Wednesday, August 19, 2015

August 19, 1951: Now Batting... Eddie Gaedel

 On August 19, 1951, Bill Veeck, the owner of the St. Louis Browns staged one of the greatest publicity stunts in the history of baseball when he signed a 3 foot 7 inch Eddie Gaedel to pinch hit to lead off the second game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis. After the Browns dropped the first game by the score of 5-2, Veeck wheeled a big birthday cake onto the field to commemorate the organization's 50th years in St. Louis. To the delight of the crowd out popped the little man wearing the digits 1/8 on his back. When the little man started to head to the plate to bat, the Tigers catcher Ed Hurley immediately questioned the umpire, before Bill Veeck produced a contract, and the ump chose to let him take the historic at bat. Veeck had instructed Gaedel to crouch as low as he could, so that he could work a walk out of starter Bob Cain. The strategy worked, as Cain sailed four high ones that sent Gaedel trotting to first He was lifted for a pinch runner, and ultimately the Tigers knocked off the Browns 6-2, but the day would be a day that would not be forgotten.

     The article I included with the picture was featured in The Florence Times out of Florence, Alabama. It came out just a couple days after the historic game. I got a kick out of how Gaedel talked about dreaming of the day when he could induce a bases loaded walk. The powers that be squashed those dreams citing the best interests of baseball. However, he did appear in other promotional stunts, before passing away in 1961. If you would like to read more about Eddie Gaedel give this a look:

Check out the box score here:

Monday, August 17, 2015

An On This Day In Cardinal Nation Update

     I just wanted those of you who follow the blog to know that I am skipping some days while I attend college. For those of you who don't know me, I am on the cusp of my 38th birthday, and have decided to chase a dream that will be caught. I am actually pursuing a degree that will help me help others. It is a degree in Social Work. My long term goal is to help those who are struggling with addiction win their battle. I thought about majoring in history, but my heart kept telling me to go that direction, and I believe in following the heart.

     I am very close to finishing the first leg of the race with the Associate's, but I have a ways to go to get to where I want to be. At minimum it will be a Bachelor's, and hopefully it is a Master's. I tell you this because many of you have been loyal readers of mine, so I would like you to know who I am and what's going on.

     I realized last semester that I was putting the blog before schoolwork. Therefore, I have to prioritize, and my education has to come first. I work full time and I am going to school full time, so I hope you can understand. I enjoy writing these blogs, and will continue to do so when time permits. I do believe I will be able to squeeze in a few new facts every week, and there are more than 500 on here in the archives.

     I'll leave you with this, do not be afraid to pursue your dreams. If someone tells you that you can't, show them that you can. Always believe in yourself. The only way you will hit a home run is if you step in the box and take a swing. If you swing and miss, step back in, and take another cut. You will get a hold of one. I plan on knocking it out of the park.

I thank each and every person who has ever read one of these blogs. They have been fun, and I can guarantee you this, I am far from done when it comes to writing them.

I will be posting what I call reruns on my Facebook page: and my Twitter page as well: @CardinalHistory.

Go Cards!!!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

August 16, 1964: The Floodgates Open In L.A.

     On August 16, 1964, Curt Flood picked up eight consecutive hits during a doubleheader split against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

     Unfortunately, the Dodgers sent this guy by the name of Sandy Koufax to the mound in the first game, and Koufax was able to work his way around Flood's four hits in a row by striking out 13 men. Other than Flood, the only men who could scratch out a hit against Koufax were Bill White, Dick Groat, and Julian Javier. Those three men picked up one hit off the hurler who ended the game as a 19 game winner. It would prove to be the last win of '64 for Koufax, as he ran into elbow trouble, which derailed a shot at a 20 win campaign.

     Back to the man of the hour, Flood went out in the second game and rapped out four more hits in a row, knocked in two, and scored a run, as he helped the Cards take the second game by the score of 4-0 behind the stellar pitching of Curt Simmons, who scattered nine hits, and struck out four. The papers of the day focused on Flood falling short of the major league record for consecutive hits in a doubleheader with nine. The record had been set in by Joe Kelley of the Baltimore Orioles in 1894. Flood struck out in his last at bat against reliever Perranoski, which was a rough way to end a great day, but when that day went in the books it was great nonetheless, and that is something that Curt Flood knew very well.

