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The catcher who displaced A.J. Pierzynski as the Giants’ starter before the 2005 season is his manager in 2014.

aj_pierzynskiPierzynski, signed by the Cardinals on July 26, 2014, to help compensate for the loss of injured all-star Yadier Molina, was the Giants’ starting catcher in 2004. The Giants were interested in having him return for 2005. Instead, given a chance for a defensive upgrade that better fit their budget, the Giants signed free-agent Mike Matheny in December 2004 and dumped Pierzynski.

A decade later, Matheny, 43, is the Cardinals’ manager and Pierzynski, 37, joins Tony Cruz as the St. Louis catchers.

The Giants had paid a hefty price for Pierzynski, acquiring him from the Twins in November 2003 for pitchers Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser.

Pierzynski produced a career-best 77 RBI with 28 doubles, 11 home runs and a .272 batting average for the 2004 Giants. But he was criticized by teammates and booed by fans. He caught only 23 percent of runners attempting to steal (15 of 66) and was charged with nine passed balls.

Let’s make a deal

After the season, Pierzynski was eligible for arbitration. Because of his hitting, he appeared poised to be awarded a judgment of more than $5 million for 2005. The Giants, unwilling to pay that much for one season, wanted Pierzynski to consider instead a multiyear contract in the $9 million to $10 million range.

Pierzynski suggested a different financial figure; the Giants didn’t respond.

Instead, they turned to Matheny, who had earned three Gold Glove awards as the Cardinals’ starting catcher from 2000-2004. Matheny was a free agent. The Cardinals hoped he’d return to continue to mentor Molina in 2005, but were unwilling to offer Matheny more than $4 million for two years, according to the San Francisco Chronicle and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

When the Giants offered a three-year, $10 million deal, Matheny accepted.

The Giants intended then to trade Pierzynski, but the catcher’s agent, Steve Hilliard, requested that the club release Pierzynski, enabling him to become a free agent. Brian Sabean, the Giants’ general manager, obliged.

“The Matheny signing came as no surprise to A.J. and I,” Hilliard told the Chronicle. “We knew the Giants were exploring other options and re-signing A.J. was probably not the plan they were going to implement.”

Run saver

Sabean thanked Pierzynski for his contributions under “difficult circumstances.”

“He’s certainly a guy who helped us,” Sabean said to the Chronicle, “but we’re in a better position in a lot of ways going with Matheny.”

Matheny established the major league record for consecutive errorless games by a catcher (252 games from August 2002 until August 2004). He caught 30 percent (16 of 54) of runners attempting to steal in 2004. He had just two passed balls.

”There’s no telling how many runs he’s going to save,” Sabean said to the San Jose Mercury News.

Said Matheny: ”As soon as the Giants hit the scene, we realized it could be a really special opportunity. There are a couple teams you want to play for and you’re not sure it will work out. In my case, it did.”

Chirpy personality

Several media reports cited Pierzynski’s personality as a factor in his departure.

_ Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle: “Pierzynski was a defensive liability and rubbed many in the organization the wrong way, even as pitchers grew to respect his game-calling ability.”

_ Jorge L. Ortiz of the Chronicle: “Pierzynski quickly fell into disfavor because of his chirpy personality and defensive deficiencies.”

_ John Shea of the Chronicle: “Pierzynski never seemed to fit in as a Giant … He slumped early and late and was criticized by multiple anonymous Giants pitchers in an Oakland Tribune report.”

_ Chris Haft of the Mercury News: “Though Giants management had publicly expressed interest in retaining Pierzynski … his difficulty in meshing with teammates did not endear him to the club.”

_ Laurence Miedema of the Mercury News: “Pierzynski was criticized by several unnamed (Giants) pitchers in April and was booed regularly at home.”

_ Bud Geracie of the Mercury News: ‘Sabean’s one-year rental of A.J. Pierzynski … ranks as his worst deal. A.J., we hardly knew ye. And we didn’t like ye.”

Matheny won his fourth Gold Glove Award with the 2005 Giants. Pierzynski signed with the 2005 White Sox and helped them to their first World Series championship in 88 years.

