If you grew up in the Midwest then you already know how big of a deal the Cubs-Cards rivalry is. If you grew up a Cardinal fan you were taught to hate the Cubs, if you grew up a Cubs fan you were taught to hate the Cards.
There have been close divisional races, memorable games, and great players.
Speaking of players, there are many that have done double duty, playing for both teams. A few years back when I was in college a buddy and I tried to come up with this All Time team. We may have been a little drunk at the time, but it was college.
Anyways, I have put together a 25 man roster of the best players to play for both the Cubs and Cardinals. We start with the position players, then move out to the mound. So hey hey I hope this lists a winner.
Cubs 1989-92, 2000-02
Many will argue that Girardi is a far better manager than he was a catcher, and they may be right. Girardi only hit .267 for his entire career with 1,100 hits.
He began his career with the Cubs on the division champion '89 team, batting .248 with a homer and 14 RBIs. He would play in Chi-town until 1992, but return in 2000 to play for four more years with the Cubs.
Then in 2003 he had a brief stint in the Gateway city where he saw limited action. Nevertheless he may be the best to play for both of these teams at catcher, and that shows the weakness at this position.
Cardinals 1980, 1989
Durham may be best known for his error in Game Five of the '84 NLCS where his "Gatorade-cursed" glove missed a grounder that opened the floodgates to a Padres pennant.
Durham actually got his start as a Cardinal in 1980 and went over to the Cubs where he is best remembered. He hit .277 for his career while hitting 147 homeruns. He won a Silver Slugger while with the Cubs in 1982 and was an All-Star in '82 and '83.
His career came full circle as he ended his career with a brief stint in St. Louis.
While his stints in both cities were brief, he made the best of it and was a vital part of the Cubs 2003 NLCS appearance. That year he hit .314 with 38 RBIs and was a stalwart at second. The following year he also hit over .300 but in considerably less playing time.
Then in 2005 the Redbirds brought Grudz in and he didn't disappoint, hitting eight long balls and knocking in 59 runs. That year he helped guide the Cardinals to a Central division crown and a trip to the NLCS where they lost to Houston.
Gaetti spent four years consecutive with the Cubs and Cards. He was signed after the 1995 season as a free agent by the Redbirds. He hit 51 homers and knocked in 193 runs in his stint with St. Louis.
But in 1998, the Cardinals acquired Fernando Tatis, and Gaetti was released. The Cubs, in the midst of the wild card race, picked him up, and he hit over .300 with eight homers during the stretch run. Gaetti would play one more year at the Friendly Confines until he was released after the '99 season.
Cubs 1985-95, 1997
If you grew up watching Cubs games as a kid in the '80s, then you remember the Shawon-o-meter that some fan would hold up along the first base line showing his batting average.
Dunston spent a decade with the Cubs from 1985-95. He was an All-Star in 1988 and 1990 and had great season in the Cubs division-winning season of 1989. That year he hit .278 with nine homers and 60 runs batted in. After a brief stint in San Francisco in 1996, Dunston returned to Wrigley and hit over .300 in 1997.
In 1999 Dunston landed in Cardinals country and was later shipped to the Mets that same year. Dunston came right back in 2000 hitting 12 homers and knocking in 43 for the Central Division champs.
Perhaps maybe the best player on this list is Hall of Famer Lou Brock.
Brock was an average player during his time in Chi-town, where he stole fewer than 100 of his 938 career bases. During the 1964 season, the Cubs pulled the trigger on a trade with St. Louis for Ernie Broglio. At the time, many thought the trade was better for the Cubs than it was for the Cardinals.
Fifteen years later Brock would end his stellar career with 938 steals and more than 3,000 hits. His number 20 was retired by the Cardinals, and he was elected to the Hall in 1985.
St. Louis 2000-07
Edmonds was arguably one of the best defensive center fielders during his run with the Cardinals. He was also no slouch at the plate as he hit more than 40 homers twice and drove in over 100 three times. The eight-time Gold Glove winner was also a part of the Cardinals' 2006 World Series team.
Then in 2008, after the Padres released him, Edmonds became the newest member to the Cubs/Cards All-Stars. That year he helped the Cubs to their second straight Central crown by hitting 19 homers and driving in 49 runs.