     Mark over at RetroSimba wrote about this game last year. His piece includes some quotes by the star of the day, as well as a play-by-play of each of the hits. You can read that here:

By the way, Mark is a fantastic follow on twitter. If you do not already follow him, I urge you to do so. You can find him @retrosimba You can find me at @CardinalHistory

Here's a pair of box scores for you as well

Game 1:

Game 2:

Saturday, August 15, 2015

August 15, 1968: The Moon Man Slams The Cubbies

     On August 15, 1968, a Mike Shannon grand slam highlighted an 8-0 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The big blast off of Bill Stoneman came in the second inning, with the Redbirds already leading 4-0. One swing of the Moon Man's stick made it 8-0, and there was no looking back. While the Cubs burned up their bullpen, the Cardinals starter Nelson Briles pitched a gem, scattering seven hits, while striking out five. The grand slam was the first grand slam in Mike Shannon's career, and it was also the last. He hit a total of 68 home runs, and it is safe to say that big fly at Wrigley was a memorable one.

     This series was a wild one. It was a four game set that saw the Cubs take the first two, before the Cardinals bounced back and took the last two. The Cardinals' outfielders were harassed to no end by the "bleacher bums" at Wrigley. An article that appeared in the Chicago Tribune  proclaimed  the Cardinals outfielders" had been jeered, pelted with everything from flashlight batteries to crumpled beer cups and they still smiled and praised the raucous bleacherites." Lou Brock told reporters after the game he thought those fans were great for baseball, and it was nothing more than good clean fun. In the end the Redbirds outfielders got the last laugh, Brock and Curt Flood spread a sign across the outfield in the ninth inning that read "We're still  No. 1." And they were, as they left Wrigelyville 14 games up in the standings.

Check out the box score here:

Friday, August 14, 2015

August 14, 1967: The Birds Rally To Beat The Cubs In The Ninth

     On August 14, 1967, the Cardinals came back from a 5-3 deficit with three run ninth to beat the Cubs 6-5 at Busch. The Redbirds came into the inning having just watched a Ron Santo home run sail over the wall in the top of the ninth to give the Baby Bears a little insurance. Apparently, it was not enough insurance though, as the Cardinals surged back into the contest.

     The winning rally started with Bob Tolan working a walk out of Cubs reliever Bob Shaw, who got a quick hook. Chuck Hartenstein took over on the bump and got Alex Johnson to groundout. It was a productive out though, as Tolan took second in the process, then was knocked in by Lou Brock who singled. The heat was on. Curt Flood ripped a single that pushed Brock to third, then came Roger Maris who singled to right. When the ball came off of Maris' bat it looked like the game would be tied, but the right fielder Ted Savage fumbled the ball, and Flood only stopped running once he touched the dish with the game winning run.

     The win put the Cardinals 9 1/2 games up in the standings. It was the 72nd win of the season for the club that was en route to 101 wins. They took the flag by 10 1/2 games, then brought home another World Series title by beating the Boston Red Sox in a seven game classic.

Check out the box score here:

Thursday, August 13, 2015

August 13, 1977: Mike Anderson Knocks In the Winner In the Tenth

     On August 13, 1977, right fielder Mike Anderson came through with a bases loaded single in the bottom of the tenth to beat the Montreal Expos 1-0 in front of more than 34,000 fans at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

     John Urrea got the start for the Redbirds, while Wayne Twitchell got the call for the Expos. Urrea worked seven innings, struck out six, walked one, and allowed just four hits. He was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the seventh, in hopes of sparking the offense, but that did not come to fruition. The man who took the ball for the Birds, Butch Metzger picked up right where Urrea left off, pitching three near perfect innings, allowing just one hit, as he set the table for the walk off win. Twitchell pitched through the ninth. He was lifted in the tenth for a pinch hitter, after allowing just five hits, and striking out four.

     Don Stanhouse took the ball for the Expos in the tenth, and quickly got into trouble when Roger Freed was sent into pinch hit for Metzger. Freed ripped a single, was lifted for a pinch runner, then Lou Brock came up with a single that put a man at first and third. The Expos skipper Dick Williams then called for Garry Templeton to be put on intentionally, to set up the double play. The move backfired, when the man who hit just .221 that season ripped one into center to win it. The game is a game full of unlikely heroes, and on that day Mike Anderson played the role quite well. Anderson spent just two seasons with the Redbirds, with the '77 campaign being his last. During that time he hit .261 and knocked in 29 runs. The run he knocked in that day was one to remember and today we do exactly that.

