Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 1961: A 7 Run Sixth Puts The Phillies Away

On September 30, 1961, behind 5 RBIs by Ken Boyer the Cardinals cruised to a 12-2 victory over the Phillies at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia. Curt Flood led the game off with a double and scored the first run of the game when Bill White picked up a double of his own. The Cardinals catcher Glen Oliver added another run with a solo shot in the top of the fourth, then the Phillies got that run back after Ray Washburn gave up back-to-back hits in the bottom of the inning before Clay Dalrymple picked up an RBI on a groundout. Flood tripled in the fifth, it didn't turn into a run but the Cardinals center fielder was having himself a good ole day at the ballpark. Washburn settled in after the hiccup inning and the Cardinals added some much needed breathing room in the sixth as they struck for 7 runs in the inning. Stan The Man led the inning off with a single, the Ken Boyer took the Philadelphia starter John Buzhardt deep and the Birds were on the verge of a crooked number. Glen Oliver followed Boyer and he picked up his second hit of the day, a double off of Buzhardt, which ended the pitcher's day but it didn't end the Phillies pain. Dallas Green took over on the bump and he issued a walk outfielder Doug Clemens right out of the gate. Shortstop Jerry Buchek got in on the fun by picking up an rbi with a single. Then the Cardinals starter, Washburn hit into a fielder's choice that eliminated Clemens at third and recorded the first out of the inning. Curt Flood kept the line moving with a single to left to load the bases. Then the next man up was Julian Javier, he hit a hot shot to short that looked like it should have been at least one out, instead it turned into an E6 and another Cardinals runner scored. The door had blown wide open, the score was 6-1 after Javier got on after the error and more runs were on the way. Bill White hit into the second fielder's choice of the inning, albeit a productive fielder's choice as Washburn came into score. Stan The Man capped off the monster inning with a single that brought both Flood and Javier into score. The club had started the inning with a slim 2-1 lead and walked out of it pummeling the Phillies 9-1. With Dallas Green still pitching for the Phillies in the eighth, the Cardinals struck for three more runs. Flood picked up his fourth hit of the contest with a one out single before Javier put him one second base with his first hit of the day. After Green walked Bill White, he picked up an out, then Ken Boyer struck again with a bases clearing double that was a proverbial nail in the coffin. Boyer's double opened the Cardinals lead to 12-1. Washburn gave up another run in the ninth but he was able to go the distance as the Cardinals completed the beatdown in Philly. There were three stars to this game in this one; Boyer with his 5 RBIs, Flood with a 4 for 4 performance that was just a home run shy of the cycle, and the complete game 7 strikeout performance by Washburn. While the Cards were out of the race at that point in the '61 season they went out on a positive note, the next day was the last of the regular season and Bob Gibson pitched a complete game shutout in a 2-0 win to cap it off.

Check out the box score:

Sunday, September 29, 2013

September 29, 1963: Stan The Man Musial's Career Comes To A Close

On September 29, 1963, an era in Cardinals baseball came to a close as Stan The Man Musial played in his last major league game. Musial ended his career much like it began, with two hits in a 3-2 victory at Sportsman's Park. 22 years earlier Musial was a 20 year old kid that had dreams of making it in the big leagues, he would not only achieve that dream he would reach legendary status. Before the contest against the Reds, there was a pregame ceremony to honor The Man. After a variety of speeches the always humble Stan thanked everyone and acknowledged it was a day he would not forget. His teammates presented him with a ring that had six diamonds in it shaped like his #6. Before the two teams took the field the owner of the club Gussie Busch made it be known that no other player would ever wear that #6 in a Cardinals uniform. The game that was set to take place had a couple of great pitchers ready to square off as Cincinatti sent 23 game winner Jim Maloney to the hill while the Cardinals countered with Bob Gibson who had 18 wins under his belt. Musial went down on strikes in his first at bat then in the fourth he ripped a single up the middle that got past a rookie second baseman by the name of Pete Rose. In the sixth Musial picked up his second single of the day that brought Curt Flood into score the first Cardinal run. It was the 3,630th hit f his career and his 1,815th at home. After that second hit the great Stan Musial was lifted from the game as Gary Kolb would come into pinch run for him. Ken Boyer and Bill White put together back-to-back singles before a Charlie James sac fly brought Kolb into score what would prove to be a very important run. With Gibson still on the mound in the ninth the Reds tied things up, it spoiled an 11 strikeout performance for the Cardinals hurler but it didn't spoil Musial's 3,026th game played. 3 hours and 45 minutes after the first pitch shortstop Dal Maxvill hit a walk off double to give Stan and the Birds a victory. After the game Musial said "Everyone was pulling for a home run, but I'm a singles hitter, so it seemed appropriate that I should go out with a pair of'em." While his playing days ended on that late September day in 1963 his legacy will live forever, generations to come will dream of the days when Musial came strolling to the plate at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis. There are so many great things you could say about Stan, one of those things is he not only showed people how to play ball, he showed people how they should live. He did it the right way on the field and in life. Hats off to the one and only Stan The Man Musial.

This is a video of Musial's last at bat:

Here's the final box score of Stan's career:

Saturday, September 28, 2013

September 28, 1952: Stan The Man Pitches

On September 28, 1952, Stan The Man Musial made the only pitching appearance of his big league career in a 3-0 loss to the Cubs at Sportsman's Park. Musial came into the contest leading the batting race with a .336 average with Cubs right fielder Frank Baumholtz trailing him by ten points. Before the game began the manager of the Cardinals Eddie Stanky got permission to let Musial pitch to Baumholtz and that's exactly what happened in the first inning. With a runner on first, Stanky moved Harvey Haddix to right and right fielder Del Rice to center while Musial was brought into pitch to Baumholtz. Normally a left-handed hitter, Baumholtz decided he didn't want to pick up a cheap hit off of Musial so he hit right handed. On the first pitch the Cubs batter hit a shot toward third that was mishandled by Solly Hemus which put Baumholtz on with an error. After the at bat Musial returned to his normal position for the rest of the game, he went 1 for 3 on the day and finished with a .336 average which was 11 points better than Baumholtz. Musial said after the game that he was not proud of being a part of a box office circus, and being the ultimate professional he was, he protested in vain that Baumholtz should have been credited with a hit. The batting title for Musial was the fifth of his career and his second in a row. Musial along with Ferris Fain of the Philadelphia Athletics achieved something that hadn't been done in 38 years, both players had won a batting title in back-to back seasons which hadn't been accomplished in both leagues since Detroit's Ty Cobb and Brooklyn's Jake Daubert won back-to-back batting titles in 1913 and 1914.

