St. Louis Cardinals: Top 3 closers in team’s history

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 17: Jason Isringhausen #44 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitching to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a game on April 17, 2007 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by John Capella/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 17: Jason Isringhausen #44 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitching to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a game on April 17, 2007 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by John Capella/Sports Imagery/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by St. Louis Cardinals, LLC/Getty Images)
(Photo by St. Louis Cardinals, LLC/Getty Images) /

St Louis Cardinals: Top 3 Closers in Franchise History

2. Lee Smith

Large, imposing frame. Check. Mean looking scowl. Check. Long right arm dangling almost to the ground as he takes his sign. Check. Same long arm delivering the heat and reaching out like it could grab hitters from sixty-feet six inches away. Check.

Lee Smith checks all the boxes and was a force to be reckoned with as a closer in major league baseball. He brought his talents to the St Louis Cardinals and played just four seasons in the Gateway City, but he accumulated 160 saves in his short time there.

Smith led the league in saves twice, was a three-time All-Star, and finished in the top five twice in Cy Young voting during his tenure with the Birds. His four-year totals included an ERA of 2.90 and a WHIP of 1.15. There hasn’t been a more dominant stretch in a Cardinals uniform for a closer than the four years Smith put together.

Smith left the Cardinals and pitched for a handful of other teams, even leading the league once more in saves in the strike-shortened ’94 season for the Baltimore Orioles. Smith is third on the all-time saves list with 478, a third of those coming in a St Louis Cardinals uniform.