The best Cards to wear each uniform number (2023)

ST. LOUIS -- There are some uniform numbers that are synonymous with the players who wore them. No. 6 is for Stan “The Man” Musial. No. 1 for Ozzie Smith, No. 4 for Yadier Molina. You can’t see No. 50 without thinking of Adam Wainwright or No. 2 without thinking of Red Schoendienst.

But what about all the other numbers worn in the Cardinals’ long, storied history? Here are our picks for the best or most notable players to wear each uniform number in franchise history, based on their full playing careers:

0: Kerry Robinson
Was the only Cardinal to wear No. 0 until this past summer (Austin Dean), but Robinson, a St. Louis native, still gets the nod with a .267/.303/.337 slash line in his career.

00: Bobby Bonds
One of MLB’s greatest all-time leadoff hitters, even though he had significantly dropped off by the time he got to the Cardinals in 1980.

1: Ozzie Smith
Hall of Fame shortstop saw his No. 1 retired in 1996 and is widely regarded as the finest fielding shortstop of all time with 13 Gold Glove Awards and 15 All-Star Game appearances.

2: Red Schoendienst
Cardinals history is incomplete without Red; the Hall of Famer was involved with the organization for a total of 67 years and wore the now-retired No. 2 as a player, coach and manager for 45 seasons.

3: Frankie Frisch
No. 3 has been well worn in club history, with Carlos Beltrán and Edgar Renteria also donning the number over time. Frisch, a Hall of Fame infielder, was the 1931 MVP Award winner, a four-time World Series winner and three-time All-Star.

4: Yadier Molina
Likely the last Cardinal to wear No. 4, Molina is the best catcher in club history as a nine-time All-Star, nine-time Gold Glove Award winner and four-time Platinum Glove Award winner, while also guiding the Cardinals to two World Series championships.

5: Albert Pujols
No one has worn No. 5 since Pujols left in 2011. The future Hall of Famer is a three-time MVP Award winner, a 10-time All-Star and two-time World Series winner.

6: Stan Musial
The greatest Cardinal to wear the uniform wore No. 6, and it was retired the year he did, in 1963. The Hall of Famer played his entire 22-year career in St. Louis and was a three-time MVP Award winner and 24-time All-Star.

7: Joe Medwick
Hall of Fame left fielder is the last National Leaguer to win the batting Triple Crown, when he achieved the feat during his MVP Award-winning 1937 season.

8: Terry Moore
A four-time All-Star and two-time World Series winner, all while accumulating a 20.8 bWAR in center field across 11 years in St. Louis.

9: Enos Slaughter
While notable names like Joe Torre, Roger Maris and Tim McCarver also wore No. 9 during their Cardinals careers, Slaughter’s was retired in 1996. The Hall of Fame outfielder, known for his “Mad Dash,” was also a 10-time All-Star and won the World Series four times.

10: Johnny Mize
No player has worn No. 10 since it was retired as manager Tony La Russa’s in 2012. But if this list is limited to players, Mize is at the top. The Hall of Fame first baseman was a 10-time All-Star with five World Series titles to his name.

11: Howie Pollet
José Oquendo might be the most notable to Cardinals fans, but Pollet accumulated a 34.3 bWAR in his 14-year career as a starter. The lefty was a three-time All-Star and won ERA titles in 1943 (1.75) and ’46 (2.10), after he returned from military service.

12: Lance Berkman
Came to St. Louis at the end of his career, in which he accumulated a 52.0 bWAR, but helped the Cardinals win the 2011 World Series and finished seventh in MVP Award voting that year.

13: Mort Cooper
Just edges out Matt Carpenter, who has worn No. 13 since 2012. Cooper accumulated a 31.9 bWAR in his 11-year career and won the MVP Award with the Cardinals in 1942, posting a 1.78 ERA and 22-7 record.