This was also the day a friend of mine was born, which is why I picked the date. With that said, Merry Birthmas to Chris Petit. You started off with a winner.

Check out the box score here:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

August 12, 1927: Sunny Jim Wins It In Extras

     On August 12, 1927, Jim Bottomley ended a pitching duel in the bottom of the eleventh with a walk off blast to beat the Pirates by the score of 2-1 at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis. The duel had Carmen Hill on the bump for the Bucs, while ole Jesse Haines toed the rubber for the defending World Series Champion Redbirds. Both hurlers were looked at as staff aces, and on that fine day they both fit the bill. Hill ran into trouble in the fifth when player/manager Bob O'Farrell  picked up a one out double, before Haines came through with a huge two out RBI to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. That lead didn't last long, as the Pittsburgh club made the most of an error that brought Lloyd Waner into score the tying run in the sixth. From there the duel was on. Both pitchers worked their way into extras. Haines allowed just four hits in the contest, while Hill allowed six. It was the sixth and final hit off of the Pirates hurler that mattered the most, as Bottomley walked to the dish to lead things off in the eleventh, and with one swing of the stick he sent the Bucco's packin'.

     Sunny Jim led the club with 19 home runs that season, for a club that won 92 games. 24 of those wins were credited to the day's starting pitcher Jesse Haines. Unfortunately, those Pirates who hit a minor skid in early August would go onto win the National League Flag with 94 wins. They would run into the famed Murderer's Row in the 1927 Yankees in the Fall Classic, and quite frankly they were murdered.

     Despite the Cardinals failing to repeat as Champions in the National League the team had turned a corner in the previous season. They were legit contenders and the best was yet to come. A foundation had been laid. The Cardinal Way was born. The farm system grew talent, and the club would be a true contender for the better parts of the next two decades. They did more than contend during that time. They won titles. They became the best of the best in the National League, and at times they were the best club in all of baseball. It was new era in Cardinal Nation.

Check out the box score here:

A special thanks goes out to Retrosheet for putting together a play-by-play from that contest. You can look it over here:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

August 11, 1960: Musial Bombs The Bucs

     On August 11, 1960, a two run blast by Stan Musial in the twelfth led the way to a 3-2 victory over Pirates in Pittsburgh.

     Ernie Broglio and Bob Friend went toe-to-toe in this one on the mound for their respective clubs, with both of them going the distance in the tilt. Broglio served up a fifth inning home run to Smokey Burgess, then found himself locked in a zone. Friend allowed a one out triple in the eighth, which led to the tying run coming across the plate moments later on an RBI knock by Carl Sawatksi.

     With the teams deadlocked at 1-1 the 34,000 fans that walked through the gates at Forbes would get to watch some free baseball, but would walk away disappointed, when Musial walked to the dish with Bill White on base, then took a swing on a Friend pitch that ended up sailing over the wall in right.While the big blast put the Birds on top, Broglio would have his work cut out for him in the bottom of the twelfth. He came into the inning having retired the last 20 men he faced, but allowed a leadoff single to Bill Virdon. Broglio picked up two outs, before the Bucs first baseman Rocky Nelson knocked in Virdon with a double. Broglio wiped his brow, went back to work, and struck out Dick Stuart to finish things off. It was a battle from beginning to end, and thanks to the work of Broglio on the slab, and the bat that was held in the hands of Stan "The Man" Musial the Cardinals walked away victorious.

Check out the box score here:

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10, 1955: 1,000 Extra Base Hits For Stan The Man

     On August 10, 1955, Stan "The Man" Musial became just the ninth player in the history Major League Baseball to record 1,000 extra base hits during a 7-2 win over the Braves at County Stadium in Milwaukee.

      The big hit came off Lew Burdette in the first, as Musial doubled off the hurler to join the elite club. Burdette got out of that inning with no damage done, but he would be handed a loss by day's end, as the Birds snapped a four game skid on their own end, and a three game winning streak on the Braves side of the diamond. The two clubs were tied 2-2 after four innings of play, which stood until the Cardinals plated three runs in the sixth.