Previously: Why Mike Matheny ended his playing career as a Giant

Previously: The play that defined Mike Matheny as Cardinals Gold Glove

Jim Edmonds rates among an elite class of outfielders who fielded with consistent excellence and hit with astonishing power.

jim_edmonds3Whether that combination is enough to earn Edmonds election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible in 2016 is uncertain, but he at least should be given thoughtful consideration.

Edmonds, who played center field for the Cardinals from 2000-2007, won eight Gold Glove awards and had a career slugging percentage of .527 in 17 big-league seasons.

Only one outfielder in the Hall of Fame, Willie Mays, has more Gold Gloves (12) and a higher career slugging percentage (.557) than Edmonds.

The only other Hall of Fame outfielders with more Gold Gloves than Edmonds are Roberto Clemente (12) and Al Kaline (10), but both have lower career slugging percentages than Edmonds. Kaline had a .480 slugging percentage and Clemente was at .425, more than 100 points lower than Edmonds’ total.

Bases add up

Slugging percentage defines a batter who hits for power. It is calculated as total bases divided by at-bats.

Edmonds had 3,615 total bases in 6,858 at-bats.

His slugging percentage in eight seasons with the Cardinals was .555, almost 30 points higher than his career percentage. Edmonds had 2,012 total bases in 3,628 at-bats with the Cardinals.

Many Hall of Famers with reputations as power hitters have career slugging percentages lower than Edmonds’ career mark of .527.

Among the most prominent: Willie McCovey (.515), Eddie Mathews (.509), Harmon Killebrew (.509), Joe Medwick (.505), Jim Rice (.502), Ernie Banks (.500), Orlando Cepeda (.499), Reggie Jackson (.490), Andre Dawson (.482), Eddie Murray (.476), Johnny Bench (.476) and Dave Winfield (.475).

Edmonds has the same career slugging percentage as Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt.

Matched with Griffey

Of his eight Gold Gloves, Edmonds won six in a row with the Cardinals from 2000-2005.

The Gold Glove Award first was presented in 1957, so many Hall of Fame outfielders never had a chance to earn one. Still, Edmonds’ total is outstanding and a testament to his talent.

Another center fielder who will join Edmonds in being eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time in 2016 is Ken Griffey Jr.

When Griffey is elected _ and he’s a lock to get the necessary 75 percent of the votes from members of the Baseball Writers Association of America _ he will join Mays as Hall of Famers with more Gold Gloves and a higher career slugging percentage than Edmonds. Griffey, who played primarily with the Mariners, won 10 Gold Gloves and had a .538 slugging percentage (only 11 points better than Edmonds) in a 22-year career in the major leagues.

Whether Griffey’s presence on the ballot will overshadow Edmonds, or enhance his status by highlighting his comparable numbers, will be one of the intriguing aspects of that year’s Hall of Fame voting.

Edmonds likely will be hampered by a .284 career batting average and by falling short of 2,000 hits. He had 1,949 career hits, with 437 doubles, 393 home runs and 1,199 RBI.

Previously: How Jim Edmonds got Tony La Russa an April champagne toast

Tony La Russa and Joe Torre bring to 10 the number of managers in the National Baseball Hall of Fame who either played for or managed the Cardinals. Three of those 10 did both.

miller_hugginsLa Russa and Torre will be inducted into the Cooperstown, N.Y., shrine on July 27, 2014.

The 10 Hall of Fame managers who either played for or managed the Cardinals are, in alphabetical order: Walter Alston, Leo Durocher, Whitey Herzog, Miller Huggins, Tony La Russa, John McGraw, Bill McKechnie, Wilbert Robinson, Billy Southworth and Joe Torre.

Huggins, Southworth and Torre are the three Hall of Fame managers who both played for and managed the Cardinals.

Several other Hall of Famers _ such as Roger Bresnahan, Frankie Frisch, Rogers Hornsby and Red Schoendienst, to name a few _ managed the Cardinals, but were inducted at Cooperstown because of their stellar playing careers, not for managing.

Another Hall of Fame manager, Sparky Anderson, managed Cardinals farm teams, but didn’t manage the Cardinals and didn’t play for them.

Here is a look at the 10 Hall of Fame managers who either played for or managed the Cardinals:

Walter Alston

If general manager Branch Rickey hadn’t left St. Louis to join the Dodgers after the 1942 season, Alston eventually may have become Cardinals manager.

