Thursday, December 31, 2009

PTWSW #31: The 1934 St. Louis Cardinals

Manager: Frankie Frisch
Record: 95-58
Ballpark: Sportsman's Park
Owner: Sam Breadon
GM: Branch Rickey
Coaches: Mike Gonzalez, Buzzy Wares

Future Hall of Famers: Dizzy Dean, Leo Durocher, Frankie Frisch, Burleigh Grimes, Jesse Haines, Joe Medwick, Dazzy Vance

All-Stars: Dizzy Dean, Frankie Frisch, Pepper Martin, Joe Medwick

Team Leaders, Batting

Ripper Collins, .333
OBP: Ripper Collins, .393
SLG: Ripper Collins, .615 (NL leader)
OPS: Ripper Collins, 1.008 (NL leader)
2B: Ripper Collins, Joe Medwick, 40
3B: Joe Medwick, 18 (NL leader)
HR: Ripper Collins, 35 (NL leader)
RBI: Ripper Collins, 128
BB: Ripper Collins, 57
SB: Pepper Martin, 23 (NL leader)

Team Leaders, Pitching

Dizzy Dean, 30 (NL leader)
SO: Dizzy Dean, 195 (NL leader)
ERA: Dizzy Dean, 2.66
IP: Dizzy Dean, 311.2
CG: Dizzy Dean, 24
SHO: Dizzy Dean, 7 (NL leader)
K/BB: Paul Dean, 2.88
SV: Dizzy Dean, 7

(You think Ol' Diz might have been their ace?)


Oldest Player:
Dazzy Vance (b. March 4, 1891)

Youngest Player: Paul Dean (b. August 14, 1912)

First to Leave Us: Chick Fullis (d. March 28, 1946)

Last Survivor: Clarence Heise (d. May 30, 1999)

First in Majors: Dazzy Vance (debut April 16, 1915)

Last in Majors: Joe Medwick (final game July 25, 1948)

First to Play For the Franchise: Jesse Haines (April 14, 1920)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Joe Medwick (July 25, 1948)

Pre-union Team: The 1930-32 Giants had four each: Pat Crawford (1930), Chick Fullis, Francis Healy, Jim Mooney (1931-32) and Bill Walker.

Reunion Team: Like the previous two Cardinal champs, the reunion team was in Cincinnati. The 1937 Reds had four: Kiddo Davis, Spud Davis, Bill Hallahan and Lew Riggs. They were tied with the 1940 Dodgers, however. In addition to player-manager Leo Durocher, Brooklyn had Tex Carleton, Joe Medwick and Gene Moore that year.


Paul Dean, no-hitter on September 21
Dizzy Dean, NL MVP

Season Summary

When you think of the Cardinals these days you probably think of a quiet, unassuming Midwestern franchise rich with tradition and class. Back in the mid-'30s it was a different story. This group was a dirty, scrappy, raggedy bunch that fought and clawed its way to victory. That reputation earned them the nickname "The Gashouse Gang," since their lack of decorum resembled a bunch of kids from the wrong side of the tracks.

For two seasons Dizzy Dean had been the ace of some pretty average Cardinal staffs; in 1934 his younger brother Paul came onboard and gave St. Louis a formidable 1-2 punch. With a supporting cast of Tex Carleton, Bill Walker and Bill Hallahan, the Cards' pitching finished second in ERA+ and first in strikeout-to-walk ratio. Dizzy won the MVP based on his 30-7 record and 2.66 ERA, while simultaneously embodying the team's free-spirited everyman personality. On offense they led the NL in batting average, slugging average, doubles and stolen bases, while they were second in triples, homers and OPS+. All told, they scored the most runs in the Senior Circuit. Their fielding percentage and DER were both exactly league average.

The Cardinals' road to the World Series wasn't an easy one. They spent less than two weeks total in first place during the season, and they were stuck behind the Giants and Cubs most of the way. The final month was key. The Cardinals went 21-7 in September while their rivals both had losing records. Particularly damaging was the Giants' losing six of their last seven, a run which allowed the Cardinals to reach first place at just the right time. They won the pennant by only two games.

The Cards' World Series opponent was the Detroit Tigers, whom they beat in seven games. The Dean brothers were credited with all four St. Louis victories. Game 7 was an 11-0 Cardinal rout, but in one last display of Gashouse behavior, Joe Medwick spiked Tiger third baseman Marv Owen in the sixth, causing a fight and angering the Detroit crowd. The Motor City fans pelted him with debris after he returned to left field, and the scene was so bad that Medwick had to be removed from the game for his own safety.


Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac
Google News Archives

No comments:

Post a Comment