     The three run rally was sparked by a lead off triple off the bat of Red Schoendienst. A rather funny incident followed, as the Cardinals catcher attempted to drop down a squeeze bunt, and it looked like he did make contact, as the ball flew into the air behind him and hit the net. However, the umpire Tom Gorman thought it hit Burbink and sent him trotting down to first. This led to the skipper of the Braves, Charlie Grimm out to have a heated discussion with the ump. All the while, Burbink had thought the umpire thought it hit him in the hand, so he was standing there shaking it like it pained him greatly. As it turned out, Gorman thought it hit him in the shoulder, so as soon as Burbink became aware of that fact he grabbed his shoulder. He was trying to win an Emmy award on that fine day. A frustrated Grimm gave up on the argument he could not win, and made his way back to the Milwaukee bench. Things unraveled for Milwaukee thereafter, as shorstop Alex Grammas doubled in a run, then an error led to the other two runs crossing the plate to give the Redbirds a 5-2 lead.

      The Cardinals added to their totals in the ninth with two more runs to cap things off, and the last of those two was scored by The Man of the hour Stan Musial, who singled in the inning. Musial finished the day with three hits, a walk, and the run scored. With that said, the story of the day was the 1,000th extra base hit. He was well on the way to breaking the all time record, set by Babe Ruth with 1.356. When Musial hung up the cleats in 1963, he had 1,377 extra base hits to his credit, which stood as the a record, until it was surpassed by the current record holder Hank Aaron, who finished his storied career with 1,477 extra base hits.

Check out the box score here:

The Milwaukee Journal  and  Milwaukee Sentinel  provided the details about the Burbink incident. Needless to say the fans in Milwaukee were not pleased, as it was looked at as a turning point in the ballgame.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

August 9, 1961: Javier's Birthday Slam

     On August 9, 1961, Julian Javier celebrated his 28th birthday with an eighth inning grand slam that beat the Pirates 4-0 in front of more than 17,000 fans at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. The slam was delivered to him by starter Joe Gibbon, who up to that point had been locked into a head-to-head duel with Curt Simmons. Simmons was lifted for a pinch hitter in the big inning after Curt Flood and catcher Jimmie Shaffer picked up back-to-back one out singles. Simmons' replacement Don Taussig drew a walk to load'em up, then came the birthday boy grand slamarooski. Ed Bauta took over pitching duties for the Redbirds and knocked out two scoreless innings to secure a save and a Cardinals winner. Javier was not a power hitter by no means. That was the second home run of the season for him, and it happened to be his last of that campaign as well. It was also the first grand slam of his career. He hit one more in the summer of '64, as he helped the club make a run that will never be forgotten. Much like that run, Javier will never be forgotten as well. Happy Birthday Julian, and thank you for the memories from all of Cardinal Nation.

Check out the box score here:

Saturday, August 8, 2015

August 8, 1949: Slaughter Slams The Redlegs

     On August 8, 1949, Enos Slaughter packed the punch it took to beat the Reds 9-3 in front of 13,053 fans at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis. The man they called "Country" hit two home runs. The first was a two run shot in the third off of starter Kent Peterson, while the other was a fourth inning grand slam off of reliever Ken Burkhart. The Redbirds walked away with this one with ease, as Peterson and Burkhart piled up seven walks in a combined four innings of work. In fact, the nine runs on the Cardinals side of the scoreboard came on just five hits, as they exploited the walks, while Howie Pollett limited the damage done to the Birds, despite giving up 12 hits. The complete game effort by Pollett secured his 15th victory of the campaign; he would lead the staff that season with 20.

     Slaughter was 33 years of age in 1949, and many of the scribes of the day had written him and the Cardinals club he was on off as "too old." On that fine day the same men that said he was too old at the beginning of the season were looking at him and the Cardinals as a possible pennant winning club that sat tied atop the standings with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Cardinals took the lead in the National League on August 20th, then held it until the final week of the season, before a four game skid sunk the proverbial ship, as they finished just one game back of those Bums from Brooklyn.

     While the club did fall short of the flag, there were many bright spots that came during that campaign, In the end, a guy named Stan Musial led in every major offensive category, but that guy named Enos Slaughter put up some pretty good numbers himself. In fact, he hit .336, which was just two points shy of Musial's average. He and Musial led the league with 13 triples. While Musial set the pace for the club in the RBI department with 123. Slaughter ranked second on the club with 96 runs batted in, The duo was quite a 1-2 punch for that squad in 1949. When looking at these seasons from yesteryear it makes me appreciate the expanded playoff format so much.  Just think if they would have even been a playoff between the two league leaders. Of course that would come in time, but it is something fun to think about. Could have made for a classic series. Just be glad we are treated to what we are treated to today.