Instead, Rickey lured Alston from the Cardinals to the Dodgers. In 23 years as Dodgers manager, Alston had 2,040 wins, four World Series titles and seven National League pennants from 1954-76.

Alston played in the Cardinals’ minor-league system from 1935-44. He was a Cardinals minor-league player and manager at Class C Portsmouth (Ohio) in 1940 and at Class C Springfield (Ohio) in 1941 and 1942.

In the only major-league game in which he played, for the Cardinals against the Cubs in the season finale on Sept. 27, 1936, at St. Louis, Alston struck out against Lon Warneke in his lone at-bat and made an error in two fielding chances as a replacement for Johnny Mize at first base. Boxscore

Leo Durocher

After firing general manager Bing Devine in August 1964, the Cardinals planned to hire Durocher as their manager after the season. Instead, the Cardinals rallied to win the pennant and the World Series crown. When manager Johnny Keane resigned to join the Yankees, the Cardinals, looking for a popular replacement, changed course and hired Schoendienst rather than Durocher.

Durocher was the Cardinals’ shortstop from 1933-37. He started for the World Series champions in 1934. He was an all-star in 1936. He led National League shortstops in fielding percentage in 1933 and 1936.

In 24 years as a manager with the Dodgers, Giants, Cubs and Astros, Durocher had 2,008 wins, three pennants and a World Series championship.

Whitey Herzog

As Cardinals manager, Herzog won a World Series title and three pennants, reviving a franchise that had gone without a postseason appearance throughout the 1970s. Herzog had a record of 822-728 in 11 years with the Cardinals. He had 1,281 wins overall in 18 years as manager with the Rangers, Angels, Royals and Cardinals.

Miller Huggins

Like Torre, Huggins played for and managed the Cardinals, but earned his Hall of Fame credentials for his work with the Yankees.

Huggins was a Cardinals second baseman from 1910-16 and was their manager from 1913-17. He had a .402 on-base percentage and .270 batting average as a Cardinals player. He led the National League in on-base percentage at .432 in 1913.

His best season as Cardinals manager was 1917 when St. Louis finished in third place at 82-70. In five seasons as Cardinals manager, he was 346-415.

Huggins was the Yankees manager when Babe Ruth joined the team. He won three World Series crowns and six pennants with the Yankees. He was their manager when the Cardinals beat them in the 1926 World Series and when they beat the Cardinals in the 1928 World Series.

In 17 seasons as a big-league manager, Huggins had 1,413 wins, 1,067 with the Yankees.

Tony La Russa

His 1,408 wins with the Cardinals are the most by any manager in the franchise’s history. In 16 seasons with the Cardinals, La Russa earned two World Series titles, three pennants and nine postseason berths.

La Russa ranks third all-time in wins (2,728) among big-league managers. In 33 years managing the White Sox, Athletics and Cardinals, La Russa won three World Series crowns and six pennants.

John McGraw

In 33 years managing the Orioles and Giants, McGraw had 2,763 wins. Only Connie Mack had more. McGraw won three World Series championships and 10 pennants with the Giants.

He played in 99 games as a third baseman for the 1900 Cardinals and led the National League that season in on-base percentage at .505. He also batted .344.

Bill McKechnie

In 1928, his first season as Cardinals manager, McKechnie won a pennant. He managed the Cardinals for part of the 1929 season before resigning and joining the Braves. In 25 years as manager with the Pirates, Cardinals, Braves and Reds, McKechnie had 1,896 wins, two World Series titles (with the 1925 Pirates and 1940 Reds) and four pennants.

Wilbert Robinson

Robinson won two pennants with the Dodgers, also known then as the Robins, and had 1,399 wins in 19 years as manager of the Orioles and Dodgers.

He was a backup catcher for the 1900 Cardinals, batting .248 in 60 games.

Billy Southworth

Like La Russa, Southworth won two World Series championships and three pennants as Cardinals manager. Southworth achieved the feat in three consecutive years (1942-44). He also won a pennant with the Braves. In 13 years as a manager with the Cardinals and Braves, Southworth had 1,044 wins.

