The 2021 MLB Awards Season
With the Cardinals' early exit from the playoffs after a miracle September that set a new franchise record for consecutive wins, Redbird fans turn their gaze to the consolation prizes for extraordinary performances from individuals throughout the season.
Like Yukon Cornelius, Cardinal Nation has become greedy for silver and gold. The Cardinals did not nab any of the Silver Slugger Awards, given to the best hitters among starters for each position, though they did show historically stellar defense.
2021 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards
The Gold Glove is the honor given to the best defensive player at each position for each of the two leagues. The judges casting votes are Major League Baseball managers and up to six coaches from each team with the rule that they cannot vote for players on their own team.
Of the nine Gold Gloves available to National League players, the Cards dominated, taking five.
First Base - Paul Goldschmidt
Second Base - Tommy Edman
Third Base - Nolan Arenado
Left Field - Tyler O'Neill
Center Field - Harrison Bader
The future hall-of-famer Yadier Molina missed out on taking his tenth Gold Glove Award, being a runner up to the Pirates' Jacob Stallings.
It appeared John Mozeliak and company narrowly missed the embarrassment of firing the team's manager weeks before he won the Manager of the Year Award.
Former Cards manager Mike Schildt came in third in the voting for the top prize for baseball managers. The franchise-best win streak to cap off the regular season is surely the factor that lifted him to third. While only two managers collected more votes, the race does not look quite so close when you look at the vote count. The Giants' Gabe Kepler actually won in a blowout, taking 28 of the 30 first place votes. Schildt got one of the remaining two.
Adam Wainwright, who was robbed of at least one Cy Young Award in his career, and arguably two, came the closest to taking the top pitcher's prize for the club. He took seventh in voting for the award.
In spite of having enjoyed more hall-of-fame pitchers than most clubs, the Cy Young remains the most elusive prize for the Cardinals. The last Redbird to take the National League Cy Young was Chris Carpenter in 2005. The only other Cardinal to nab the Cy Young is Bob Gibson, who won it both in 1968 and 1970.
The list of Cardinals who took the top individual prize in baseball, the Most Valuable Player Award, is a long one, but 2021 won't be added to the list. The National League MVP for 2021 went to the Phillies' Bryce Harper with the nearest Cardinal, Paul Goldschmidt, trailing back in sixth place.
For history buffs, I'll close with that long list of MVP's I mentioned.
Cardinals Past MVP Winners
1931 - Frankie Frisch
1934 - Dizzy Dean
1937 - Joe Medwick
1942 - Mort Cooper
1943 - Stan Musial
1944 - Marty Marion
1946 - Stan Musial
1948 - Stan Musial
1964 - Ken Boyer
1967 - Orlando Cepeda
1968 - Bob Gibson
1971 - Joe Torre
1979 - Keith Hernandez
1985 - Willie McGee
2005 - Albert Pujols
2008 - Albert Pujols
2009 - Albert Pujols