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Cartoon of the Day: Derrick Goold on Albert Pujols’ legacy

Feb 29, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch is one of the best beat reporters in the country and one of my favorite follows on Twitter, and it turns out he’s also a really good artist, as evidenced by his cartoon of Albert Pujols‘ empty chair at “The One-Team Icons Club” meeting:


  1. stlouis1baseball - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Impressive drawing! Look at Gibson and Yount. Hahaha! Bob looks like he is getting ready to throw some chin music. LOL! And Ernie’s comforting Stan. Great stuff!

    • umrguy42 - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:31 PM

      …Is that Jeter next to Gibson?

      • umrguy42 - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:42 PM

        Yes, yes it is, according to DG himself (although many were mistaking him for Whitey Ford, for some reason…)

      • dcgfhouston - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        It is? I love it. If you are going to let someone in to the club before they have retired (and can therefore truly say that you played your entire career with one team) it should be Jeter. I would definitely bet on the cold day in hell or flying pigs before I would be on Jeter playing for another team now.

        So, all that’s missing for me now is a forlorn looking Carl Yastrzemski at a window looking in, or have I missed him too?

  2. stex52 - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    Welcome to the 21st century. It’s sad, but things change…. Remember, even Babe Ruth got traded.

    • natstowngreg - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      Though the Babe was traded, then became an icon.

      Yes, Yaz could have been there. But no picture of Lou Gehrig? Good grief.

      And that Yankee does look more like Whitey Ford than Derek Jeter.

  3. The Common Man - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    That must be the young Tony Gwynn.

    • bigharold - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:42 PM

      Come On Man!

  4. compadaniel - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    looks like this still bitter cardinals fan is pretty bored. “1 team icons club”??? wow thats digging pretty deep. Where’s Todd Helton? or Ruth’s empty chair? or Cobbs? or Rose? or… geez let it go. any sports fan with half a brain should now that team loyalty died a long time ago. this cartoon sucks and only makes this writer look like a cry baby.

    • stlouis1baseball - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:38 PM

      It’s kind of ironic Daniel. You think this cartoon sucks and I think your post sucks.
      Take it for what it is Mr. Sensitivity…A CARTOON!

      • compadaniel - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:46 PM

        Sensitive, pot meet kettle… hey, whatever you guys use to get over your loss. We’re all entitled to our opinions. My original post was mine and you are obviously entitled to not like it… Cartoon or not, the message is obvious.

      • davebrownspiral - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:55 PM

        Just wanted to deconstruct you’re incoherent, babbling, ignorant post.

        Considering Rose played for multiple teams, similar to his current Hall of Fame status, he would be ineligible for the “one-team icons club.” As would Ruth who played for the Boston Braves at the end of his career. Cobb wouldn’t be there as he is dead and as Ray Liotta portraying Shoeless Joe Jackson said about Cobb, “Nobody could stand the son of a bitch when we were alive so we told him to stick it!” So, even if alive, Cobb probably wouldn’t be invited to this little shindig. Perhaps his picture is on the wall next to Kirby or Dimaggio. Ask the Mr. Goold for the expanded master copy to see if this is indeed true. And Todd Helton, while a solid player and Rockies great, really doesn’t fit the term “icon.”

      • umrguy42 - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:34 PM

        dave, forget where Ruth ended his career, how do you miss the trade of all trades, Ruth going from the Red Sox to the Yankees to begin with?

    • natstowngreg - Feb 29, 2012 at 5:09 PM

      First of all, Daniel, Ty Cobb played for the Athletics late in his career. So you don’t even know which Hall of Famers played their entire careers with one team.

      But on the larger point, you’re expressing the typical fan rage about lack of “loyalty.” Meaning the player has to be “loyal” to his team’s fans (including taking less pay), but the fans can dump on him at any time. Yeah, some loyalty. More like jealousy against guys whose talents allow them to make a lot more money than you. Pathetic.

      I can see where the cartoon can be viewed as a cheap shot at Albert. Probably is. But it’s still a cool cartoon.

      • compadaniel - Feb 29, 2012 at 6:07 PM

        Okay, I realize the way I worded my post has confused some here. Especially you mr. natstowngreg. You completely miss all the points I make. I wrote “EMPTY CHAIR”, the empty chair in the cartoon represents a player that has changed teams. I realize the way I worded my post was a bit confusing because I wrote: “where is Todd Helton? Or Ruths EMPTY CHAIR, or Cobbs? Or Roses?” That means, by clumping Cobbs name along with the empty chair reference (which the cartoonist uses to represent a player not in the suggested 1 team club) it should show that I understand that Cobb did play for just 1 team.

