to train younger players. The "farm system," as it was eventually called, was soon in use by all major league teams.
In 1934, a St. Louis team nicknamed the "Gashouse Gang" for their rough play won the World Series in seven games over the Detroit Tigers. In the seventh game Joe "Ducky" Medwick (who would become the last National League player to win the Triple Crown three years later) had to be removed from the game after being showered with vegetables and debris by irate Detroit fans.
In 1944, the Cardinals played the Browns in the only all St. Louis World Series. Two years later, the Cardinals won the first National League playoff, as they tied with the Brooklyn Dodgers for the pennant.
After the 1969 season, the Cardinals traded a veteran outfielder, Curt Flood, to the Philadelphia Philles. He sued Major League Baseball, claiming he could not be sold or traded against his wishes and that he wasn't under contract to the Cardinals at the time the trade was made. Although he lost his suit, and only played 18 more games in the majors, his case led the way to the breakup of the longstanding reserve clause and the beginning of free agency.
In 1998, Mark McGwire, a year after being traded to the Cardinals from the Oakland A's, broke the New York Yankees' 78-year lock on the single season home run record by hitting 70, narrowly edging out Sammy Sosa. It is often claimed that this dramatic record chase was responsible for bringing national attention back to baseball after the 1994 strike that canceled that year's World Series.
World Series Championships: 1926, 1931, 1934, 1942, 1944, 1946, 1964, 1967, 1982, 2006
Other notable players and managers: Rogers Hornsby, Chick Hafey, Frankie Frisch, Joe Medwick, Joe Torre, Vince Coleman, Whitey Herzog, Tony LaRussa, Ozzie Smith, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Albert Pujols.
Ballparks: Robison Field (1893-1920), Sportsman's Park (1920-1966), Busch Stadium (1966-2005), Busch Stadium II (2006-present).