ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - The St. Louis Cardinals have had more success in recent years than just about any other baseball franchise. Team President Bill DeWitt III credits consistency and discipline for the organization’s success.
He said the biggest challenge facing any baseball franchise is balancing short and long term goals.
“I don't know if a lot of clubs are always balancing those two objectives,” said DeWitt.
Take the Albert Pujols situation for example. The Cardinals decided not to break the bank for one player, even though there was tremendous pressure from fans.
DeWitt says the Cardinals have maintained discipline and consistency from scouting to player development and from drafting to free agent signings. He credits his father, Bill DeWitt, Jr., and General Manager John Mozeliak for much of the team’s on-field success.
"We've had consistency up and down the organization with respect to teaching and to developing players,” said DeWitt. “Mo deserves credit for making sure when old people leave and new ones come in, they understand what we’re trying to do."
Forbes estimates the value of the St. Louis Cardinals at $820 million. That’s the 8th most valuable franchise in baseball. St. Louis is one of the smallest markets in Major League Baseball. It ranks 24th out of 30 teams.
But what St. Louis lacks in population, it makes up for with baseball passions. The team has drawn more than 3 million fans for 11 straight seasons. DeWitt says many of those fans come from outside the St. Louis area.
“Our local television ratings were higher than any other team in baseball,” said DeWitt. "At the end of the day, our true secret sauce is our great fan support."
The team president believes Ballpark Village will be big part of maintaining and even growing fan support.
"It's a store. It's a museum and hall of fame and it's a seating deck."
He says ballpark village gives the Cardinals a unique setup. Some have even called St. Louis, baseball heaven.