14: Ken Boyer
The only player to hit for the cycle twice in Cardinals history, Boyer saw his number retired in 1984. The slick-fielding third baseman won the 1964 MVP Award and had finished in the top 20 of MVP voting in each of the six years before that.

15: Jim Edmonds
One of the best center fielders in Cardinals history, Edmonds finished as high as fourth in MVP Award voting and was a four-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove Award winner. He accumulated a 60.4 bWAR in his 17-year career. Dick Allen and Darrell Porter also wore No. 15 as Cardinals.

16: Jesse Haines
Ranks first among Cardinals pitchers in games played (554) and second in wins (210), complete games (209) and innings pitched (3,203 2/3), spending all but one game in his 19-year career with the Cardinals.

17: Dizzy Dean
Saw his No. 17 retired in 1974 after winning 134 games for the Cardinals in the 1930s and finishing in the top two of NL MVP Award voting for three consecutive years, winning the award in '34.

18: Lon Warneke
Accumulated a 42.1 bWAR in 15 years, with six coming in St. Louis. He won the ERA title in 1932 and was a five-time All-Star.

19: Paul Derringer
Began his career with the Cardinals and went 18-8 as a rookie in 1931. The right-hander went on to be a six-time All-Star and win the World Series twice.

20: Lou Brock
Saw his No. 20 retired when he retired in 1979 after a prolific 19-year career. The Hall of Famer set the single-season record for stolen bases with 118 in '74 and ranks second all time with 938 career stolen bases. He was a career .293 batter with 3,023 hits.

21: Curt Flood
A pioneer off the field for what he did to help the free-agency process, Flood was a three-time All-Star, seven-time Gold Glove Award winner and a spark plug on the Cardinals of the 1960s.

22: Will Clark
Only spent half of the 2000 season with the Cardinals but accumulated a 56.5 bWAR in his 15-year career. A career .303/.384/.497 hitter, Clark batted .345 with 12 home runs that summer with St. Louis.

23: Ted Simmons
With a number that soon could be retired, Simmons was elected to the Hall of Fame last year. The eight-time All-Star catcher accumulated 50.3 bWAR in his 21-year career, with 13 coming with St. Louis. He was a career .285/.348/.437 hitter.

24: Dick Groat
Was a key component of the Cardinals' championship team in 1964 and compiled a 36.9 bWAR over his 14-year career, mostly with the Pirates.

25: Mark McGwire
Broke the single-season home run record with 70 in 1998 and accumulated a 62.2 bWAR in 16 years.

26: Bill White
Elected to the Cardinals Hall of Fame last year for his 13-year career (eight in St. Louis), White was an eight-time All-Star, seven-time Gold Glove Award winner and the first baseman for the 1964 World Series title.

27: Scott Rolen
One of the best third basemen in Cardinals history with a career 70.1 bWAR. Rolen was a .281/.364/.490 hitter and is creeping up on the Hall of Fame ballot.

28: Tom Herr
A fan favorite and part of the dominant 1980s Cardinals, Herr was a hard-hitting second baseman who teamed with Smith for years as a double play partner.

29: Chris Carpenter
A fierce competitor who was part of some of the biggest games in recent Cardinals history, the right-hander won the 2005 Cy Young and two World Series with St. Louis, accumulating 35.2 bWAR in his career.

30: Orlando Cepeda
Hall of Famer accumulated 50.1 bWAR over 17 years and was the 1967 NL MVP with the Cardinals, helping them win a World Series. Hall of Famer John Smoltz also wore No. 30 during his one year with the Cardinals at the end of his career.

31: Harry Brecheen
Won the ERA title (2.24) in 1948, when he also finished fifth in MVP Award voting. “The Cat” posted a career 2.92 ERA across 12 years in 318 games (240 starts).

32: Steve Carlton
His best years came in Philly, where he won four Cy Young Awards, but the lefty's Hall of Fame career started in St. Louis.

