The Cardinals went 97-65 during the season and won the National League Central division by 13 games over the Houston Astros. In the playoffs, the Cardinals defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 3 games to 0 in the NLDS but lost to the San Francisco Giants 4 games to 1 in the NLCS.
Second baseman Fernando Viña, shortstop Edgar Rentería, third baseman Scott Rolen, and outfielder Jim Edmonds each won Gold Gloves this year.
On June 18, long-time broadcaster Jack Buck died at the age of 77, while four days later, pitcher Darryl Kile was found dead in a Chicago hotel room, at age 33.
December 11, 2001: Signed free agent pitcher Jason Isringhausen
June 9: Released pitcher José Rodríguez.
July 29: Traded third baseman Plácido Polanco, pitcher Mike Timlin, and pitcher Bud Smith to the Philadelphia Phillies for third baseman Scott Rolen, Doug Nickle and cash