He was a Cardinals outfielder in 1926, 1927 and 1929, compiling a .305 batting average. Southworth hit a three-run home run off Yankees starter Urban Shocker, helping the Cardinals to a Game 2 victory in the 1926 World Series. Boxscore

Joe Torre

A case could be made that Torre qualifies for the Hall of Fame as a player. In 18 seasons with the Braves, Cardinals and Mets, Torre hit .297 with 2,342 hits and 1,185 RBI.

He played third base, first base and catcher for the Cardinals from 1969-74 and batted a collective .308 with 1,062 hits. He earned the 1971 National League Most Valuable Player Award when he led the league in batting average (.363), hits (239) and RBI (137).

In 29 years as a manager with the Mets, Braves, Cardinals, Yankees and Dodgers, Torre had 2,326 wins (fifth all-time) and won four World Series titles and six pennants (all with the Yankees). He was 351-354 in six seasons as Cardinals manager.

Previously: Great debate: When Tony La Russa first batted the pitcher eighth

Previously: Cardinals boosted managing career of Sparky Anderson

Previously: 1956 Cardinals groomed nine managers

Previously: Mike Matheny, Eddie Dyer share rare rookie achievement

Performing in an era when two, not five, teams qualified for the postseason from the National League, the best Cardinals club produced by manager Joe Torre wasn’t a September contender, even though its record was similar to, or better than, future St. Louis champions.

joe_torre4On July 27, 2014, Torre and Tony La Russa, who had the most wins of any Cardinals manager, will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Torre primarily was elected for managing the Yankees to four World Series crowns and six American League pennants.

Torre was 351-354 as Cardinals manager from August 1990 until June 1995. His best St. Louis team, the 1993 Cardinals, had an 87-75 record but finished third in the National League East Division, 10 games behind the champion Phillies and seven behind the second-place Expos.

In 2014, the National League qualifies three division champions and two wild-card teams for the postseason. In 1993, only the champions of the East and West divisions advanced.

The 1993 Cardinals had the fifth-best record in the National League. Their 87 wins were one fewer than those posted by the 1996 Cardinals (who were Central Division champions) and the 2012 Cardinals (who qualified for the postseason as a wild-card with the fifth-best record in the league). The 1993 Cardinals had four more wins than the 2006 Cardinals, who were Central Division champions and proceeded to win the World Series title.

Jefferies delivers

First baseman Gregg Jefferies led a 1993 Cardinals lineup that ranked fourth in the National League in runs scored (758) and batted a collective .272, eight percentage points better than the league average. Jefferies batted .342 with 16 home runs, 83 RBI, 46 stolen bases and a .408 on-base percentage.

Joining Jefferies among the top producers were third baseman Todd Zeile (17 home runs, 103 RBI), right fielder Mark Whiten (25 home runs, 99 RBI), left fielder Bernard Gilkey (40 doubles, 16 home runs) and shortstop Ozzie Smith (.288 batting average, 21 stolen bases).

The pitching staff featured closer Lee Smith (43 saves despite a 4.50 ERA) and three starters with winning records and double-figure wins: Bob Tewksbury (17 wins), Rene Arocha (11) and Donovan Osborne (10). But the staff was neither deep nor dominant and it produced a team ERA of 4.09, five percentage points above the league average.

A 20-7 June record put the Cardinals at 45-31 overall. After beating the Braves on July 19, the Cardinals were a season-high 18 wins over .500 at 55-37 and in second place, three games behind the Phillies and 6.5 ahead of the third-place Expos.

One month later, on Aug. 19, the Cardinals were holding steady, 17 wins above .500 at 69-52 and still in second place, but had lost ground to the Phillies, who were eight games ahead of them in the East.

Good group

As late as Sept. 19, the Cardinals were 15 wins above .500 at 82-67, but the Expos had moved past them and into second place. The Cardinals trailed the Expos by four games and the Phillies by eight.

“We have a good group,” Torre told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Sept. 19. “There’s a lot more offense out there than we’ve had for a while. We thought our pitching would carry us, and it did for a while, but we’re a much better team offensively than we thought at the beginning of the season.”

St. Louis then lost eight of its next 11, dashing any hopes of a postseason berth.

The Phillies won the division title at 97-65. The second-place Expos were 94-68.

