It was obvious that Herzog wanted to put his stamp on the Cardinals when he took over in the middle of the 1980 season. He had a lot of talent, though, and it was good enough to win the 1982 World Series. The first move he made was trading SS Garry Templeton to the San Diego Padres for Ozzie Smith. This, of course, happened before the 1982 season. The team was very good and I don't think Smith was the reason won the World Series that year. But Smith was the reason the team maintained success over the next five seasons. The 1982 Cardinals had Keith Hernandez who was traded to the Mets in 1983, while 3B Ken Oberkfell would lose his 3B job after 1983 to Terry Pendleton.
The transition from the 1984 to 1985 Cardinals had the most moving parts. Starting catcher Darrell Porter platooned with Tom Nieto and was gone after 1985. George Hendrick was replaced by Andy Van Slyke. Lonnie Smith moved to the bench in favor of Vince Coleman. And Bruce Sutter signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Braves after the 1984 season. They also added power hitting 1B Jack Clark to solidify the middle of the order.
What was great about that team is the amount of speed at the top of the order. Coleman, Smith and Herr made up 1-3 in the lineup. That was followed by Clark, McGee and Pendleton. Van Slyke and the catcher rounded it out. The 1982 version had Smith, Herr and Hernandez, followed by Hendrick, Lonnie Smith, McGee, Porter and Oberkfell. Quite a different look after just three seasons. The 1985 team also brought in John Tudor, who was a tramendous acquisition. Joaquin Andujar and Bob Forsch were still factors in the rotation.
The thing that fascinates me the most is the fact that even though the team took a step back in 1983, then again in 1986, they got back to the top winning NL East Titles in 1985 and 1987. Most teams that turn the core of the team over end up losing for a couple seasons, then gradually get better. This team got back to the top quickly, and the credit is given to Herzog, which he deserves.