Last Updated on October 10, 2023 by Matt Musico
The Cardinals all time home run leaders list is incredibly top-heavy. As you’ll see below, the hitters in first and second place each have slugged 400-plus home runs during their respective tenures in St. Louis. Outside of that? Nobody has hit more than 260 homers while playing for the Cardinals yet.
We’ll detail the Cardinals’ top five before listing out which players make up the top 22.
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Cardinals All Time Home Run Leaders: Top 5
Stan Musial: 475 Home Runs
Stan Musial never led the league in home runs during his 22-year MLB career. Yet, he’s the Cardinals’ all-time home run leader. That’s what consistent production will do for you over a long period of time. It’s not like Stan The Man didn’t lead baseball in a number of other categories, though.
He paced the league in runs scored five times, total hits six times, doubles eight times, triples five times, and RBI twice. A career .331 hitter, Musial also won seven Batting Titles and three MVP Awards. But when specifically looking at his home run production, the sweet-swinging left-handed hitter slugged at least 10 homers every season of his career, except once. That’d be his rookie season when he hit just one in 12 games played during the 1941 campaign.
Over a 10-year stretch between 1948 and 1957, Musial slugged at least 20 homers in each season. This streak included six instances of him hitting more than 30. He accumulated 6,741 plate appearances during this time. Musial slashed .340/.429/.600 with an average of 31 homers, 40 doubles, nine triples, 112 RBI, and 111 runs scored.
Musial took home one of his three MVPs within this stretch, and he finished within the top 10 of voting in each of these 10 seasons. Six of those times, he finished in the top five. Yeah, this guy was pretty good.
Albert Pujols: 469 Home Runs
Musial will fend off Albert Pujols for the all-time home run king title in St. Louis. However, The Machine is heavily featured on the franchise’s single-season home run leaderboard. We’ve spilled a lot of digital ink on Pujols throughout this website. It makes sense when you’ve hit the fourth-most home runs in MLB history. But still, it’s hard to fathom the production he put together between 2003 and 2004.
In 1,377 plate appearances, Pujols slashed .345/.427/.662 and averaged 44 home runs, 51 doubles, 124 RBI, and 135 runs scored. He averaged that! I’m honestly not sure what’s more shocking here — those numbers or the fact that he has no MVPs to show for it.
Of course, Pujols began his career in 2001, which is when Barry Bonds began his streak of winning four straight NL MVP Awards. In 2003, Pujols finished second behind Bonds, while he finished third behind Bonds and Adrian Beltre in 2004. Some tough luck for sure, but the first baseman certainly hasn’t had any issues when it comes to making his own mark on the game.
Ken Boyer: 255 Home Runs
The separation between Musial, Pujols, and the rest of the Cardinals hitters on the career home run leaderboard is large. That’s probably the understatement of the century, as nearly 200 home runs separate Pujols from Ken Boyer, who is sitting in third place.
Boyer spent 11 of his 15 years with the Redbirds. From one look at his Baseball-Reference stat page, the majority of his individual accomplishments came in St. Louis. He never finished a year with fewer than 10 homers and surpassed 20 on eight different occasions.
The only two times Boyer posted an OPS greater than .900 came in consecutive years: 1960 and 1961. The best of the best came in 1960, which included a .932 OPS. This year also included a career-high 32 home runs. It was the third straight season he’d surpassed 20, and it was a feat he’d repeat four more times after ’60. He never secured a month with double-digit homers during that campaign, but he was a man of consistency.
He hit at least six homers four different times. This included hitting exactly six dingers in April, May, and September while hitting seven in June. That wasn’t the only time Boyer had repeatable homer production, either. Between 1961 and 1964, the right-handed hitter slugged exactly 24 homers in each campaign. Baseball, man.
Jim Edmonds: 241 Home Runs
Jim Edmonds began his career with the Angels and didn’t land in St. Louis until his age-30 season. From the standpoint of offense, though, he saved his best work for the Cardinals.
In his first seven seasons, he posted an OPS above .800 four times with one of those going above .900. Upon landing with the Cardinals, Edmonds posted a .900-plus OPS in each of his first six seasons, with two of those going over 1.000. As you can imagine, the same thing happened in the power department. While Edmonds enjoyed four seasons of 20-plus homers with the Angels, only one of them went for 30-plus. In St. Louis, he enjoyed four seasons of 30-plus homers.
Staying within the theme of consistency, Edmonds had his own way of producing repeatable power numbers. He slugged 30-plus homers in consecutive seasons on two different occasions. In each of these sequences, the outfielder slugged 42 dingers in one year before dipping below 40 for the second season.
When he arrived in 2000, Edmonds hit 42 home runs and followed that up with another 30 in 2001. After hitting 39 in 2003, he came back and tied his single-season career-high mark with 42 in 2004.
Ray Lankford: 228 Home Runs
Out of all the Cardinals hitters within this top five, Ray Lankford is probably the most surprising to me. But hey, that’s why we do these things, right? Now we get to appreciate just how good he was over the span of his 14-year MLB career.
Lankford produced five efforts of 20-plus homers. Four of them came consecutively between 1995 and 1998. The most powerful stretch of his career was 1997-98 when he hit 31 homers in each campaign. It’s interesting to see the similarities and differences when comparing these two powerful years for the outfielder, too.
In both instances, Lankford failed to register a month with 10-plus homers. April also wasn’t a powerful month, as he slugged three dingers in ’97 and one in ’98. But during 1997, the left-handed hitter split his production virtually down the middle between the first half (17) and second half (14). He did hit an overwhelming number of his dingers on the road, though (21). In 1998, the majority of his home runs came at home (20), and the split between his first-half (11) and second-half (20) performances was much more lopsided.
There’s nothing quite like watching a player arrive at the exact same number in consecutive years while doing so in completely different ways. Miguel Cabrera knows all about that.
Cardinals All Time Home Run Leaders: The Rest
Here’s what the rest of St. Louis’ top 22 looks like:
- Mark McGwire: 220 home runs
- Rogers Hornsby: 193
- Jim Bottomley: 181
- Yadier Molina: 176
- Ted Simmons: 172
- Johnny Mize: 158
- Matt Holliday: 156
- Matt Carpenter: 155
- Joe Medwick: 152
- Enos Slaughter: 146
- Bill White: 140
- Paul Goldschmidt: 131 (…and counting)
- Lou Brock: 129
- Chick Hafey: 127
- George Hendrick: 122
- Paul DeJong: 115
- Scott Rolen: 111
Interested in seeing who falls outside the top 22 in Cardinals home run history? Check out the full list here on FanGraphs.
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