“You’re happy it’s over because finishing third, when you thought you had a chance for more, it’s frustrating,” Torre said after the season finale.

Said Ozzie Smith: “We competed for a long time, but then we just sort of fell out. That’s the disappointing part.”

Energy drain

In an analysis of the Cardinals’ 1993 season, Rick Hummel of the Post-Dispatch wrote, “The season must be classified as a disappointment to everyone concerned. A team that should have contended didn’t contend long enough. And a team that most certainly should have finished second didn’t seem to care about that.”

Hummel gave Torre a grade of C-plus for his managing in 1993. “Torre thought he had a team that would be in it until the last few days, at the least … Try as he might, Torre couldn’t infuse enough energy into this team late in the season,” Hummel wrote.

In his three full seasons as Cardinals manager (1991-93), Torre’s teams had winning records. The 1991 Cardinals finished second in the East Division, but 14 games behind the Pirates. Here is a breakdown of Torre’s year-by-year records with the Cardinals:

_ 1990: 24-34. (Hired in August by general manager Dal Maxvill).

_ 1991: 84-78.

_ 1992: 83-79.

_ 1993: 87-75.

_ 1994: 53-61. (Players’ strike halted season in August).

_ 1995: 20-27. (Fired in June by general manager Walt Jocketty).

Previously: Ted Simmons helped put pal Joe Torre on path to Hall

Previously: George Kissell, Cardinals inspired Joe Torre to be manager

Previously: Cardinals, Hall of Fame link Tony La Russa, Joe Torre

Dennis Eckersley and Jason Isringhausen, the closers who contributed the most to helping Tony La Russa earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, also played prominent roles in his first win as Cardinals manager.

dennis_eckersley2On April 3, 1996, in La Russa’s second game as St. Louis manager, the Cardinals beat the Mets, 5-3, in New York. Eckersley earned a tension-filled four-out save; Isringhausen was the opposing starter, facing the Cardinals for the first time in his career.

The win was the first of a franchise-record 1,408 for La Russa in 16 years as Cardinals manager.

After successful stints managing the White Sox and Athletics, La Russa would secure his Hall of Fame status with his Cardinals career. He joined another Hall of Famer, Billy Southworth, as the only managers to win two World Series titles with the Cardinals. On July 27, 2014, La Russa and another former Cardinals manager, Joe Torre, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, N.Y.

Converted starters

At Oakland, La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan converted a reluctant Eckersley from a starter into a closer. The move transformed Eckersley into a Hall of Fame pitcher. He earned 386 of his 390 saves with La Russa as manager _ 320 in nine years with the Athletics and 66 in two years with the Cardinals.

Isringhausen, who also successfully converted from starter to closer, joined the Cardinals in 2002. Pitching for La Russa and Duncan, Isringhausen compiled a franchise-record 217 saves in seven seasons with the Cardinals and finished his big-league career with 300 saves.

After La Russa left the Athletics to become manager of the 1996 Cardinals, Eckersley was acquired in a trade for pitcher Steve Montgomery and, at 41, became the St. Louis closer.

On April 1, 1996, in La Russa’s debut as Cardinals manager, the Mets overcame a four-run deficit and won, 7-6. Eckersley didn’t appear in that game. Boxscore

Seeking a win

Isringhausen, 23, got the start for the Mets in the season’s second game. He had posted a 9-2 record as a Mets rookie in 1995. A native of Brighton, Ill., near St. Louis, Isringhausen acknowledged that facing the Cardinals was special. “I had more butterflies (than usual),” Isringhausen said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Isringhausen pitched six innings, yielding three runs to the Cardinals. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter, with the Cardinals leading, 3-0. Then, Bernard Gilkey, a former Cardinal, clubbed a three-run home run off starter Todd Stottlemyre in the bottom of the sixth, tying the score at 3-3.

The Cardinals scored a run in the seventh off Robert Person and another run in the eighth against Jerry DiPoto, taking a 5-3 lead. In the bottom of the eighth, the Mets had runners on first and second with two outs when La Russa replaced Stottlemyre with Eckersley.

“No matter how much experience you have, you’re a little uptight when you come into the game,” Eckersley later said to the Post-Dispatch. “I felt very uncomfortable, like I’d never been in a game before.”

