The 100 Greatest Cardinals: 91-100
NO. 98: 2B JULIAN JAVIER
With the reputation as a fleet-footed, power-hitting third baseman, Julian Javier was among the most highly-regarded prospects in the Pittsburgh farm system. But in the spring of 1960, the Pirates needed pitching help and dealt Javier to St. Louis for left-hander Vinegar Bend Mizell, who went on to win 13 games for the eventual World Series champions.
In Javier, however, the Cardinals gained a cornerstone to one of the most successful and colorful decades in the franchise’s history.
The power might have been overstated, though he did belt 14 home runs in 1967, when he finished ninth in voting for National League MVP. His speed was adequate enough to help him swipe 134 bases over his career, including a career-high 26 in 1962.
As much as anything, though, the native of San Francisco de Macoris in the Dominican Republic, was rock-steady reliable. He played in at least 113 games in 10 of the next 12 years, during which the “El Birdos” won two World Series titles (1964 and 1967) and a third NL pennant (1968).
No Cardinals player, in fact, has played more games at second base than Javier.
And in 17 World Series games with the Cardinals, Javier batted .346. In Game 7 of the 1967 Fall Classic, his sixth-inning home run off Boston’s Jim Lonborg helped the Cardinals clinch their seventh title.
SEASONS IN ST. LOUIS: 1960-’71
1,578 Games Played | .257 Batting Avg. | 2-time All-Star| WAR 13.8 | 2 World Series rings
TOP 100 SCORE: 1.89