On this day 83 years ago Cardinals future Hall of Famer Sunny Jim Bottomley brought home honors as National League Most Valuable Player after a season in which he hit .325 with 93 extra base hits as St. Louis' first sacker.
Bottomley stroked 42 doubles, 20 triples and 32 homers, showing himself to be a rare combination of speed and power. He had a .402 on base percentage and a .628 slugging percentage with 71 walks and only 54 strikeouts in 667 plate appearances.
Bottomley played 11 of his 16 major league seasons with the Cardinals. A career .310 hitter with 219 homers, he batted .325 with 189 of his homers while wearing the Birds on the Bat. After he left he hit .285 in five seasons split between the Reds and the Browns.
Despite his spectacular numbers, Bottomley never got much consideration from sports writers in his bid for the Hall of Fame. He scored in single digits for his first several years of eligibility before bringing home 33 percent of the ballots in 1960 -- the year after he died. He was finally voted into the Hall of Fame by the Veteran's Committee in 1974.
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On this day 20 years later, Cardinals superstar Stan the Man Musial was named the National League Most Valuable player after what was arguably the best season of his Hall of Fame career.
Musial batted .376 with 39 homers, 46 doubles and 18 triples in 1948 to win his third NL MVP Award. Although he would never win another, he finished second the next three seasons in a row and in the top 10 for the award every season after that until 1958.
Incredibly, Musial struck out 34 times in 694 plate appearances while walking 79 times. He had a .450 on base percentage and a .702 slugging percentage.