The four best trades made by the St. Louis Cardinals involve who? Check out our article to see the four best trades made by the Cardinals in the franchise’s history.
Four Best Trades Made By The St. Louis Cardinals
With the recent anniversary of the date marking the Cardinals trading for Ozzie Smith, it brought a thought to our minds of the best trades the Cardinals have made. Personal and team success has been factored into the top four selected.
What do you think are the four best trades in Cardinals history? Send us your thoughts at saintlouissports.com.
Brock for Broglio
June 15, 1964, a date that many Cubs and Cardinal fans will remember forever. This was the date that the Cardinals traded star pitcher Ernie Broglio for the young Lou Brock. Broglio was coming off career years with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he led the National League in wins the season before going 18-8 and had 21 wins a few seasons before.
Cardinals fans were furious with the trade as no one realized what Brock would become. Cubs fans were beyond excited for this trade as they realized what they were getting in return. It would become one of the most infamous trades in the history of the MLB.
After the trade in the 1964 season, Brock would hit .348 with 12 home runs, 44 RBIs, and he would steal 33 bases. In 1964 the Cardinals would beat the New York Yankees in the World Series, four games to three. Brock instantly became a fan favorite and a staple in the organization for the next decade and a half.
Brock would go on to steal 888 bases in his 16-year career in St. Louis. Looking back on the trade, the Cardinals received a Hall of Fame player and a monument in the franchise, while the Cubs received a pitcher that lasted two more seasons before retiring due to injury.
The Wizard of Oz
Just four days ago marked the fortieth anniversary of the Cardinals trading for Ozzie Smith from the San Diego Padres. While the trade did not go through until February, it marks the day that the Wizard would be coming to St. Louis.
The entire trade would be Smith, Steve Mura, and Al Olmsted for Garry Templeton, Sixto Lezcano, and Luis DeLeon. Smith did not want to leave San Diego where he felt at home, but after talking with Whitey Herzog, the Cardinals manager, Smith made the move and became one of the greatest to ever wear the Cardinals uniform.
Smith would be the shortstop the Cardinals needed as he went on to win 11 of his 13 Gold Gloves in St. Louis. In the season after the trade, the Cardinals won the World Series. Smith would become a 15-time All-Star and retire a St. Louis Cardinal. He would be a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2002.
While he is the lone player on the list that did not bring a championship to St. Louis, Mark McGwire is one of the most popular St. Louis Cardinals for what he did in the late 90s. The Cardinals acquired McGwire from the Oakland Athletics in 1997. At the time McGwire was traded to the Cardinals, the MLB was a few seasons removed from a lockout. By 1998 it was the “Long Gone Summer” for Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.
The namesake of the iconic signage in left field at Busch Stadium, Mark McGwire helped revolutionize baseball again. In the summer of 1998, McGwire smashed 70 home runs. Yes, you heard that correctly and may remember that. At the time that was the single-season record for most home runs.
You may remember the record-breaking home run at home with McGwire running around the bases as the number 62 flashes in the background. The record was previously held by Roger Maris. McGwire’s record would eventually be beaten by Barry Bonds in 2003.
While McGwire may not have the career-best numbers as a Cardinal, or his number retired or anything of that such but he did change the game of baseball. For good or for bad, depending on your opinion. McGwire and Sosa changed the game of baseball and left a lasting impact as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
One of the most influential players and human beings the Cardinals have ever seen in their history is in his final season. After being traded in 2003 from the Atlanta Braves, along with Jason Marquis and Ray King, Wainwright was a key arm soon after the trade was made. From his signature strikeout in 2006 against Carlos Beltran to his final season, Wainwright has been a fan favorite and will be truly missed after this season.
The Cardinals traded J.D. Drew and Eli Marrero away for Wainwright and the others, Wainwright working out of the bullpen to start his tenure in St. Louis. In 2007, Wainwright would be moved to a starting pitcher and the rest would be history.
Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina would become best friends and one of the best pitcher/catcher duos in the history of baseball. In a 16-year career so far, Wainwright has a 3.35 ERA in 425 games played. Known for his curveballs and durability, Wainwright will go down as one of the best to wear the Cardinals uniform and hopefully a Hall of Famer in Cooperstown.