Is that bird giving me stink-eye? I’m pretty sure he is.
You would think he’d look a little happier knowing he’s the namesake for a team with 11 World Series Championships under its belt. Granted they’ve been in existence for 130+ years, so they’ve certainly had enough time to earn those! Admittedly, I had no idea they’d been around for such a long time, but I learned that the St. Louis Cardinals began all the way back in 1882. They actually started off as the Brown Stockings, not assuming their current name until 1900. It wasn’t until 1926 that the Cards won their first World Series, while Branch Rickey was business manager for the team. You may know Rickey for his work with the Dodgers and helping to get Jackie Robinson into the league, but he also was integral in the creation of the minor leagues, where players’ skills were developed for their entrance into the big leagues.
Beyond their part in the evolution of the farm system, the Cardinals have been fortunate to see a slew of talented players pass through their ranks over the years, including (baseball) household names like Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Keith Hernandez (current Mets announcer!), Ozzie Smith (who you may remember for his backflips on the field), Mark McGwire, and Albert Pujols. You’ll probably recognize McGwire for his season of 70 home runs in 1998, breaking* the long-standing record of 61 by Roger Maris. The asterisk in this situation denotes that the record was ‘broken’ under the influence on steroids, as McGwire admitted in an interview, so in my mind, it’s a meaningless number. Sadly, an undetermined number of players were roiding out of their minds at this time, so I take all the numbers from this era with a tiny ocean of salt, and a frothy cup of disgruntlement.
I won’t sully your enjoyment of Cardinals week any further – they’re still an incredible team with an admirable history, which I’m hoping to weave into some stylish outfits this week. Stay tuned!