Cards All-Time Top 40 – Jim Bottomley #13

The Top 40 countdown of the greatest St. Louis Cardinals of all time continues with their slugging first baseman from the 1920's and early 1930's, "Sunny" Jim Bottomley.

James Leroy Bottomley

The Basics




Total Yrs

Yrs in StL





First base









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.
Bottomley's career stats available from

Voter Comments

Rob Rains (10): Bottomley last played for the Cardinals in 1932, so it would be difficult to find anybody who could give you an accurate first-hand scouting report. Based on numbers, and on thoughts of those from the past, however, Bottomley earned his spot on this all-time list on the basis of his .325 career average (eighth all-time), his 1,105 RBI (third all-time) and his 181 career home runs (eighth all-time). He was the 1928 National League Most Valuable Player.

Jerry Modene (38): Bottomley is a guy who gets discounted as a man whose era of play inflated his statistics, but how do you argue with a man who is, even at this late date, third on the Cardinals' all-time RBI list (trailing only Musial and Slaughter)?

He was a good defensive first baseman with line-drive power and a reasonable number of walks; and was also a wildly popular player – possibly the first "beloved" player on the Cardinals (far more beloved than the irascible Hornsby). Could rate higher.

Ray Mileur (12): "Sunny Jim" played for the St. Louis Cardinals from (1922-1932). His best season for St. Louis came in 1928 when he hit .325 with 31 home runs and driving in 136 runs, en-route to winning the National League MVP Award.

Bottomley hit over .300 nine times in his 11 seasons with St. Louis and finished his career with a .310 lifetime batting average. Best known for driving in runs, Bottomley drove in more than 100 runs six times with the Cardinals, but he also was one of the best defensive first-basemen of his time.

A team leader, Bottomley helped lead the Cardinals to four World Series appearances, 1926, 1928, 1930, and 1931, including two World Championships in 1926 and 1931. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974 based on his strong career marks in doubles, hits, RBI, putouts, chances, and double-plays.

Brian Walton (9): Like a broken record perhaps, I am the one of us four most bullish on another old-timer. Simply put, Bottomley was a home-grown, dominant offensive force in his era and was a key cog in a series of Cardinals winners, as Ray notes directly preceding.

As also highlighted above, Bottomley ranks in the career top ten in most every Cardinals offensive stat. But, look at these results compared to his peers, too.

Bottomley finished three times in the top three in the league in batting average. He placed six times in the top six in slugging percentage. Four times he ranked in the top four in on-base plus slugging percentage.

Twice Bottomley led the league in doubles, extra-base hits, total bases and RBI. He even paced the National League in triples once and, oh yes, home runs, too! More often than not, he was eclipsed by the great Hornsby, but Bottomley was exceptional in his own right.

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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