        Now, how you think I express the typical fan rage about lack of loyalty is completely inaccurate. I point out that player loyalty to teams died a long time ago. The cartoonist needs to get over the lack of loyalty, not me. I understand it completely. In no way did I ever express that players need have loyalty to fans. How you thought I felt that way is completely beyond me because in my post, never once did I mention that players are greedy or anything of such… Your final sentence is exactly what this cartoon is, a cheap shot. And youre right that its just a cartoon, but the message is clear cartoon or not.

      • slavetothetrafficlight - Feb 29, 2012 at 9:56 PM

        Why would they have an empty chair for a guy who changed teams 92 years ago? The only empty chair is Pujols’s.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Feb 29, 2012 at 5:22 PM

      You don’t really know much about the game, do you?

      • The Baseball Idiot - Feb 29, 2012 at 5:24 PM

        Daniel, not natstowngreg.

  5. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Perhaps they should have drawn all of these players as Cindy-Lou Who, asking the Grinch (Cards ownership) why? Why are you sending our icon away?

    It takes two to tango, so all of the blame for this should not fall on Albert.

    • Ari Collins - Feb 29, 2012 at 5:14 PM

      This. If teams aren’t showing loyalty to players, why should players to teams? The Cardinals weren’t offering close to what the Angels offered. St. Louis didn’t want him as much as LA did, so can you blame him for leaving?

      • paperlions - Feb 29, 2012 at 5:51 PM

        …because a 10 year $210M offer is disloyal?

        I didn’t know loyalty included signing players to crippling contracts that are likely to represent $100M overpays.

      • forsch31 - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:39 PM

        It wasn’t loyalty that angered some Cardinal fans; it was hypocracy.

        Pujols before the negotiations:
        “Do I want to be in St. Louis forever? Of course. People from other teams want to play in St. Louis and they’re jealous that we’re in St. Louis because the fans are unbelievable. So why would you want to leave a place like St. Louis to go somewhere else and make $3 million or $4 more million a year? It’s not about the money. I already got my money. It’s about winning, and that’s it.”

        Then, that’s exactly what he did (the Cardinals’ offer was about $3 million less a year, minus the 10-year personal sevices clause, which also apparently was a sticking point). Even then, the overall reaction was more disappointment (and relief that the Cardinals didn’t match the Angels’ offer) than anger. Only when Albert and especially his wife began complaining about not being respected by the Cardinals’ various offers (one of which would have made him a minority part-owner of the team) and using God to justify taking the Angels offer did the hackles rise.

  6. ezthinking - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Team loyalty was a farce when there was no free agency before 1976. So.. the few that stayed with one team did so because they had to. Afterwards, look at who teams sent away, Aaron, Mays, Griffey, Bonds, (fill in the blank). Somehow the teams don’t get hammered, it’s somehow the player’s fault.

  7. cur68 - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Too funny. The understatedness of this is awesome. But hey, where’s Posada?

    • stex52 - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      Or Biggio with the Astros?

      • cur68 - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:18 PM

        Hey Suzy (cheques in the mail). I’d have put a “seat in waiting” for Jeter.

  8. SmackSaw - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    “…Ruth’s empty chair? or Cobbs? or Rose?”

    They all finished their careers with other teams. Any baseball fan worth his salt would know that.

    • compadaniel - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:48 PM

      Key word: EMPTY CHAIR

      • SmackSaw - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM

        Point taken. You lumped them together after the question about Todd Helton. I took it as meaning that you didn’t realize that the others you mention had not finish their careers with one team. Upon rereading it, I now understand what you mean. It was a bit garbled.

      • compadaniel - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        thats fair, looking back I can see how it could be taken either.

    • kellyb9 - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:50 PM

      I think that was his point when he asked where their empty chairs were.

      • umrguy42 - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        Ah, but to ridiculously over-analyze it: That is obviously THIS year’s meeting, so having chairs for Ruth, Cobb, etc. wouldn’t make sense anyway, as those changes are long past. :p

    • nategearhart - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:55 PM

      He does know that…and that’s his point. Albert isn’t committing some kind of sin by leaving anymore than Ruth, Cobb or Rose did.

  9. shaggytoodle - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Hopefully there will be a spot for Braun at that table, when its all said and done.

  10. dcgfhouston - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    OK, sorry, I know it’s a cartoon and I shouldn’t be dissecting it to this level but since the bottom right says “perfect knights of the round table” and, so, there is only room for 12 and we are also assuming that you are at the table when you are alive and on the wall when you are dead and, as we know, Albert’s “not coming”, who does get the other seat or, like Stan was with Albert, do we keep a place aside empty until Jeter retires?