Here's the box score:

Friday, September 27, 2013

September 27, 1942: The Cardinals Clinch The National League Flag

On September 27, 1942,  on the last day of the regular season, the Cardinals clinched the National League
Pennant behind a 5 hit performance by Ernie White as the team rolled to a 9-2 win over the Cubs in the first game of a doubleheader at Sportsman's Park. After White gave up a run in the fourth, the Cardinals put together a four-run rally in the fifth. The inning began with a free pass from Lon Warneke to Whitey Kurowski, Marty Marion then worked the count to 3-2 before hitting a hot shot to short that took a bad hop and went over Len Merullo's head and rolled into left center. That put Marion at first and Kurowski standing at third. White helped his own cause with a single into center that brought in Kurowski to tie , before second baseman Jimmy Brown moved the runners over with a sacrifice. The next man up was Terry Moore, the Cardinals center fielder had been out of the lineup the last 12 days but showed no signs of rust as he connected with a single into center that brought both Marion and White. Enos Slaughter ran Warneke from the game with another single to center. Hi Bithorn took over pitching duties for the Cubbies with Stan Musial at the plate, Musial hit into a fielder's choice that forced Slaughter at second but still brought Moore into score. The four run inning was a huge blow in the ballgame that had the Cardinals sitting in the drivers seat. After the Cubs scored in the top of the seventh, the Cardinals added four more runs to the board on three singles, a base on balls, and two errors. White opened that inning with his second hit of the day, it was a shot over second baseman Lou Sturgeon's head, Jimmy Brown singled to left, then Moore bounced one to Sturgeon that he threw over Merullo's head to load the bases. This turn of events ended Bithorn's day and brought in Vern Olsen into try and get out of a huge jam. Bithorn wasn't up to the task, Slaughter brought White into score with a single into right. Stan Musial hit a slow roller to first baseman Phil Cavaretta that he decided to throw home in an effort to force Brown out at the plate. It looked like Cavaretta nailed him but Clyde McCullough dropped the ball and Brown scored the sixth Cardinals run of the day. With the bases still loaded Olsen walked in the seventh run with a free pass to the Cardinals catcher Walker Cooper , then the Birds added one more on a grounder by Johnny Hopp. The gate had blown wide open as the Cardinals held an 8-2 edge. They tacked on one more in the eighth one a single by Moore, it was his third hit of the day. The game ended with a long fly ball to Stan Musial in left, as soon as the ball hit his glove the team came from the dugout and the bullpen and lifted White on their shoulders. The Cardinals hurler called it the best game he had ever pitched, he struck out eight men, gave up one walk, while giving up the two runs. Musial, a 21 year-old rookie joked that the last catch was the best catch he had ever made in his life as he handed the ball over to White who would keep it as a souvenir.The team was jubilant and jovial after winning the ballgame, it was the first time they had won the pennant since the Gashouse Gang took the flag in '34. The Cardinals would go onto win the second game by the score of 4-1, rookie pitcher Johnny Beazley locked down his 21st victory and gave the Cardinals their 106th win of the season as they had just edged out the Brooklyn Dodgers who won 104. In early August the Cardinals trailed the Dodgers by ten games, while some people might have thought that Brooklyn would easily take the flag the team in St. Louis wasn't going to go without a fight. The team won 43 of their last 51 games that led to all the way to a National League Pennant. Musial, Beazley, Kurowski, and Harry Walker were all rookies in that '42 season and they had reached the top of the National League mountain at a rapid rate, on the other hand Terry Moore had arrived one year after the Gashouse Gang took the flag in '34. Moore could be heard shouting "It's been a long time coming" as he was overfilled with joy. One of the first people to greet the team was the great Dizzy Dean at that point Dean was calling all the home games for the Cardinals and he told the team "Boys I knowed you could do it and I'm proud of you as if I was playing with you myself." Dizzy went onto say "And I wanna tell you something else. The people's going to remember this team as long as baseball is played." With the team set to take on Joe DiMaggio's Yankees in the World Series, they were 2 to 1 underdogs which meant nothing to the Cardinals. Manager Billy Southworth, expressed confidence in his ballclub, he said "I know we have a tough battle on our hands against those Yankees, but I think we can beat them. Maybe not four in a row, but we'll beat them." He was right and so was Dizzy.

One of the papers I used as a reference point said this was the song playing in the locker room during interviews. The song is called "Amen" they called it a theme song for the season. I just found it interesting so I looked it up.

Here are the box scores for the final two games of that Championship Season:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

September 26, 1970: Carlton Avoids Losing His 20th With a Three Hit Gem

On September 26, 1970, Steve Carlton avoided losing his 20th game of the season by firing a 3 hitter in a 7-2 win over the Expos in Montreal. The game began with a double off the bat of Lou Brock before Bill Stoneman issued back-to-back walks to put the Expos starter in an immediate jam. Joe Torre eased the pressure on Stoneman by hitting into a double play that still plated a run. Stoneman drilled Jose Cruz in the second, both teams were warned for throwing at each other in the third which led to an ejection of the Expos manager Gene Mauch, before Stoneman was sent to the showers after drilling Joe Torre to lead off the fourth. Carlton gave up a run in the fifth and the two teams remained tied at one until the eighth when Torre broke up the tie with a two run double, two batters later Ted Simmons knocked Torre in with a single that put the Birds up 4-1. The Cards tacked on 3 more in the top of the ninth and were sitting in the drivers seat. Carlton served up a long ball in the bottom of the ninth to second baseman Gary Sutherland before setting the next three men down in a row. The win was Carlton's 10th of the year, he walked just two men, and struck out 6 in the three hit performance. Not only did the W keep Carlton from notching his 20th loss of the year, it kept the Cardinals lefty from becoming the first Cardinal to lose 20 games in a season since Jesse Haines posted a 13-20 record in 1920. Carlton turned things around the next season by posting a 20-9 record for the Redbirds.