33: Larry Walker
The Hall of Famer ended his career in St. Louis and was the final piece of a 2004 lineup that ranks among the greatest in Cardinals history. Walker hit .313/.400/.565 over his 17-year career, with a .965 OPS.

34: Nelson Briles
Two top 20 MVP Award finishes in the 1960s with the Cardinals, the right-hander went on to have an 14-year career, with a 3.44 ERA over 452 games (279 starts).

35: Matt Morris
First-round Draft pick who had a run of success in the early 2000s, including finishing third in Cy Young Award voting in '01, when he led the Majors with 22 wins.

36: Jim Kaat
Finished his 25-year career with four seasons with St. Louis, posting a 3.82 as a reliever in his early 40s.

37: Keith Hernandez
Split the 1979 MVP Award with Willie Stargell and went on to have a 17-year career as a .296/.384/.436 hitter.

38: Todd Worrell
Cardinals closer of the late 1980s who went on to accumulate 11.1 bWAR over an 11-year career for the Cardinals and Dodgers, posting a 3.09 career ERA.

39: Larry Jackson
Began his career with eight years in St. Louis, where he was a three-time All-Star pitcher, before going on to the Cubs and Phillies, posting a career 3.40 ERA over 14 years and 558 games.

40: Andy Benes
Helped the Cardinals snap an eight-year playoff drought in 1996, leading the club in wins (18) and innings (230 1/3) and finishing third in Cy Young voting that year.

41: John Lackey
Helped the Cardinals win 100 games in 2015 with an NL-leading 33 starts, but his best years of his 15-year career came with the Angels and Red Sox.

42: Bruce Sutter
Hall of Fame closer made the split-finger fastball famous and was a key acquisition for the Cardinals during the 1980s dominance.

43: Dennis Eckersley
The Cardinals signed him near the end of his Hall of Fame career that included the 1992 Cy Young and MVP awards.

44: Jason Isringhausen
Established himself as an elite closer in Oakland and returned to his hometown team in 2002, helping the Cardinals reach the '04 World Series and becoming the club’s all-time saves leader along the way.

45: Bob Gibson
The best pitcher in Cardinals history saw his number retired in 1975, when he retired after a career that included two Cy Young Awards and postseason dominance unlike any other in club history.

46: Paul Goldschmidt
The anchor of the current Cardinals offense and infield defense has gotten off to a solid start in St. Louis after some dominant years in Arizona that included two second-place MVP Award finishes.

47: Lee Smith
Hall of Fame closer spent most of his career in Chicago but was dominant with St. Louis, leading the Majors in saves with 47 in 1991 and the NL with 43 in ’92.

48: John Tudor
Wore No. 48 during his best season in 1985, when the lefty started the year 1-7 but turned it around to go 21-8 with 10 shutouts and a 1.93 ERA across 275 innings, finishing second in Cy Young Award voting.

49: Ricky Horton
Reliever-turned-broadcaster began his career in St. Louis and went on to post a 3.76 ERA over seven years in the Majors. Flamethrower Jordan Hicks could be fast approaching on this list, though.

50: Adam Wainwright
With four top-five Cy Young Award finishes, Wainwright might one day see his number retired, too.

51: Willie McGee
No. 51 is the people’s retired number because McGee is one of the most beloved Cardinals in franchise history. The number returned to the field only because he did, as a coach, in 2018.

52: Michael Wacha
Selected in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft, the right-hander found himself in the Majors just over a year later, suddenly pitching in high-stakes October.

53: Matt Adams
Wore No. 53 for a year before moving on to lower numbers, but the slugger had some powerful years with the Cardinals -- and won a World Series with the Nationals in 2019.

54: Jaime García
Eight of his 10 years came in St. Louis, where the lefty had a 3.57 ERA.

55: Stephen Piscotty
Put together three solid seasons in a Cardinals uniform before being traded home, to Oakland. The outfielder had accumulated 7.9 bWAR over the first six seasons of his career.

