With the retirement of Tony La Russa's number 10, the Cardinals may soon have to consider going to triple digits on their uniforms. If a few more numbers are mothballed, there soon won't be enough to go around.
There is already talk that, if you're going to retire La Russa's number, how can you not retire the number 18 of his right hand man, Dave Duncan? And, even if the Cardinals aren't inclined to be the first club to retire a number in honor of their pitching coach, wouldn't number 18 still be in jeopardy because of the fact one of its previous owners, Mike Shannon, has become Mr. Cardinal after 60 years with the organization.
Personally, I think the Redbirds ought to honor Shannon similarly to his longtime partner Jack Buck who has his name and the image of a microphone immortalized on the left field wall. He's much better known as broadcaster than he was as a player...
Still, even if number 18 survives the cut, there is a case that could be made to retire a who lot more Cardinals numbers -- potentially up to 25. And that doesn't include the quasi-retired numbers 32, 51 or 57. Here's a look at the status of St. Louis digits:
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1) Retired for Ozzie Smith
2) Retired for Red Schoendienst
3) Hall of Fame player and manager Frank Frisch wore this number with the Cardinals from 1932-37.
4) Will anyone wear this number after Yadier Molina? I doubt it. But there is also a case to retire that number in favor of 1944 NL MVP Marty Marion.
5) The subject of much debate lately, it seems likely the Cardinals won't let anyone wear this number again despite the defection of Albert Pujols to the Angels.
6) Retired for Stan Musial.
7) Worn by Hall of Famer Joe Medwick
8) The Captain Terry Moore wore this number from 1939-48.
9) Retired for Enos Slaughter. Also worn by Roger Maris and Joe Torre.
10) To be retired for Tony La Russa. Also worn by Hall of Famer Johnny Mize.
11) Cardinals legend Pepper Martin has had more of his numbers retired by the Cardinals than any other player. During his career in St. Louis he wore numbers 1, 2, 10, 11 and 28.
13) Worn by Mort Cooper when he won the NL MVP in 1942 and when he finished in the top nine in 1943 and '44 balloting.
14) Retired for Ken Boyer
15) Worn by Walker Cooper in the 1940s when he finished in the top 11 in MVP voting three times. Also worn by Tim McCarver who was recently elected to the Hall of Fame as a broadcaster.
16) Hall of Fame pitcher Jesse Haines wore this number from 1932-37.
17) Retired for Dizzy Dean
18) Potentially to be retired for Duncan or Shannon
20) Retired for Lou Brock
21) Worn by Curt Flood, a fan favorite during the 1960s glory years.
24) Retired for Whitey Herzog
25) No one has been allowed to wear it since Mark McGwire. While it seems doubtful he's going to make it into the Hall of Fame at this point, the Cardinals may still be inclined to honor him by retiring it at some point.
29) Chris Carpenter has been held back greatly by injuries. But he's won a Cy Young in a Cardinals uniform and he's been a major force in two World Series victories.
42) Retired for Bruce Sutter and Jackie Robinson
45) Retired for Bob Gibson
85) Retired for August Busch Jr., former team owner.