Here's the box score:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

September 25, 1953: Haddix Wins His 20th

On September 25, 1953, Harvey Haddix locked down his 20th win of the season with a complete game effort that had the Cardinals prevail 11-2 over the Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Haddix had the bats of Red Schoendienst and Stan Musial come through big for him. Schoendienst put together a 4 for 6 day that included a double, four RBI's, and two runs scored, while Musial went 2 for 4 with two runs scored with one of them coming via the longball  when he parked  the 256th homer of his career over the wall in the sixth inning. Haddix, a 27 year old rookie, scattered 7 hits throughout while striking out 10 of the Cubs batters. Statistically it was the best year of Haddix's 14 year career in the majors. He pitched a total of 19 complete games and struck out 163 while carrying a 3.09 earned run average. Only two other rookie pitchers have won 20 games in a season since 1953, Bob Grim of the New York Yankees went 20-6 the following season, then it would take more than 30 years for another rookie to reach the 20 win plateau. In 1985, Tom Browning of the Cincinnati Reds joined the exclusive rookie club as he posted a 20-9 record which was identical to Haddix's record in '53.

Check out box score: 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

September 24, 1926: The First Ever Pennant Clincher For The Cardinals

On September 24, 1926, the Cardinals clinched the National League Pennant for the first time ever with a 6-4 victory over the Giants at the Polo Grounds in New York. The game was broadcast over more than 50 loudspeakers in downtown St. Louis with thousands of fans listening to the play-by-play in anticipation of the pennant clinching victory. It didn't start out the way Cardinals fans would like when Giants outfielder took Flint Rhem deep in the first that put the club down 3-0. It took no time for the Cardinals to respond, Lester Bell doubled, then took third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Bob O'Farrell. Shortstop Tommy Thevenow kept the line moving by getting on with a double, then the Cardinals starter day ended as he was lifted for pinch hitter Specs Toporcer. The move paid off as Toporcer doubled in the tying run, then Billy Southworth connected with a two-run shot that gave the Cardinals a 5-3 lead. It was all they would need as Wee Willie Sherdel took over pitching duties and went the rest of the way allowing 7 hits and just one run. The Cards added a little insurance with a run in the seventh before the Giants plated their final run of the contest in the eighth. As the final out was recorded  and the Cardinals laid claim to the National League Flag, the City of St. Louis began a party that they hadn't had since 1888 when the club won the pennant as a member of the American Association when they were known as the Browns. According to the Sporting News, "Great cheers went up from these many assemblages, and immediately a demonstration was on. Factory whistles shrieked, automobilists tooted their horns, trucks went about with cutouts open and the drivers were backfiring their engines, impromptu bands and parades were organized and howling thousands surged through the streets, tying up traffic in general. From office buildings, great wads of paper, ticker tape, and confetti were released, falling like snow of a Dakota blizzard on the pavement below." The party had merely started as the fans were eager to welcome the National League Champions home with great celebrations planned. This was the beginning of a new era in Cardinal baseball.

Check out the box score:

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 1930: The Cardinals Explode With 26 Hits In Philly

On September 23, 1930, behind a 26 hit performance, the Cardinals outlasted the Phillies in a 19-16 win at the Baker Bowl in Philadelphia. The Birds found themselves with an 11-0 lead before the Phillies catcher Tony Rensa hit a grand slam in the bottom of the fourth. The Phillies added four more in the bottom of the fifth and it started to look as if they might just pull off a comeback. The Cardinals answered back with three runs in the sixth, then four more in the seventh to open up an 18-8 lead. The last place Phillies didn't lay down for the league leading Cardinals even when it looked as if they were going to beat them with ease. The Philadelphia club scored three in the bottom of the seventh then the Birds came back with a run of their own in the ninth before surviving a five run Philadelphia rally to hold on to the 19-16 victory. It was a crazy game in Philly that day the two teams had ten doubles between them with seven of them coming off the bats of Cardinals hitters Frankie Frisch and Sparky Adams led the Cardinals offensive outburst with 4 hits apiece while catcher Gus Mancuso led the team with 4 ribbies with a 3 for 6 performance. The only home run in this high scoring affair was off the bat of the Phillies catcher Rensa. The victory gave the Cardinals a 2 and a 1/2 game lead over the second place Cubs. The Birds had five more to play while the Baby Bears had four, the Cards would finish two games ahead and go onto meet the Philadelphia A's in the Fall Classic. It would take 78 years for the Cardinals to match the 26 hits in a game, they accomplished that in 2008 with an 18-3 beatdown of the Atlanta Braves.

Check out the box score:

The Baker Bowl featured another very memorable game for the Cardinals. Just one year earlier they set the modern National League record with 28 run on 28 hits. That game was nowhere near as close as the 19-16 victory in 1930. You can read about it here:      

Sunday, September 22, 2013

September 22,1987: The White Rat's Strategy Pays Off

On September 22, 1987, Whitey Herzog pushed all the right buttons in a 3-2 win over the Phillies at Busch. The skipper made an unusual move in the bottom of the ninth when he removed closer Todd Worrell after the hurler gave up a long ball to Mike Schmidt that brought the Phillies within one run of tying the ballgame. Herzog brought in Ken Dayley to pitch to the hard hitting Von Hayes and moved Worrell to the outfield, after Dayley fanned Hayes, Worrell was moved back to the mound and retired the next two batters to earn his 32nd save of the year. The White Rat said "Todd's become a good outfielder. He shags balls in warm ups everyday. I wouldn't be afraid to put him in center." When Worrell was asked about the move he said It's not surprising because it's happened two times before." He recalled the last time they did it he finished the game in the outfield while Dayley struck Bobby Bonds for the final out of a game in June of the last season. With the Cardinals heading into the final weeks of the season the race was tight and the win gave the Birds a 3 and a 1/2 game lead over the Mets in the National league East and reduced their magic number to 9. The Cardinals skipper did whatever it took to win ballgames, he might have used an unusual strategy but it was an effective strategy that helped the Cardinals add a much needed W to the win column as they held off the Mets to take the division title.