56: Ray King
Came to St. Louis as part of the Wainwright trade with Atlanta and made an immediate impact in the Cardinals' bullpen in 2004 and ’05.

57: Darryl Kile
No. 57 is unofficially retired for Kile, who died in his sleep during the 2002 season at 33 years old. A team award was established a year later in Kile’s name, given annually to the player who best shares Kile’s inspiration and leadership.

58: Joe Kelly
Drafted by the Cardinals in 2009, the right-hander debuted in '12 and posted a 3.25 ERA in two-plus years in the St. Louis rotation before winning a World Series with Boston and Los Angeles.

59: Fernando Salas
Emerged as the Cardinals' closer in 2011, notching 24 saves for the World Series-winning team.

60: Tommy Pham
The current Padres outfielder wore No. 60 when he debuted for the Cardinals, and now with seven years in the Majors, Pham has 14.6 bWAR.

61: Seth Maness
Had a career 3.21 ERA over five years in the bigs, with four of those coming in St. Louis this past decade.

62: Lance Lynn
The new White Sox starter only wore No. 62 for his rookie year, in 2011, but the Cardinals did win the World Series. And Lynn has gone on to be a very reliable starter.

63: Ryan Ludwick
Picked No. 63 when he signed with the Cardinals before the 2007 season, the year that revived his career. The outfielder has a career .260/.330/.451 slash line across 12 years.

64: Trevor Rosenthal
Wore No. 64 as a rookie in 2012 before switching to No. 44 during his best years as the Cardinals closer; the right-hander saw a career revival in '20 with a 1.90 ERA, and Rosenthal ended the Cardinals' season in the NL Wild Card Series as a member of the Padres.

65: Giovanny Gallegos
Gallegos is the only player to have worn No. 65 with a career WAR over 1.0, clocking in at 2.3 in the first four years of his career.

66: Rick Ankiel
His number of choice when he debuted as the young, electric pitcher in 1999. After his pitching career ended, he made it all the way back as an outfielder but never wore No. 66 again. Still, his 3.90 career ERA and career .240/.302/.422 put him on this list.

67: Placido Polanco
Wore No. 68 for his rookie year with the Cardinals before moving on to a lower number and a long career, accumulating 41.9 WAR in 16 seasons (four with St. Louis).

70: Tyler Lyons
The only Cardinal to wear No. 70, Lyons had a 4.09 ERA over six years in St. Louis and appeared in one game for the Yankees in 2020.

71: Sam Freeman
Gets the nod over Carson Kelly because of the longer career (nine vs. five years), which included three in St. Louis.

73: Ricardo Rincon
The only number the lefty wore in his 11-year career, and the only Cardinal to have worn No. 73.

74: Nabil Crismatt
The number debuted when Crismatt provided some needed depth in the 2020 Cardinals bullpen.

77: Pedro Feliz
Only spent 40 games as a Cardinal, but his 11-year, 5.6-WAR career beats out Jimmy Journell (7.43 career ERA), Josh Lucas (5.54 career ERA) and Roel Ramirez, who debuted in 2020 and was the unfortunate pitcher who gave up four consecutive home runs to the White Sox.

84: Ryan Meisinger
The number debuted in 2020 with Meisinger’s debut. In two games and 2 2/3 innings, the right-hander didn’t give up a run.

86: Jesus Cruz
Another 2020 debut for both number and player.

88: Dave Wainhouse
No competition for Wainhouse and No. 88, but he did pitch for seven years. His nine games with the Cardinals in 2000 didn’t go well, as he posted a 9.35 ERA in 8 2/3 innings.

92: Génesis Cabrera
With his season debut in 2020, Cabrera was the first Major League player to appear in a game wearing No. 92.

99: So Taguchi
The only player to wear No. 99, but the fan-favorite outfielder also had some solid years as a player -- and he was on two World Series teams.

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