Almost Made the All-Time Cards Top 40: Walton

The first of three looks at the greatest St. Louis Cardinals players of all time that just missed our Top 40 countdown.

As those who followed our Cardinals Top 40 Players of All Time countdown over the last month and a half know, the selection of the final list was a melding of the individual views from four of us here at stlcardinals.scout.com – Rob Rains, Jerry Modene, Ray Mileur and myself.

As a result, a handful of deserving players on each of our personal lists did not make the consolidated Top 40. This is the first of three articles where we will highlight those players – the best of the rest, so to speak.

As a reminder, here is the overall Top 40, with my list next to it. Highlighted are the names unique to each list.

Group

Rank

Walton
Stan Musial 1 Stan Musial
Bob Gibson 2 Bob Gibson
Lou Brock 3 Rogers Hornsby
Rogers Hornsby 4 Lou Brock
Ozzie Smith 5 Ozzie Smith
Albert Pujols 6 Dizzy Dean
Dizzy Dean 7 Enos Slaughter
Enos Slaughter 8 Albert Pujols
Ken Boyer 9 Jim Bottomley
Red Schoendienst 10 Ken Boyer
Ted Simmons 11 Joe Medwick
Joe Medwick 12 Red Schoendienst
Jim Bottomley 13 Johnny Mize
Jim Edmonds 14 Frankie Frisch
Bruce Sutter 15 Ted Simmons
Jesse Haines 16 Jesse Haines
Frankie Frisch 17 Harry Brecheen
Johnny Mize 18 Jim Edmonds
Curt Flood 19 Mark McGwire
Ray Lankford 20 Mort Cooper
Harry Brecheen 21 Bob Forsch
Mark McGwire 22 Bruce Sutter
Willie McGee 23 Marty Marion
Marty Marion 24 John Tudor
Bob Forsch 25 Ray Lankford
Keith Hernandez 26 Willie McGee
Mort Cooper 27 Bill White
Joe Torre 28 Keith Hernandez
John Tudor 29 Joe Torre
Terry Moore 30 Curt Flood
Scott Rolen 31 Steve Carlton
Pepper Martin 32 Chick Hafey
Steve Carlton 33 Bill Sherdel
Bill White 34 Chris Carpenter
Julian Javier 35 Lee Smith
Bill Sherdel 36 Jason Isringhausen
Chris Carpenter 37 Scott Rolen
Jason Isringhausen 38 Pepper Martin
Chick Hafey 39 Bill Doak
Edgar Renteria 40 Terry Moore

In summary, there were only two players that made the group's Top 40 but were ranked lower on my list. The group voted in second baseman Julian Javier at number 31 and shortstop Edgar Renteria slid in safely to take the final spot on the master list.

On the other side of the ledger, the two players on whom I was higher than the others are the subjects of this article – Lee Smith and Bill Doak.


Lee Arthur Smith (35)

The Basics

Position

Throw

Total Yrs

Yrs in StL

W

ERA

SO

SV

Pitcher

Right

1980-1997

1990-1993

15

2.90

246

160

The Awards

Hall of Fame

Retired #

World Champ

All-Star

MVP

Cy Young

Gold Glove

 -

 -

 -

3

 -

 -

 -

Note: All stats and awards listed are for years as a Cardinal only.
Smith's career stats available from baseball-reference.com.

At number 35 on my Cardinals All Time list was Lee Smith. In his relatively short time as a Cardinal, not four full seasons, Smith was simply one of the very best at his specialty – consistently closing out the opponent's hitters late in a tight game.

Smith's 47 saves in 1991 set a club record that was later tied by Jason Isringhausen and his 43 saves each of the next two seasons are still tied as the fourth-best years in team history.

Smith's 160 saves set the club's all-time career record prior to Isringhausen eclipsing the mark last season and they represented well over half the Cardinals wins during his time with them. Remember that the Cards were just a .500 club in aggregate from 1990 through 1993.

Compared to the other top closers who made our countdown, Bruce Sutter and Izzy, Smith fanned more batters and delivered more saves per season while in the uniform. Smith also had as many All-Star Game appearances as a Cardinal as the others combined (three).

The only areas where the others are superior are in ERA, a difference of roughly 0.20, and World Championships, where the others have one each. I don't hold the latter against Smith in any way, as he didn't have all that much help. In other words, as the .500 record noted above reinforces, the early ‘90's Cardinals clubs under Joe Torre were among the weakest in recent history.


William Leopold Doak (39)

The Basics

Position

Throw

Total Yrs

Yrs in StL

W

ERA

SO

SV

Pitcher

Right

1912-'24, '27-'29

1913-'24, '29

144

2.93

938

13

The Awards

Hall of Fame

Retired #

World Champ

All-Star

MVP

Cy Young

Gold Glove

 -

 -

 -

 -

 -

NA

NA

Note: All stats and awards listed are for years as a Cardinal only.
Doak's career stats available from baseball-reference.com.

One of the last of the legal spitballers and possessing an excellent curve, too, "Spittin' Bill" Doak pitched for some poor Cardinals clubs in the late teens and early 20's. He posted a composite 2.93 ERA with the team and won 20 games in 1920.

In his sophomore campaign, Doak went 19-6 with a 1.72 ERA for the 1914 Cardinals, including seven shutouts. That ERA is second only to Bob Gibson's 1.12 in 1968 in the modern Cardinals era. Doak also picked up a second National League ERA title in 1921.

Overall, Doak is on the Cardinals leaderboard in most every pitching category. He is fifth in the franchise history with 144 career wins, sixth in games at 376, fifth in innings pitched with 2,387, seventh in strikeouts with 938, fourth in starts with 319, eighth in complete games at 144 and second to Gibson in shutouts with 30.

Doak may be at least as well known for his work with the Rawlings Company to add the pocket between the index finger and thumb on a fielders' glove. Rightfully, this was considered one of the top innovations in the history of baseball and the resulting royalties helped support Doak after his retirement from the game.

Over the next three days, look for companion articles to this one coming from Jerry Modene and Ray Mileur. We really enjoyed bringing our Top 40 Cardinals Players of All Time list to you!



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

© 2007 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.

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