Check out the box score:

Chris Duncan and Anthony Stalter did an interview with Worrell on 101.1 ESPN in July that has the ex Cardinals pitcher  reflect on his days with The White Rat check it out here:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

September 21, 1934: The Dean Brothers Steal The Show In Brooklyn

On September 21, 1934, Dizzy and Daffy Dean put on an absolute dominant show in both ends of a doubleheader at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York. With Dizzy on the mound in the first game he turned in a 3 hitter behind a 17 hit attack that led to a 13-0 shutout. The Cardinals offense was led by Ripper Collins in that first game, the first baseman went 4 for 5 which included 2 doubles and his 34th home run of the season. Dizzy went 7 innings before he gave up a hit, he said he didn't realize he had held the Dodgers hitless so long and if he did he might have beared down in the last couple of innings to complete the no-hitter, nonetheless it was a masterful performance by the Cardinals ace and secured his 27th win of that championship season. His brother Paul a.k.a. Daffy outdid his older brother, he pitched the third no-hitter in the history of the franchise. With two outs in the first, Daffy walked Len Koenecke then set down the next 25 men in a row. To cap off the feat, Daffy scored the first run of the ballgame for the Birds after picking up a double in the sixth. He finished the masterpiece off with a groundout off the bat of Ralph Boyle in the bottom of the ninth, then the fans in the stands at Ebbets stormed the field and celebrated the victory with the 21 year-old rookie. It was his 18th win of that '34 season. After the game Dizzy joked that he could have done better. He said "If Paul would have told me he was gonna pitch a  no-hitter, I'd of thowed one too." Another great day in Cardinal Nation.

The three hits were the fewest  ever managed by one team in a doubleheader, it was a record that stood until 1992 when Boston Red Sox hurler Matt Young tossed a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians  but still manged to lose the game 2-1, Young's performance was followed by a two-hit performance by Roger Clemens in a 3-0 win for the Sox.

Check out the box scores
Dizzy's Gem:
Daffy's No-No:

Friday, September 20, 2013

September 20, 1928: George Harper Becomes The First Member of the St. Louis Cardinals to Go Deep Three Times in One Contest

On September 20, 1928, in an 8-5 win over the Giants at the Polo Grounds in New York, outfielder George Harper became the first man in the history of the Cardinals organization to hit three home runs in one game. Harper accomplished the feat in the first game of a doubleheader that had pennant implications on the line as the Giants came into the day trailing the Cardinals by just two games as both teams were fighting for the National League crown. Harper began his history making day with a solo shot off of Rube Benton in the second that put the Cardinals on the board first. He continued his assault on the baseball with a three run shot off of Benton in the sixth that opened up a 5-0 lead. The Giants did most of their damage with home runs off the bats of catcher Shanty Hogan and second baseman Bill Terry and by the time the top of the eighth rolled around the Cards were clinging to a narrow 6-5 lead, then Harper hit his third long ball of the day. This time it was a two-run shot off of Jack Scott that gave the Redbirds a little breathing room. The Cardinals starter Bill Sherdel pitched two scoreless innings to cap off the victory while locking down his 19th win of the season. The Giants took the second game by the score of 7-4, but the day ended just like it started with the Cardinals two games in front for the lead in the National League. Nine days later they would clinch the National League Pennant as they held on to the two game edge on their way to a World Series appearance. The home runs by Harper were the 15th, 16th, and 17th for him in a Redbird uniform and the last three of that season for the 36 year old well traveled outfielder. He spent just one season with the Birds, in that one year he made history with three swings of the bat as he sent the ball over the wall in New York.

Check put the box score:

You can check out Harper's career numbers here:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

September 19, 1980: Hendrick Completes The Rally

On September 19, 1980, the Cardinals pulled off an exciting comeback 9-8 win over the Expos at Busch. It was a tight battle between the clubs until the top of the seventh inning when Expo catcher Gary Carter hit a grand slam that opened up a 7-2 lead for the club from Montreal. The Cards came out in the bottom of the seventh and cut the lead to 7-6 on six singles and a groundout before the Birds tied it up on a throwing error by backup third baseman Ken Macha. The Cardinals momentum didn't last long, Ellis Valentine brought in the go ahead run with a sac fly in the top of the ninth and once again it was looking like the Expos might get out of there with a W. The men on that Cardinals bench had other ideas. Garry Templeton began the ninth with a quick groundout before Keith Hernandez and Ted Simmons hit back-to-back singles that put the winning run at first base. With George Hendrick coming to the dish Bobby Bonds was sent in to pinch run for Simmons as the Birds had victory on the horizon. Hendrick found himself in an 0-2 hole after fouling off the first three pitches, then he got the pitch he was waiting for and smashed a double into the left center gap that brought Hernandez and Bonds flying into score to win  it in walkoff fashion. While the Cardinals had found themselves out of the race late in the '80 season they still played to win and on this day they were the spoiler. The Expos were in the middle of a heated race between them and the Phillies for the National League East title. They would lose that race by one game which eliminated them from the playoffs. The Phillies went onto win the World Series while the Expos club could only wonder what might have been.

