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St. Louis Cardinals All-Time Strikeout Leaders

Updated on August 3, 2009

Bob Gibson

Dizzy Dean

Bob Forsch

The Cardinals have been, in various incarnations, a major league franchise for over 100 years, and have 10 championships to their name. They have also fielded some amazing players over the years, in particular pitchers. Bob Gibson is the first that comes to mind, and he tops this list of all-time strikeout leaders for the Cardinals’ franchise:

Bob Gibson (3117)—Bob Gibson is one of the game’s all-time great players, pitcher or otherwise, and he was just so dominant during his tenure, all with the Cardinals, from 1959 to 1975. Gibson won two NL Cy Young Awards, and he ranks first in Cards’ history with 3117 strikeouts, which also ranks him 13th all-time in baseball. Gibson struck out a career high 274 batters in 1970, but his best overall season was 1968, when he helped lead St. Louis to the World Series, in which they lost to Detroit. That year, Gibson went 22-9 with an incredible 1.12 ERA, 268 strikeouts and an astounding 13 shutouts.

Dizzy Dean (1095)—Jay Hanna “Dizzy” Dean, in addition to having one of the game’s all-time great names, pitched for the Cardinals from 1930 to 1937, and ranks second in team history with 1095 strikeouts. Dean struck out a career high 199 batters in 1933, but his best season was easily 1934, when Dean won the MVP Award by going 30-7 with a 2.66 earned run average and 195 K’s.

Bob Forsch (1079)—Bob Forsch pitched in St. Louis for a long time, from 1974 to 1988 to be exact, and he ranks third in franchise history with 1079 strikeouts. Forsch wasn’t a power pitched, so this is more about longevity, but he sure was a good pitcher. In 1978, Forsch struck out a career high 114 hitters, but his best season was 1977. That year, Forsch went 20-7 with a 3.48 ERA and 95 strikeouts.

Matt Morris (986)—Matt Morris pitched for the Cardinals from 1997 to 2005 and was one of the game’s more dominant, if slightly under-the-radar, pitchers during that time. Morris ranks fourth in the team’s history with 986 strikeouts, and his best season was 2001, when he finished third in the NL MVP voting. That year, Morris went 22-8 with a 3.16 earned run average (amazing when you consider that’s the year Barry Bonds hit 73 homers) and career high 185 K’s.

Jesse Haines (979)—Jesse Haines began his major league career with Cincinnati in 1918, and then pitched the rest of it, from 1920 to 1937, with St. Louis. Haines ranks fifth in Cardinals’ history with 979 strikeouts, and he had a career high 120 K’s in 1920. But Haines’ best overall season was 1927, when he went 24-10 with a 2.72 ERA and 89 strikeouts.

Steve Carlton (951)—Many folks forget that the great Steve Carlton, who ranks fourth all-time in baseball with 4136 strikeouts, began his career in St. Louis. Carlton pitched for the Cardinals from 1965 to 1971, and he ranks sixth in franchise history with 951 strikeouts. Carlton’s best season with St. Louis was 1969, when he went 17-11 with a 2.17 ERA and 210 strikeouts.

Bill Doak (938)—Bill Doak pitched for St. Louis from 1913 to 1924 and again in 1929, and he ranks seventh in team history with 938 strikeouts. Doak had a career high 124 K’s in 1915, but his best overall season was 1914, when he went 19-6 with a career best 1.72 earned run average and 118 strikeouts.

Larry Jackson (899)—Larry Jackson pitched for the Cards from 1955 to 1962, and he ranks eighth all-time for the team with 899 strikeouts. Jackson had one of his best seasons as a Cardinal in 1960, when he went 18-13 with a 3.48 ERA and career high 171 strikeouts.

Harry Brecheen (857)—Harry Brecheen pitched for the Cardinals most of his career, from 1940 to 1952, and he ranks ninth in franchise history with 857 strikeouts. Brecheen’s best season was 1948, when he had career best numbers in wins (20-7), ERA (2.24) and strikeouts (149).

Vinegar Bend Mizell (789)—Wilmer David “Vinegar Bend” Mizell was nicknamed after the town he was born in, Vinegar Bend, Alabama. Mizell pitched for the Cardinals from 1952 to 1960, and he ranks tenth in the team’s history with 789 strikeouts. Mizell had his best overall season in 1953, when he went 13-11 with a 3.49 earned run average and career high 173 K’s.


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    • johnr54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 8 years ago from Texas

      I grew up listening to the Cardinals on the radio with Harry and Jack Buck and we would travel to see a game once a year in St Louis. Nothing beat the thrill of watching Bob Gibson mow down the opposing batters while Lou Brock terrorized the opposing pitchers on the basepaths.

    • jbgunn profile image

      jbgunn 8 years ago

      Hey. I'm a huge Cards fan. Really love to see that Matt Morris is on this list. Really wish he never went to the Giants. Oh well. Good information.