The Cardinals & Giants Represent Two Thirds Of The NL Royalty Trifecta

Cardinals & Giants Represent Two Thirds Of The NL Royalty Trifecta When discussing which franchises are the bellwethers of National League baseball, without question, the St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers, make up the penthouse floor of Senior Circuit royalty.

This level of historical significance adds even more intrigue to Monday night's winner-take-all battle for the NL championship.

Some observers may want to include the Chicago Cubs on this highly exclusive list. But, despite a national fan following and historic home ballpark, it is very difficult to look past the fact that Chicago has not won a World Series in more than a century.

Sorry Cubs fans.

The similarities between the Cardinals and Giants are quite staggering.

Both clubs' histories include two of the very top players in baseball history, Stan Musial and Willie Mays.

St. Louis and San Francisco also lay claim to Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds, the two men who shattered baseball's most hallowed records, as a result of the use of performance enhancing drugs.

If fans want to look past Bonds' steroid use and instead focus on his pre-growth hormone, Hall of Fame career, then it can be argued that the two greatest players of the last 25 years, Bonds and Albert Pujols, played for these very traditional franchises.

In addition, the combinations of Bob Gibson/Lou Brock and Juan Marichal /Willie McCovey, represent two of the greatest pitchers/position players of the 1960's and 70's.

Even going back to the first half of the 20th century, these teams gave the baseball public names like Rogers Hornsby, Dizzy Dean, Mel Ott and Carl Hubbell.

When discussing team accomplishments, these two iconic franchises have combined for 17 World Series championships (11 for STL, 6 for NY/SF) and 39 National League pennants (18 for STL, 21 for NY/SF).

Based on all of the above information, it seems only fitting that the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants are taking the field to decide the 2012 National League championship.

Nothing wrong with a little tradition, right?