Check out the box score:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

September 18, 1968: 24 Hours After Watching The Birds Get No-Hit Ray Washburn Returns The Favor

On September 18, 1968, less than 24 hours after being no-hit by San Francisco Giants hurler Gaylord Perry, Ray Washburn returned the favor by no-hitting the Giants in a 2-0 Cardinals victory. It was the first time in the history of the game that two teams no-hit each other on back-to-back days. Washburn, a  30 year old seasoned veteran worked around two first inning walks by striking out Willie Mays and Dick Dietz to get out of the jam. It was the only time in the game that Washburn allowed a man to reach second base, he did walk three more men while striking out seven men on his way to becoming the fifth pitcher in the history of the organization to record a no-hitter. Washburn was provided with all the run support he would need with an rbi double of the bat of Mike Shannon in the seventh, then Curt Flood picked up a ribbie with a single in the eighth for a little insurance. It took 138 pitches to complete the no-hit bid, he recorded the last three outs of the game with a pair of groundouts by Ron Hunt and Willie Mays before he got Willie McCovey to hit a soft liner to Curt Flood to complete the feat, it was only the second ball of the day that left the infield. The day before Perry outdueled Bob Gibson and needed just 101 pitches to complete his no-hitter. Gibby scattered 4 hits with one of those being a first inning homer off the bat of Ron Hunt that the Cardinals couldn't get past as Perry shut down the Cardinals lineup. While the Giants were flying high after Perry's no-hitter, Washburn brought them right back down to earth as he matched the performance with a no-hitter of his own.

Only one other time had there been no-hitters tossed at a ballpark in consecutive days. It happened in 1917 when the St. Louis Browns no-hit the Chicago White Sox at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, but it happened over three games. The first no-no was tossed by Ed Koob on May 5th then the second no-no was tossed by Robert Groom in the second game of a doubleheader the next day.

Here's the box score from Washburn's no-no:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 17, 1941: Stan The Man Musial Makes His Major League Debut

On September 17, 1941, a 20 year old kid by the name of Stan Musial made his major league debut in the second game of a doubleheader against the Boston Braves at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis. The Cardinals had taken the first game by the score of 6-1 and were looking for a doubleheader sweep as they were in a heated pennant race with the league leading Dodgers. Musial, just called up from Rochester went 2 for 4 and put the Cards on the board with a two RBI double in the third inning. The Braves tied things up in the seventh after Cardinals second baseman Creepy Crespi committed and error that enabled Frank Demaree to reach first. Eddie Moore followed him with a triple that scored the first Braves run. Then Gene Moore plated the tying run with a single into right. With the score still knotted at 2 in the bottom of the ninth, Cardinals left fielder Estel Crabtree parked one in the seats to make Musial's debut a memorable one. Musial would play in 12 games with the Birds in '41, he showed he had what it took to be in the big leagues by carrying a .426 average over those 12 games. The Cardinals fell just 2 1/2 games short of winning the National League pennant but it was the beginning of one of the finest eras in Cardinals baseball, as The Man had arrived. He would go onto have one of the most storied careers in the history of the game. When he was first inked to a deal by the team in 1938, he was projected to be a pitcher, only to have arm problems change that course. It's a good thing those arm problems happened as he became the most prolific hitter in the history of the franchise and is at or near the top of many all time offensive categories, not only for the team but for all of major league baseball. Stan topped the .300 mark 17 times and won 7 batting titles with his famous corkscrew stance that produced 3,630 hits, 1,951 RBIs, and 475 home runs. Musial took the first of three MVP awards home in '43, then captured the other two in '46 and '48. In that MVP season of 1948, Musial fell just one home run short of capturing the triple crown. He helped lead the Cardinals to three World Series titles and appeared in a record 24 All Star games, that's a record he shares with Willie Mays and Hank Aaron. He earned his nickname "The Man" in '46 as he wreaked havoc on the Dodgers fans in Brooklyn, when they saw him strolling to the dish there was a collective "Uh oh. Here comes The Man.", as he was well on the way to becoming a legend. There is no athlete past or present that I admire more than Stan The Man Musial, he is one of the biggest reasons that I started this page and every time I get to bring you a Stan fact is a great day for me.

Check out the box score:

This is an absolute great video that highlights Musial's career:

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 1924: Bottomley Breaks The RBI Record With a 6 for 6 Performance

On September 16, 1924, Jim Bottomley hit his way straight into the record books with a 6 for 6 performance that led to a record setting 12 RBIs in a 17-3 rout over the Dodgers at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. To call Bottomley a one man wrecking crew might be the understatement of the 20th century. Bottomley's day at the dsh went as follows; he started things off with a two RBI single in the first, then doubled in another run in the second, hit a grand slam in the  fourth, blasted a two run shot in sixth, and singled in two more runs in the seventh before breaking the RBI record with an RBI single in the ninth. The RBI record was matched by Mark Whiten when he went yard four times in one contest in 1993. Bottomley recorded a total of  13 bases in the contest and crossed the plate three times on his way to establishing the new mark. Before Bottomley's 12 RBI day the record had stood at 11, it had been set by Wilbert Robinson in 1892, Robinson was the Dodgers manager when Bottomley broke the record.

Check out the box score:

Sunday, September 15, 2013

September 15, 1950: Munger's Complete Game Victory in Relief

On September 15, 1950, Cardinals starter Cloyd Boyer hurt his arm in pregame warmups which led the Cardinals skipper Eddie Dyer to call on Red Munger who turned in a complete game performance in a 6-2 win over the Dodgers at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. Despite the fact that Munger went the distance he was not credited with the start but did get credit for the complete game. He might be the only pitcher that pitched a complete game but technically didn't start for the club that day. The game had drama from the start as the Dodgers skipper Burt Shotton played it under protest after a call at the plate gave the Cardinals an early 1-0 lead. The incident occurred when umpire Dusty Boggess called third baseman Tommy Glaviano safe at the plate, after a Red Schoendienst double brought him into score. The Brooklyn catcher Bruce Edwards immediately argued the call, he thought that Glaviano didn't touch the plate and the run should not count. While the argument was going on, Glaviano slid into the dish once again and the ump signaled him safe. This sent the Dodgers manager onto the field to consult with the crew chief Babe Pinelli who signaled Glaviano out. This sent the Cardinals bench into a frenzy and suddenly it was the Redbirds arguing with the umps, along with manager Eddie Dyer, Stan Musial, and Enos Slaughter argued that the catcher would have had to tag Glaviano at the original decision to call the runner safe was held up, pretty crazy start to a ballgame. After all the drama Munger scattered 9 hits with one of those hits being a home run off the bat of Dick Snider. While the Brooklyn hurler Don Newcombe was victimized by two sixth inning errors by Pee Wee Reese that led to three Cardinal runs, it was an inning they couldn't overcome as the Cardinals rolled to victory.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

