Cardinals Who Became Cubs (and Vice-Versa)

304 players have suited up for both the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals (and their predecessors) since 1883.

In my recent column, "Cardinals "Creativity": Why Not Wood?", I put forward a case as to why signing the Chicago Cubs soon-to-be free-agent closer Kerry Wood could be good fit for the 2009 St. Louis Cardinals.

Based on the resulting emails and message board posts, there are those intrigued by the idea while others would consider it blasphemous for the Cardinals to covet a player that wore the Cubbie blue.

News flash: It is hardly a new idea.

The past

Sure, most baseball fans remember the blockbuster six-player trade between the clubs on June 15, 1964 which sent Cardinals starting pitcher Ernie Broglio and two others to Chicago in return for future Hall-of-Famer Lou Brock plus two players.

Yet, there have been many, many more players moving between the two clubs. Over 300 of them, in fact, ranging from Ted Abernathy to Todd Zeile with three Schultzes included (Barney, Buddy and Joe).

The first occurred in 1883, prior to the second season of the St. Louis franchise of the American Association. The Browns, as they were known then, paid the Chicago White Stockings of the National League, the ancestor of the Cubs, the princely sum of $50 for the services of outfielder Hugh Nicol (right). Nicol also apparently holds the distinction of being the only Scottish-born man to play in the major leagues.

The pictured tobacco card is from 1886, the year manager Charlie Comiskey's Browns won their first-ever World Series. The St. Louisans defeated who else but the Chicago White Stockings. (Further linking the two cities, Comiskey would later own the American League Chicago White Sox for their first 31 years of existence.)

Nicol's 1883 Browns teammate and a starting outfielder like him, Tom Dolan, also previously had a one-game cup of coffee with the 1879 White Stockings. Since 1883, rarely did a season follow in which there was not at least one former player from one club on the other's roster.

The present

When centerfielder Jim Edmonds first suited up for the Chicagoans on May 15, 2008, he became the bookend of Nicol as the 304th major leaguer in the long history of the Cubs and Cardinals to play for both franchises.

The long-time Cards star Edmonds leaving the San Diego Padres and joining the Cubs was especially alarming and disturbing to many. The fact that St. Louis was paying $2 million of his 2008 salary only added salt to the open wound.

The discomfort increased throughout the summer as the 38-year-old found new life while helping power the Cubs to 97 regular season wins and their second consecutive NL Central Division title. Yet, even Edmonds could not alter the three-and-out NLDS result that ensued for the second year in a row.

Edmonds actually balanced out the current ex-Cubs, ex-Cardinals factor this season. The outfielder joined starting pitcher Jason Marquis as the two Chicagoans that previously called St. Louis home. In the other dugout, starting pitcher Todd Wellemeyer and shortstop Cesar Izturis first wore the Cubs uniform.

Though Edmonds and Izturis will become free agents at the conclusion of the World Series, both could be back next year. Either way, there should be at least one "ex" on each roster in 2009. Marquis will enter the final year of his initial three-year Chicago contract while Wellemeyer is arbitration-eligible, but under Cardinals organizational control.

At $9.875 million next season, Marquis may just be the most expensive number five starter in all of baseball. Wellemeyer should receive a substantial raise for 2009, but will still knock down only about a quarter of what the former Cardinal will be making.

The leaders

Statman/historian Tom Orf went from today back through 1960 and ranked the players over the last half-century that competed for both clubs in the following eleven areas.

(Cardinals stats listed first, with the players ranked in that manner. Cubs numbers follow to the right.)

