Cards All-Time Top 40 – Bill Sherdel #36

Our Top 40 countdown of the greatest St. Louis Cardinals players of all-time continues with a 14-year Cardinal pitcher who spanned the decade of the 1920's with the club, "Wee Willie" Sherdel.

William Henry Sherdel

The Basics



Total Yrs

Yrs in StL








1918-1930, 1932





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.
Sherdel's career stats available from

Voter Comments

Rob Rains (32): Any Cardinal fan under the age of 75 could well be saying who? Sherdel pitched for the Cardinals from 1918-1930 and reached double figures in wins eight times in a 10-year span. He ranks fourth all-time in career wins, third all-time in games pitched and fourth all-time in innings pitched and complete games.

A lefthander used as both a starter and reliever, Sherdel earned the nickname Wee Willie because he was only 5-foot-10 and weighed just 160 pounds.

Jerry Modene (NR): Another pitcher I gave serious consideration for, "Wee Willie" was very popular in St. Louis and did have the one 20-win season (1928) when the Cards won their second NL pennant. His 153 wins (150 of which came during his initial 12-year run with the Cards, an average of 12-½ wins per season) do rank fourth on the Cards' all-time list. Another pitcher who lasted a good long time despite a really poor K/IP ratio of 2.86 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

Ray Mileur (NR): Sherdel played for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1918 through 1930 and returned again in 1932. Known as Wee Willie (actually 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds), he was a key member of the Cardinals staff for over a dozen seasons, working as both a starter and reliever. He won 21 for the 1928 pennant winners, twice won 17, and led the NL in winning percentage (.714) in 1925 with a 15-6 mark. As a reliever, he led the NL in saves three times.

His best season came in 1928 when he finished with a 21-10 record and helped lead the Cardinals to another World Series that year. Sherdel lost all four of his career World Series starts. If he had won those games, he might have made my Top 40 list.

Brian Walton (33): This was a tough one for me, as the essence of the question is whether a player can earn this recognition for being a marathoner, not a sprinter. Sherdel was a very good player for the Cardinals for a very long time, not unlike another Willie from a more recent era, Willie McGee.

Physically, Sherdel reminds me of a left-handed Roy Oswalt. Wee Willie led the Cardinals down the stretch to two pennants and helped set up their first-ever World Series win. To have a chance to appreciate the significance of this, one must understand that since joining the National League in 1892, the Cardinals had never before finished as high as second place!

Sherdel tallied 38 regular-season victories in those two campaigns alone, 1926 and 1928. He was given the ball to start the first game of both World Series, but came up against a Yankee three-hitter both times, falling to the mighty New Yorkers led by Ruth and Gehrig. Overall, Sherdel posted a 3.26 ERA in the post-season, so that 0-4 Series record clearly isn't all his doing.

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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