September 14, 1915: Rogers Hornsby Picks Up His First Major League Hit

On September 14, 1915, Rogers Hornsby picked up the first hit of his major league career in a 6-2 win over the Brooklyn Robins at Robison Field in St. Louis. Hornby would only go onto become of the greatest hitters in the history of the game, only Ty Cobb's career batting average of .366 is above Hornby's .358. Hornsby would pick up a grand total of 2,930 hits over the course of 23 years in the big leagues, 2,110 of those hits came with the birds on the bat across his chest.  He played with the club from 1915 to 1926, then again in 1933. He not only holds the highest career batting average for a Cardinal, he ranks among the best in just about every offensive category in the all time rankings in the history of the organization. Among the all time Cardinals records, Hornsby's .427 on base-percentage ranks third, his .568 slugging percentage ranks fifth, he recorded 143 triples which is second to only Stan Musial, he scored 1,069 runs which is good for third, his 2,110 hits in a Redbirds uniform is also good for third. He sits seventh on the all time Cardinals list with 193 home runs, fourth in RBIs with 1,072, fourth in doubles with 367, and ninth in games played with 1,580.  Hornsby was a just a kid when the Cardinals found him playing ball in the Texas-Oklahoma League in Denison, Texas. When he made his debut with the team four days before he picked up his first hit he was 19 years old and had his whole life ahead of him, it was life that would lead to legendary status.

Friday, September 13, 2013

September 13, 1990: Rookie Ray Lankford Shines In Win Over the Expos

On September 13, 1990, Cardinals rookie Ray Lankford turned in a 3 for 5 performance in a 6-4 victory over the Expos in Montreal. The 23 year old Lankford put the Cardinals on the board early with an rbi single in the first inning, then added to the run total with a solo shot in the fifth. It was the second home run of his career. The game also featured another rookie by the name of Omar Olivares who pitched his way to the first major league win of his career. Olivares gave up 6 hits and allowed 3 runs in six innings of work. John Tudor took over on the mound in the seventh and kept the Expos off the board before handing the ball over to Lee Smith in the ninth, who was set to close the door. Things got interesting for Smith in that final frame, a Redbird error led to an Expo run before the Cardinals locked down his 30th save of the season. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

September 12, 1959: Boyer Extends His Hitting Streak To 29

On September 12, 1959,  Ken Boyer went 2 for 5 with a home run and a triple in a 6-4 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago. It was Boyer's 29th consecutive game with a hit and a personal best for the man who was named team captain earlier that season. Boyer was assisted by a complete game, 10 strikeout performance from a 23 year old rookie hurler by the name of Bob Gibson. The Cardinals Captain took care of extending the streak in the first with a two run shot that put the Birds on the board first. The Cards never trailed in this one Gibby had a comfortable 6-1 lead until he served up a 3 run shot to Walt Moryn that tightened things up a bit. The young pitcher shut the Chicago lineup down the rest of the way to pick up the second win of his career. Unfortunately Boyer's impressive streak came to an end the next day, however, it is still good for the fourth longest hitting streak in the history of the Cardinals organization. Only Rogers Hornsby, Stan Musial, and Albert Pujols have extended a hitting streak beyond 29 games, Hornsby set the record for the organization with 33 in 1922, Musial reached 30 in 1950, and Pujols tied Musial with 30 in a row in 2003.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 11, 1985: Tudor Outlasts Gooden

On September 11, 1985, in a battle of aces at Shea Stadium in New York, John Tudor picked up his third consecutive shutout as he went the distance in a 1-0 ten inning Redbird win. The Cardinals lefty struck out seven, walked two, and allowed just three hits in the extra inning pitching gem. The Mets countered with Dwight Gooden who pitched a gem of his own, striking out seven, while allowing five hits and three walks. All three of Gooden's walks came in the eighth inning, he started the inning with back-to-back free passes before working his way around the jam. Gooden's day ended after being lifted for a pinch hitter in the ninth which failed to produce a run. The Mets skipper Davey Johnson went to Jesse Orosco to pitch the tenth  and he would find himself trailing after Cesar Cedeno led the top of the inning off with a solo shot. Cedeno was only in the game after pinch running in the eighth and the tenth inning blast was his only at bat of the game. The Mets threatened briefly in the bottom of the tenth after Tudor gave up a hit to leadoff the inning. The runner was quickly erased with a double play off the bat of Keith Hernandez. With one more out to go Tudor walked Gary Carter and had Darryl Strawberry who could have won it for the Mets with one swing of the bat. Tudor made quick work of Strawberry by picking up his seventh and final strikeout of the game. Cedeno was acquired for a bag of potato chips in late August and proved to be a truly great acquisition, he was 10 for 23 with three home runs since coming over to the Birds and his bat would stay hot as the club made a charge at the National League Pennant.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

September 10, 1963 Musial Becomes The First Grandpa To Hit Home Run

On September 10, 1963, in an 8-0 win over the Cubs at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, Stan Musial became the first grandfather to hit a homerun. The night before Musial and his wife Lil stayed up well after midnight hoping to hear the news of their first grandchild's birth, they would eventually try and grab a few hours of sleep before popping out of bed just before 5 a.m., the phone call came from Stan's son Dick soon after and Musial was a Grandfather to a baby boy. The Man went to the ballpark and handed out cigars to his manager and teammates before the game against the Cubs, then he promptly made history with his first swing in his first at bat with a long ball that landed on the roof of the pavillion in right. Stan wasn't only a new Grandfather, he had the most home runs ever hit by a Grandfather with 1. It was Musial's 474th home run of his legendary 22 year career. He hit one more before the season and his career as a player came to an end. I can only imagine how that legendary smile beamed as he chatted with his teammates on that day in '63. There were many great days in the life of Stan The Man Musial, it had to be one of the greatest.

