St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. St. Louis Cardinals have won a National League record 10 World Series championships, second only to the New York Yankees (who have 27) in Major League Baseball. Saint Louis Cardinals were founded in the American Association in 1882 as the St. Louis Brown Stockings, taking the name from an earlier National League team. They joined the National League in 1892 and have been known as the Cardinals since 1900. The Cardinals began play in the current Busch Stadium in 2006, becoming the first team since 1923 (NYY) to win the World Series in their first season in a new ballpark. The Cardinals have a strong rivalry with the Chicago Cubs that began with the 1885 World Series.
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On August 22, 2009 they defeated the San Diego Padres for the 10,000th win in franchise history, becoming only the 4th team to accomplish the feat, after the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, and Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Cardinals became the first Major League Baseball club to clinch a Division title in 2009, beating the Colorado Rockies on September 26. Despite having the fewest total victories of the 4 National League clubs headed towards postseason play, the Cardinals were considered as strong contenders for the league pennant because of their strong starting pitching and offense. The Cardinals were however swept in three games by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the best-of-five National League Division Series. The Cardinals lost the NLDS despite having beaten the Dodgers 5 out of 7 times in the regular season.
The 2009 season also saw 3 Cardinal players leading the National League in 3 major categories. First baseman Albert Pujols’s 47 home runs was tops in the majors, pitcher Adam Wainwright’s 19 wins was the most in the National League (and tied for most in the majors with 3 American League pitchers), while Chris Carpenter’s ERA of 2.24 was the lowest in the National League (and second in the majors to Zach Greinke of the Cards’ cross-state rival Kansas City Royals). Both Wainwright and Carpenter are regarded as strong candidates for the Cy Young Award, while Pujols is regarded as one of the favorites to win the MVP award. On October 5, 2009, Carpenter was named the National League’s Comeback Player of the Year.
However, their on-field success during the new Millinium has also been marked by several tragedies. On June 18, 2002 long-time Cardinals radio broadcaster Jack Buck died. Four days later, Cardinals starting pitcher Darryl Kile died in his sleep, apparently of heart failure, before a game in Chicago against the Cubs. The game was canceled on the field by the Cubs captain at the time, Joe Girardi, in a brief tearful statement to the fans. That day’s game was canceled but Kile was scheduled to start the next day and in observance of their teammate, who never missed a start, the Cardinals played the game, as scheduled, against the Chicago Cubs. On April 29, 2007, also during a series with the Cubs, Cardinals relief pitcher Josh Hancock, age 29, was killed in a car accident while driving drunk when his vehicle collided with a stopped tow truck that was aiding a disabled motorist on Interstate 64, not far from Busch Stadium.