Cardinals 1994-98, 2001, 2004-05
Mabry is better known as a utility player, but for lack of better talent, coach had to put him in right field.
Mabry had multiple stints with the Cardinals, and along the way, he hit for a cycle in 1996. He also came through with numerous pinch hits. For his career, he hit .296 with 96 homers.
In 2006 the Cubs brought in Mabry to add depth to the bench. His .205 average that year was barely above the Mendoza line.
Rick Sutcliffe won the Cy Young Award in 1984 after a mid-season trade by Cleveland in the Joe Carter deal. He went 16-1 in helping the Cubs to the Eastern Division title. He would go on to win 82 games as a Cub.
In 1994 Sutcliffe finished his career with a 6-4 mark for a struggling Cardinals team. He won 171 games during his career with more than 1,500 strike-outs.
Bob Tewksbury is best known as the "junk" pitcher who won 33 games in the 1992 and 1993 seasons for the Cardinals.
He began his career with the Yankees but spent just more than a season and a half with the Cubs, for whom he never won a game.
During his career with the Cardinals, his best season was in 1992 when he went 16-5 and finished 3rd in the Cy Young voting. Shoulder and arm problems would plague him for several years, although he did go on to win 110 games during his major league career.
Marquis often was up and down during his career as both a Cardinal and Cub. He won 42 games in three seasons while in St. Louis. During the World Series year of 2006, he was the first NL pitcher to reach 12 wins. The bottom fell out after that as he went 2-9 for the rest of the season and was left off the NLCS and Series roster.
After that, he moved to the Windy City where he posted a 23-18 record for the Cubs during their back-to-back division title years. He was released after the 2008 season.
Going into the 2001 season, Tavarez had often been used as a reliever. The Cubs saw him as a potential starter, and he went 10-9 in 28 starts that year. He would be dealt before the 2002 season in the trade that saw Dontrelle Willis go to Florida.
In 2004, Tavarez went back to the bullpen for the Cardinals, going 9-7 with an ERA of just over 3.00 in 130 innings. He may be best known in St. Louis for giving up the game winning homer in Game One of the 2004 World Series.
Cubs 1992-95, 1998
This guy played just about everywhere and for what seems like forever. He was on several of those Cubs teams in the early to mid '90s that were less than impressive. His best season was in 1992 when he went 16-8 with a 2.55 ERA. He went on to win 30 games in his career with the Cubs.
In 1995 he was traded to the Redbirds where he started 17 games and won five of them. After the 1996 season, he was released by the Cardinals.
In late 1998 the Cubs picked him up again on their run to the NL Wild Card. This was his first career postseason.
At one time Smith was the major's all time saves leader. He accumulated 180 of them as the closer for the Cubs.In 1983 he had his lowest ERA of his career of 1.65 in just over 100 innings as he finished 9th in the Cy Young race.
After a stint in Boston, Lee made his way to St. Louis. In 1991 he had a league leading 47 saves, and followed it with a 43-save campaign in 1992. He set the all-time major league mark at the time in 1993 and finished his career with 478 saves overall.
Another Hall of Famer comes out of the bullpen in Bruce Sutter. He got his start as a Cubs in 1976. In 1979, Sutter led the league with 37 saves and won the Cy Young award. He would save 133 games in five seasons for the Cubs before being traded to the Cards for Leon Durham in '81.
With the Cardinals, Sutter continued to shut the door on opponents in the ninth inning. In 1982 he shut down 36 games and finished off Gormon Thomas to help the Cards win Game Seven of the '82 World Series. He would once again lead the league in saves during the '84 campaign, and would end his career with 300 saves and a 2006 call to the hall.
The Eck earned the majority of his 390 career saves with the A's, but before all of those saves he was a starter. From '84-'86 he was a starter for the Cubs, going 27-26 in 81 starts. Eck was traded to the A's just before the 1987 season and the rest is history.
He rejoined Tony LaRussa for the 1996 and 1997 campaigns where he nailed down 66 saves with the Redbirds. His 390 career saves ranks fifth all-time.