The homer overshadowed a complete game victory by Bob Gibson who also hit a 3 run shot in the contest as the team had won their 13th game in their last 14.The '63 squad kept up their winning ways for a few more days, then hit a skid which led to a second place finish for the team.

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Monday, September 9, 2013

September 9, 1923: Eddie Dyer Pitches The Birds To Victory In His First Major League Start

On September 9, 1923, Eddie Dyer made his first major league start for the Redbirds and pitched a nine inning complete game in 3-0 win over the Cubs at Sportsman's Park. Verne Clemons and Milt Stock knocked in a run apiece in the second, then Jack Smith added the last Cardinals run with a solo shot in the third, meanwhile Dyer was dealin. The pitcher walked two men, struck out five, and scattered eight hits in the victory. Dyer also picked up a hit in the contest for the Birds who had nine in the game. His shutout effort was held together with some sensational defense in the ninth. Dyer walked a man before Cubs third baseman John Kelleher hit what looked like a sure hit over second base only to be snagged by the Cards shortstop Howard Freigau that had to make a diving play toward the bag. Freigau flipped the ball to his second baseman Specs Toporcer for the force at second. Then Toporcer turned the double play with a bullet to Rogers Hornsby at first base. Any thoughts of a Cub rally were quickly dashed with the 90 year old web gem and the rookie pitcher picked up a win in his first start in the majors. Dyer, best known for managing the '46 club to the World Series played six years in the majors was primarily a reliever, he posted a 15-15 record before an arm injury ended his playing days in 1927.

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

September 8, 1998: Big Mac Hits *62

On September 8, 1998, in a 6-3 win over the cubs at Busch, Mark McGwire broke the single season home run record with his 62nd blast of the year. Just one day earlier the slugger tied Roger Maris' record with his 61st bomb and the electricity was in the air as all 43,644 at Busch knew that with one swing of the bat they would witness history. That swing came in the top of the fourth, the Cards were down 2-0 and the powerful McGwire came to the dish with thousands of flash bulbs popping in anticipation of the moment. It came with Big Mac down 0-2 before he pounced on the Steve Trachsel pitch that was a hard liner that just snuck over the wall in left. It was his shortest home run of the year at 341 feet, yet it was the biggest home run of his career. The excitement by McGwire as he reached first base was off the charts, he nearly forgot to tag the base while celebrating the milestone with first base coach Dave Mckay. The trot around the bases was like no other trot before, he was the single season home run king. As he stepped on home plate his teammates mobbed him he found his son and held him in the air, it was truly a great moment. The Cubs right fielder Sammy Sosa who was in search of the crown was sitting on 58 on that September night came running in to congratulate Big Mac. That summer those two sluggers formed a bond as they both were in pursuit of a record that had stood for 37 years. While I know the records were tainted, the summer of '98 was something special in St. Louis, the electricity that ran through the air could have powered all of Times Square. As time progressed the use of performance enhancers came to light and it has definitely cast a shadow on a very memorable summer. I do not condone how McGwire was able to put up the ridiculous numbers he did, but I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it. I loved every minute of it. Big Mac finished that campaign with 70 jacks while Sosa sat at 66, the record was surpassed by Barry Bonds in '07 when he hit 73 and that is where it sits today. I honestly do believe that Maris should still be considered the home run king and the records set by the known juicers should simply have an asterisk. Time will tell how history looks at back on the great home run chase of '98, I know I will always look back at as a fond memory, however, my memory will have an asterisk next to it.

I've always been a fan of this video:

Check out the box score:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

September 7, 1993: Hard Hittin Mark Whiten Hits 4 Bombs In Cincy

On September 7, 1993, in the second game of a doubleheader at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Hard Hittin Mark Whiten hit four home runs in a 15-2 beatdown of the Reds. The first game was a hard one to swallow, but it was a wild one. The two teams used a record 15 pitchers and 98 batters saw 350 pitches. There were 5 blown leads, 27 runs, 36 hits, and 13 walks scattered throughout. The seesaw battle went to the Reds by the score of 14-13 after Whiten mishandled a ball in right in the bottom of the ninth to give the Reds the lead. Whiten did score a run and pick up an rbi in that contest despite the fact he didn't get a hit. The Cardinals slugger who started the day off with 18 home runs would shake off  the last game in grand fashion, he started the first game off with a grand salami off of Larry Luebbers. After the first tilt no lead seemed safe and the Reds came back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first off of Cardinals starter Bob Tewksbury. Tewks locked in after the rough inning and was lights out as he went the distance for the Whiten powered Redbirds. Whiten struck again in the sixth with his second home run of game, it was a 3 run bomb off of Reds rookie Mark Anderson who Whiten victimized in the seventh with his third bomb which was another 3 run shot. The historic fourth blast came in the ninth off of Rob Dibble, it was a two run shot deep to center that put Whiten in a very elite club as he was just the 12th man to hit four bombs in one game. At the end of the second game, Whiten had not only hit the four blasts, he had knocked in 12 RBIs which tied a 69 year old record set by another Cardinal Jim Bottomley who set the record in 1924. Whiten finished the day with 13 RBIs after picking one up one in the first game despite the fact that he went 0 for 4, the 13 ribbies tied the record for most RBIs in a doubleheader.  To date, Whiten is the only member of the St. Louis Cardinals to hit four blasts in one game.