Games: position players 
(min. 100 each team) StL yrs G ChC yrs G
Lou Brock 1964-79 2289 1961-64  327
Mike Tyson 1972-79 844 1980-81  173
John Mabry 1994-2005 748 2006 107
Jerry Mumphrey 1974-79 522 1986-88  292
Gary Gaetti 1996-98 380 1998-99  150
Hector Cruz 1973-77 303 1978-82  100
Delino DeShields 1997-98 267 2001-02  135
Jose Cardenal 1970-71 237 1972-77  821
Don Kessinger 1976-77 204 1964-75  1648
Shawon Dunston 1999-00 160 1985-97  1254
Jimmie Schaffer 1961-62 138 1963-64  111
Mark Grudzielanek 2005 137 2003-04  202
Steve Lake 1986-88 136 1983-93  175
George Altman 1963 135 1959-67  732
Jerry Morales 1978 130 1974-83  792
Leon Durham 1980-89 125 1981-88  921
Steve Swisher 1978-80 101 1974-77  366
Games: pitchers 
(min. 100 each team) StL yrs G ChC yrs G
Lindy McDaniel 1955-62 336 1963-65  191
Larry Jackson 1955-62 330 1963-66  119
Bruce Sutter 1981-84 249 1976-80  300
Lee Smith 1990-93 245 1980-87  458
Frank DiPino 1989-92 138 1986-88  162
Barney Schultz 1955-65 107 1961-63  107

Pitching victories 
(min. 10 each team) StL ChC
Larry Jackson 101 52
Lindy McDaniel 66 19
Lynn McGlothen 44 31
Jason Marquis 42 23
Bruce Sutter 26 32
Lee Smith 15 40
Saves
(min. 10 each team) StL ChC
Lee Smith 160 180
Bruce Sutter 127 133
Lindy McDaniel 64 39
Barney Schultz 21 14
Games started 
(min. 40 each team) StL ChC
Larry Jackson 209 116
Lynn McGlothen 97 63
Jason Marquis 97 61
Hits
(min. 150 each team) StL ChC
Lou Brock 2713 310
Jerry Mumphrey 434 206
Jose Cardenal 235 864
Mark Grudzielanek 155 230
Don Kessinger 152 1619
Doubles
(min. 15 each team) StL ChC
Lou Brock 434 52
Todd Zeile 149 16
Mike Tyson 97 21
Ted Sizemore 93 17
Gary Gaetti 74 20
Jerry Mumphrey 60 32
Delino DeShields 47 15
Jose Cardenal 44 159
Mark Grudzielanek 30 50
Don Kessinger 26 201
Jerry Morales 19 110
George Altman 18 100
Shawon Dunston 16 226
Leon Durham 16 173
Triples
(min. 10 each team) StL ChC
Lou Brock 121 20
Jose Cardenal 10 16
Home runs
(min. 10 each team) StL ChC
Lou Brock 129 20
Gary Gaetti 51 17
Jose Cardenal 17 61
Shawon Dunston 17 107
Runs batted in
(min. 50 each team) StL ChC
Lou Brock 814 86
Gary Gaetti 192 73
Jerry Mumphrey 134 85
Jose Cardenal 122 343
Shawon Dunston 68 489
Mark Grudzielanek 59 61
Stolen bases
(min. 10 each team) StL ChC
Lou Brock 888 50
Delino DeShields 81 22
Jose Cardenal 38 129

In an additional drill-down, here are five St. Louis pitchers that struggled as a Cub before excelling as a Cardinal. (Kent Bottenfield pictured.)

Kent Bottenfield W-L ERA
Cubs  1996-97  5-8 3.34 GS-0
Cards 1998-99  22-13  4.17 GS-48
Frank DiPino W-L ERA
Cubs  1986-88  7-10  4.32 G-162
Cards 1989-92  14-2  3.34 G-138
Buddy Schultz W-L ERA
Cubs  1975-76  3-1  6.14 SV-2
Cards 1977-79  12-8 3.33 SV-10
Bob Tewksbury W-L ERA
Cubs  1987-88  0-4  6.75 GS-4
Cards 1989-94  67-46  3.48 GS-142
Todd Wellemeyer W-L ERA
Cubs  2003-05  5-3 6.19 GS-0
Cards 2007-08  16-11  3.56 GS-43

Premium Article Scout.com subscribers can access the complete list of those that have played for the Cardinals and Cubs. For each of the 166 position players and 138 pitchers, their years of play with each club are included: "Cardinals-Cubs History: The Joint Players".

Also, a special and ongoing thanks to Lee Sinins' "Complete Baseball Encyclopedia", a tool I use almost every day to pull just about any stat a guy could ever want.



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

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