Cards All-Time Top 40 – Edgar Renteria #40

First up in our new Top 40 countdown of the greatest Cardinals players of all-time is their former All-Star shortstop, Edgar Renteria.

Edgar Enrique Renteria

The Basics




Total Yrs

Yrs in StL














The Awards

Hall of Fame

Retired #

World Champ



Cy Young

Gold Glove








Note: All stats and awards listed are for years as a Cardinal only.
Renteria's career stats available from

Voter Comments

Jerry Modene (34): A .290/.347/.420 hitter in six years as a Cardinal, Edgar would rate higher if he'd only spent more time with us. A solid defensive shortstop, a good hitter, with good speed, good power for a shortstop, and a good eye. It's a shame he didn't feel comfortable batting leadoff, because he would have been ideal in that slot for the Cardinals.

Tended to be under-rated by the hypercritical fans of the internet era, but in reality Renteria may have been the best shortstop in the National League during his tenure in St. Louis.

Rob Rains (37): Probably the greatest offensive shortstop in the history of the franchise, a position where defense still outranks offense in terms of importance. His 16 home runs in 2000 were the most in a season by a Cardinal shortstop, and his 100 RBI in 2003 also tops the charts in that category.

Not a defensive slouch, he won two Gold Gloves and was a three-time All-Star in St. Louis. Only three players in history played more games at shortstop for the Cardinals -- Ozzie Smith, Marty Marion and Dal Maxvill.

Ray Mileur (NR): Traded by the Florida Marlins to St. Louis for Armando Almanza, Braden Looper and Pablo Ozuna on December 14, 1998, Renteria played for the Cardinals for six seasons before becoming a free agent in 2004 and signing a four-year deal with the Boston Red Sox.

A three-time All-Star and winner of three Silver Slugger awards while wearing the Birds on the Bat, Renteria ranking among the All-Time St. Louis Cardinals can't be argued. In his second season with St. Louis, Renteria set career highs at the time with 16 home runs, 76 RBIs and 94 runs scored. Batting first or second most of the season, he set the table for the high-powered Cardinals' offense that won the NL Central and reached the League Championship Series.

If a deal had been made to keep Renteria in St. Louis in 2004, there is little doubt in my mind that he wouldn't be a borderline candidate for the Top 40 All-Time Cardinals list.

Brian Walton (NR): Whenever I think of Renteria, I recall Tony La Russa labeling him "The Captain". Initially, I was skeptical of the skipper, thinking he was using dime-store psychology to build up the quiet and sensitive shortstop. However, once I saw Edgar interact in the clubhouse with his manager and teammates, I understood.

On the field, Renteria offered an admirable blend of speed and power. The numbers bear that out. Despite disliking hitting high in the order, Renteria still ranks second in stolen bases (148) at the position as a Cardinal since 1900. His .420 slugging percentage as a Cardinal is just .001 short of the best in the modern era at the position among those with at least 1200 plate appearances with the club. His underrated glove work earned him two Gold Gloves while a Cardinal, too.

It is a shame that Renteria was unable to remain with the club, in which case he would have eventually earned his way onto my list. As-is, I consider his six-years of accomplishments in the Cardinals uniform just short of warranting recognition here.

Voter Comments Key: Voter (Individual Ranking); NR = Not Rated

Master List: To see our entire list of the greatest 40 Cardinals players of all-time as they are unveiled daily, click here.

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