Check out the box scores
The first crazy game:
The Whiten 4 Bomb Game:

MLB Network did a great piece on Whiten's 4 home run game, you can watch it here:

Friday, September 6, 2013

September 6, 1988: Jose DeLeon Dominates The Expos at Busch

On September 6, 1988, Jose DeLeon outdueled Montreal's Dennis Martinez in a 1-0 win over the Expos at Busch. DeLeon scattered three hits, struck out twelve, and scored the lone run of the contest. The run came in the third inning after DeLeon doubled off of Martinez then was knocked in by Vince Coleman. Whitey Herzog pointed out two key defensive plays that kept the Expos from doing any damage, the first was a diving stop by second baseman Jose Oquendo in the seventh that kept a runner from scoring. Then catcher Tony Pena nailed Rex Hudler who was trying to steal a base in the eighth to stop any momentum the Montreal squad thought they had. It was a true duel at Busch as Martinez matched DeLeon by giving up only three hits, the Cardinals pitcher picked up two of those three. DeLeon's 12 strikeouts were the most for a Cardinals pitcher since Pete Vuckovich recorded the same amount in June of '79 and they brought his strikeout total to 178 on the season. DeLeon would finish the '88 campaign with a total of 208 K's, it was the first time a pitcher had reached the 200 strikeout mark since Bob Gibson struck out 208 men in 1972. DeLeon followed it up with 201 strikeouts in '89.

Check out the box score:

Thursday, September 5, 2013

September 5, 1935: Terry Moore Goes 6 for 6 Against the Braves In St. Louie

On September 5, 1935, Cardinals rookie Terry Moore went 6 for 6 in a 15-3 beatdown of the Boston Braves at Sportsman's Park. To date, Moore and Jim Bottomley are the only two players in the history of the Cardinals organization to pick up 6 hits in a ballgame. Bottomley did it twice, he first accomplished the feat in 1924 then again 1931 before he was joined by Moore in 1935.  While Moore just missed being a part of the World Series winning Gashouse Gang of '34, he had a very bright future with the Redbirds as he developed into one of the best center fielders in the history of the organization. He was a key member of the World Series Championship squads of  '42 and '46 as he not only held his own at the plate, but he played what would be considered Gold Glove defense in center, if the award existed he would have undoubtedly had a shelf full of them.

Check out the box score:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 4, 1983: Willie McGee's Ninth Inning RBI Propels The Birds To Victory

On September 4, 1983, Willie McGee knocked in the game winner in a 5-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds at Busch. The Cardinals organization honored the Reds catcher before the game as Bench was set to retire at the end of the season. The Cincy backstop erased a 4-1 lead with one swing of the bat in the eighth with a long ball off of the Cardinals closer Bruce Sutter. It was the 388th home run of Bench's career, he finished with 389. While the wind was knocked out of the team after Bench went yard, Willie and his teammates would put it behind them real quick after Lonnie Smith doubled to start off the bottom of the ninth, then was followed by an intentional to Ozzie Smith as the Reds were looking to setup the double play. McGee erased all hope for the double play with a shot up the middle that brought Lonnie into score the game winner to spoil Bench's day at the ole ballpark.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September 3, 2001: Cardinals Rookie Bud Smith Tosses a No-No In San Diego

On September 3, 2001, Bud Smith struck out 7 and walked four men on his way to pitching the tenth no-hitter in the history of the Cardinals organization as the Birds sailed to a 4-0 win over the Padres in San Diego. The 21 year old Cardinals rookie had never pitched past the seventh inning at the major league level. However, this day was his. Albert Pujols put the Cardinals on the board with a 2 run shot in the first, J.D. Drew knocked in a run in the fifth, then Placido Polanco knocked in the fourth run in the seventh. Meanwhile Smith was literally pitching the game of his life. The kid sat next to Mark McGwire in the Cardinals dugout and talked hitting in the late innings to keep his mind off of the no-no. As Smith approached the ninth inning his pitch count was through the roof and pitching coach Dave Duncan admitted that he was hoping someone would get a hit to keep the young hurler from wearing down. Smith failed to grant Duncan's wish and 134 pitches after he tossed his first one over the plate Phil Nevin hit a hard comebacker that Smith fielded then tossed to Pujols at first to solidify himself a spot in the record books. It was the highlight of Smith's professional career, he posted a 6-3 record in his rookie season then struggled the following year. In July of 2002, Smith was a part of the package that brought Scott Rolen to The Gateway City from Philadelphia. He never did pitch a game for the Phillies or any other major league team after his days as a Cardinal came to an end. He did pitch in the minor leagues until he retired in 2007. To date, Smith is the last member of the Cardinals to throw an ever elusive no-hitter.

Here's the box score:

Monday, September 2, 2013

September 2, 1945: 27 up 27 Down as Barrett Nails Down His 20th Win of The Season

On September 2, 1945, after dropping the first game of a doubleheader to the Cubs at Sportsman's Park, Red Barrett pitched an absolute gem in the second game as he faced the minimum 27 batters as the team rolled to a 4-0 victory.  The Cardinals hurler gave up just one hit, it was a leadoff single by Len Merullo who was promptly erased by Del Rice who gunned him down as he tried to steal second. From there Barrett was in control, he struck out just four men as the defense played solid ball behind him while the offense put the necessary runs on the board to make Barrett the first 20 game winner of the '45 campaign. The twin bill against the league leading Cubs brought the biggest crowd to Sportsman's since the Summer of '39, unfortunately the Birds would finish the season just 3 games behind the Cubbies despite posting a dominating 16-6 record against them during the regular season.

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Sunday, September 1, 2013

September 1, 1966: McCarver and the Boys Triple Their Way To Victory

On September 1, 1966, a 7-4 win over the Braves at Busch was highlighted with 3 triples by Lou Brock, Charley Smith, and Tim McCarver. The triple by McCarver was a league leading thirteenth three bagger for the Cardinals catcher, it was also his last triple of that '66 season. McCarver's thirteen stolen bases proved to be a major league best by season's end, making him the first catcher to lead the league in triples. The man who sat in second place in the category would have been the much more expected name as McCarver's teammate Lou Brock finished the season with 12 three baggers. The '66 campaign was a bit of an anomaly when it came to triples for McCarver, his next best total came in '63 with 7.

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