Solid swing

The first batter Eckersley faced in his Cardinals debut was Butch Huskey, the Mets’ cleanup batter.

With the count 1-and-2, Eckersley threw a fastball. Huskey swung and launched a drive toward center field. He knew he had made solid contact. “I thought it had a chance to go (over the wall),” Huskey said to the New York Daily News.

Center fielder Ray Lankford raced toward the wall while tracking the path of the ball. “I thought I could tell by the look on (Lankford’s) face that he was going to catch it,” Eckersley said.

The ball carried farther than Eckersley thought. As Lankford neared the 396-foot sign, he leaped, extended his glove and caught the ball, ending the inning and preserving the lead.

“Most definitely, I was robbed,” Huskey told the Post-Dispatch. “The ball jumped off my bat. I thought it was going out.”

In the bottom of the ninth, with the Cardinals still ahead by two, Eckersley retired the first two batters. Then, Jose Vizcaino and Kevin Roberson each singled. Edgardo Alfonzo was up next, representing the potential go-ahead run.

Eckersley struck him out. earning his first National League save and preserving La Russa’s first National League win.

“In this league, it’s hard to get a hit or a save or a win,” La Russa said. “I don’t think there are any ugly ones.” Boxscore

Previously: Cardinals, Hall of Fame link Tony La Russa, Joe Torre

Previously: 2006 was critical to Tony La Russa earning Hall status

Previously: How Sparky Anderson, Tony La Russa differed on cap choice

In 2000, Edgar Renteria established the Cardinals single-season record for most home runs hit by a shortstop. In 2014, Jhonny Peralta is likely to top that mark.

edgar_renteria5Peralta, in his first season as the Cardinals’ shortstop, entered the 2014 All-Star Game break with 14 home runs.

Renteria, in his second season as the Cardinals’ shortstop, hit 16 homers in 2000. Those are the most home runs hit by a Cardinals shortstop in a season since Solly Hemus slugged a career-best 15 in 1952.

During spring training in 2000, Renteria told Marlins manager John Boles he intended to hit 20 home runs for the Cardinals. Tony La Russa, the Cardinals’ manager, flinched when he heard Renteria’s remark, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. La Russa wanted Renteria focused on hitting for average, not power.

Renteria did both. He led the 2000 Cardinals in hits (156), doubles (32) and stolen bases (21). He batted .278 and was second on the club in RBI (76), behind only Jim Edmonds (108). Renteria was named to the National League Silver Slugger team, the first Cardinals shortstop to have done so since Ozzie Smith in 1987.

Record rocket

On Aug. 29, 2000, Renteria hit a solo home run off Marlins rookie Chuck Smith. It broke Hemus’ club record and was Renteria’s last home run of the season.

“I think that was the only mistake (Smith) made the whole game,” Renetria told the Post-Dispatch.

Said La Russa: “He’s been the complete shortstop. You can’t ask for any more than he’s done.” Boxscore

Many of Renteria’s home runs in 2000 came in bunches.

He hit a home run in each of three consecutive games from April 9-11. Those blasts came off Valerio de los Santos of the Brewers and the Astros’ Jose Lima and Doug Henry.

Renteria also hit home runs in back-to-back games against the Giants’ Russ Ortiz and Kirk Rueter on May 9-10.

Hungry hitters

Renteria, a right-handed batter, contributed to a homer-happy 2000 Cardinals team that ranked second in the National League in home runs at 235, trailing only the Astros (249). Nine Cardinals in 2000 hit 12 homers or more, led by Edmonds (42) and Mark McGwire (32).

“All these guys are coming to home plate hungry,” Cardinals hitting coach Mike Easler said to the Post-Dispatch. “That’s what I like about it. They’re never satisfied with the at-bat before. The next at-bat is always like their last one. Their intensity at home plate is much higher than last year.”

Renteria, who turned 24 in 2000, hit 12 of his 16 home runs on the road. Eleven of the 16 were struck versus right-handed pitchers. Ten were solo shots.

The 16 home runs in 2000 were Renteria’s single-season high in 16 major-league seasons. He hit 140 homers in the big leagues, 71 in six seasons (1999-2004) with the Cardinals.

Previously: Edgar Renteria had epic season at shortstop for 2003 Cardinals

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