You have to have a set-up guy on every team, and Frank DiPino was exactly that.
DiPino pitched in Chicago for 2 1/2 seasons going 7-10 with 10 saves and an ERA well over 4.00. After the 1988 season, DiPino would head south towards the arch.
1989 was by far his best year as he went 9-0 with an ERA under 3.00 for the Redbirds. During his Cardinal career he went 14-2 with 3 saves.
St. Louis 2007-'09
Cubs fans may hear the name and cringe as Wellemeyer was often inconsistent and had an ERA of over 6.00 in 60 career innings pitched on the North Side.
In St. Louis, he had his best year, a year during which he was mostly used as a starter, when he went 13-9 in 32 starts in 2008. He followed that up with a less than impressive campaign in 2009 with a 7-10 mark in 21 starts.
Fassero is a clone to Dancing Bobby, a guy that dances to the music for the minor league Burlington Bees. Often times Dancing Bobby may have pitched better than Fassero.
In 2001, Fassero actually was the Cubs closer while they waited for Tom Gordon to come off of the DL. He saved 12 games and finished the campaign with a 4-4 mark. Midway through the 2002 season he was dealt to the Cardinals where he went 3-0 in 16 appearances.
In 2003, though, Cardinal fans were ready to kill Fassero as he went 1-7 with an ERA of well over 5.00.
St. Louis 1998-99
Mercker is best known for his no-hit bid in 1994 against the Dodgers.
But in 1998 he signed with St. Louis and went 11-11 for the Cardinals but had an ERA of over 5.00. During the '99 season he was dealt to Boston at the trade deadline. There he was 6-5.
In 2004 Mercker emerged as a left handed specialist out of the Cubs 'pen. He would go 3-1 in 71 appearances.
Osborne is best known for being a starter for the Cardinals during the 1990s. His best season was in '96 when he went 13-9 with a 3.53 ERA. He often showed potential, but was injured just as fast as he through his fastball.
Osborne went 47-45 during his career with the Cardinals.
In 2002 he emerged briefly with the Cubs for a meager 16 innings. Arm problems ultimately cut his career short.
Cubs 2003, 2006
This guy had wheels back in his day and was often a very fine utility player. He is best known for his game tying hit off of Mariano Rivera in Game Seven of the 2001 World Series.
Womack ended up with the Cubs at the end of their 2003 playoff run. He was seldom used during that stretch with just 51 ABs. He would return in 2006 for an additional 50 ABs.
His best year was in 2004 for the Cardinals. That year he hit .307 with 170 hits and 26 steals.
Zeile was supposed to be a superstar in St. Louis as their future catcher. Zeile hit around .270 during his career with the Cards and his best year as a Redbird was in '93 when he knocked in 103 runs.
Zeile was dealt to the Cubs in '95 where his stay was less than memorable. He was dealt around the league after that with stops in New York, Florida, and Los Angeles.
If you know who this guy is you must be a Cubs fan.
Hector was a second stringer for the Cubs during the early '90s and had a little Wrigley pop in his bat. He managed to muscle out 22 homers during his 400+ at-bat Cubs career.
In 1993 he went over to the Cardinals a had just a few plate appearances. Overall he hit just .230 for his career.
Cubs 1997, 2001
Cardinals 2001-03, 2007
This journeyman can play infield and outfield positions and has made several postseason rosters.
During his stints with the Cubs, he is better remembered for his 2001 half season where he filled in for the injury-ravaged Cubs throughout the month of May. After that he was picked up off waivers by the Cardinals.
Cairo had a decent run in St. Louis hitting just over .250, but brought the ability to play all over the field to the often contending Cardinals.
By now I am sure there will be some folks that ask "Where is this guy?"
That is fine, I am sure some older fans will remember guys that I have forgotten, and feel free to add them to the comment form below.
I also want to give a shout out to some of the others that I found during my research including Rick Wilkins, Delino DeShields, Alan and Andy Benes, and Aaron Miles.
This team appears to be solid on the mound, if and when healthy, and at the plate appear to be lacking a big bat. I guess we can hope Brock steals 100 bags and Gary Gaetti can rock 30 dingers.