When you think of power hitters, normally you think of the steroid era in the late nineties and early 2000′s or even just the large number of power hitters currently in the game. However, you hardly never think of power during the mid thirties, but the Cardinals had one of the elite power hitters of his time with their first baseman, Johnny Mize. Mize played six seasons with the Cardinals and he put up terrific numbers during those six years, yet he is often overlooked by Cardinals fans and many don’t know anything about him. Though we failed to include him in our 25 man roster, he was one of the people that it was tough to leave off, because he really is a Cardinal legend.
In his six seasons with the Cardinals Mize was never a member of a World Championship team, but he did put up huge numbers with the Cards. He hit 158 home runs, drove in 653 RBI’s, and batted .336 during his short tenure with the Cardinals. He led the NL in homers twice with the Cardinals – first in 1939 with 29 home runs, and then in the following season with 43 home runs. He also led the NL in RBI’s once in his Cardinal career during his 1940 season in which he drove in 137. He was the batting champion during his 1939 season where he led the NL with his .349 average. He finished second in the MVP voting twice with the Cardinals in 1939 and again in 1940, he was an All Star four out of his six seasons with St. Louis.
Mize went on to have a fine career with the New York Giants where he played his next five seasons, and he finished his career with the New York Yankees he missed three full seasons serving in the USA military missing three prime years in his career for WWII. Who know’s what else he could have done in the MLB during those years. Mize had a terrific career where he batted a career .312, had 2,011 hits, scored 1,118 runs, hit 359 home runs, drove in 1,337 RBI’s, had a career .562 slugging percentage, and only struck out 524 times in 15 seasons in the MLB, never striking out more than 57 times in a season. He is truly a great player and a St. Louis Cardinal legend.