  11. compadaniel - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    to davebrownspiral: your attempt to deconstruct my post only resulted in you rambling on about a missed point. Just like SmackSaw above, you failed to read the words “EMPTY CHAIR”, as in where are the seats for the icons that left they’re original teams? Instead you go and quote field of dreams in reference to my mentioning of Ty Cobb? And suggest I inquire with artist about and original expanded master copy? Come on man… The replys to SmackSaw above understood what I wrote. And Todd Helton is an icon whether you like it or not. I don’t think there was any need to call my post ignorant, it’s just my opinion. Just like I replied to the st. louis fan, we’re all entitled to our opinions. You were clearly bothered by mine and I suggest just relaxing, maybe slow down and read posts thoroughly and try having a more respectful approach. I couldn’t care less what you think, and you shouldn’t care what I write… Hope you have a nice day!

  12. kalinedrive - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Where’s #6 in the Olde English D?

    • dcgfhouston - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:15 PM

      Al’s at the window with Carl and Craig. Waiting for someone to die, get their picture on the wall and free up a seat.

    • pestiesti - Feb 29, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      It is a St. Louis paper.

  13. hasbeen5 - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Chipper must be participating via teleconference.

  14. unclearnie - Feb 29, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    This cartoon looks to me like another “Albert wasn’t loyal like Stan was” comment. Let me remind you fine St Louis ball fans – Free Agency didn’t exist when Stan was playing. Who knows, maybe he would have been a Cubbie. (by the way, Stan the Man was my boyhood idol and I am not Anti-cardinals in any way)

    • blueintown - Mar 1, 2012 at 8:46 AM

      Don’t call them the Cubbies.

    • forsch31 - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:31 PM

      Stan’s there speaking because his grandson actually tweeted a picture of him and Stan holding a sign saying, “All I want for Christmas is for Pujols to be a Cardinal” back before Albert signed with the Angels. While Musial (and Gibby for that matter) did not see the opportunity of free agency during their careers, you’re forgotten that they have remained loyal to the club in their retirement, which is what fans remember as well. Both are Cardinals icons who continue to be active with the team and city.

      You’ll notice that the vast majority of players around the table played during the free agency era. If you’re focusing solely on Stan, you’re missing the point of the ‘toon–that Albert passed up the chance to be like Jeter, Gwynn, Rypkin, Kirby, Bench….all played either completely or partially in the era of free agency, and have or did stay with their original teams throughout their MLB careers. Pujols could have had the same unique reputation as they do, but instead he’ll spend nearly half of his career with another team. The cartoon is about the sadness of that fact to Cardinal and baseball fans. Yeah, it’s becoming more rare as time passes, but as the inclusion of Derek Jeter points out, it still is possible, and many people outside of the Cardinals fanbase throught it was possible with Pujols.

  15. umrguy42 - Feb 29, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    For all the “why isn’t __________ there?” comments, from the artist himself:

    “I could have stuffed about 30 players around the table and on the wall, but I had to choose to make the point. Players with distinctive looks from the modern era fit best. Ripken edged Broosk, for example. Clemente was a tough cut. He was on the wall, but it was too cluttered and the text had to go somewhere in the box — not, say, at the bottom as a caption. It only worked if it was tied to Musial. Gehrig drew the short straw because there were already too many Yankees.”

    • umrguy42 - Feb 29, 2012 at 8:19 PM


      “See, if they were all retired then the question would be — why a seat for Pujols? He’s not retired. The table had to include a player who is signed through (likely) the end of his career, thus offering a contrast with Pujols who did not sign the contract. There had to be a current, active and single-team player at the table to make the point or else the cartoon dates itself.”

  16. leftywildcat - Feb 29, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Koufax? Yaz? Schmidt? Aaron? Mathews? Killebrew?

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 29, 2012 at 11:03 PM

      Schmitty’s up there—all the way to the left.

    • yahmule - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:57 AM

      Koufax is there and Aaron went back to Milwaukee in a Brewer’s uniform.

  17. wingsrule12 - Feb 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Trammel and Kaline. Once again the Tigers get screwed.

  18. weaselpuppy - Feb 29, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    On of these things is not like the other…..Robin Yount? over Kaline? Or Yaz?

    who the heck said Biggio? really? Maybe at the kids table…

  19. yahmule - Mar 1, 2012 at 4:01 AM

    Goold managed to honor 17 great players in a one panel cartoon and people are going to bust on him for not including everybody.

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