Check out the box score here:

Friday, August 7, 2015

August 7, 1915: Miller Huggins Dupes Brooklyn

     On August 7, 1915, a trick play by Cardinals manager Miller Huggins helped the club prevail 6-4 over the Brooklyn Robins in St. Louis. The game began with the Cardinals jumping out to a 3-0 lead, as they knocked Brooklyn's starting pitcher Wheezer Dell right out of the box. Ham Hyatt got the biggest hit of the inning with a big blast that had the Birds flying high early. Both pitching staffs would have their work cut out for them, as the Robins plated two runs in the second, another in the fourth to tie it 3-3, before the Birds could answer back with a run in the bottom of that same inning to retake the lead. That only lasted so long, as Casey Stengel tied it back up with a single in the sixth that came moments after his teammate Otto Miller come up big with a triple. Then came the play that decided it all in the seventh, with Huggins coaching at third with the bases loaded, he yelled over to Brooklyn's rookie reliever Ed Appleton and told him to toss him the ball. The rookie hurler tossed it his way, and Huggins moved out of the way, then Dots Miller, who was standing at third darted down the baseline to score the go ahead run. The Birds put one more on the board moments later, and from there it was all Cardinals. A rule was put in place to prevent a trick play like the one that Huggins executed, but on that day it was totally legal, and he made the most of it. I can almost hear the laughter in the stands as I have written this. It had to be hilarious.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

August 6, 1964: Bill White and Dick Groat Put The Birds In The Win Column

     On August 6, 1964, despite being outhit 11 to 5, the Cardinals beat the Cubs 5-3 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Bob Gibson worked out of jam after jam, which included a bases loaded situation in the first. The Redbirds were helped by an error in the bottom of the first, as the Cubs' shortstop Andy Rodgers had what looked like a sure out by Curt Flood get by him. Lou Brock moved Flood to second with a sac bunt, and moments later Dick Groat came through with a single that brought Flood around to score. Ken Boyer was the next man up, and he came through a double that scored Groat and the Birds were off and flying. Ron Santo cut the 2-0 lead in half with an RBI single in the third, but the momentum shifted back to the Cardinals in the bottom of the frame, when Groat came through with a two out double, which was followed by an intentional walk to Boyer. Bill White was the next man up, and he made the Baby Bears pay for passing Boyer by ripping a double that brought both men into score. The true hero of this contest was Groat, as he added to his totals with another RBI with a two out single in the seventh. Santo was the only man that could come through when it mattered on the Chicago side of the ball, as he knocked in another run in the eighth, then drew a bases loaded walk in the ninth, before Barney Shultz was called on to face one batter. That one batter, was Ernie Banks and he struck him out to end it.

     It was a wild contest that was witnessed by just 8,258 fans. The Cardinals were seven games out after the game was put in the books, and would slide down in the standings into late August. reaching as far as eleven games back. Then came run at glory and epic collapse in Philadelphia. It could be said a perfect storm came together for the Redbirds that season, and you can honestly point at each win of the campaign and see that they were all truly important.

Check out the box score here:

I would also like to wish my friend Jame Nolde a.k.a. Captain a Merry Birthmas. He was born on that day, so he kicked things off the right way. I hope you have a great birthday my friend.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August 5, 1974: Simba and Torre Provide a Late Punch

     On August 5, 1974, a ninth inning two run shot by Ted Simmons tied it, and a bases loaded single by Joe Torre in the 13th led the Redbirds to a 3-2 victory over the Phillies at Busch.

     The game was a duel, as Bob Gibson went head-to-head with Wayne Twitchell. Gibson allowed a run in the first, was lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth, then watched another Philadelphia score with Al Hrabosky on the bump. Meanwhile, Twitchell was carving up batters until he allowed a single to Bake McBride in the ninth, then served up a big fly to Ted Simmons. It was a new ballgame, and even though the Philadelphia starter had let the lead slip away he pitched through the eleventh, piling up 11 strikeouts.

      Pete Richert took over in the twelfth, worked through the frame unscathed, then ran into trouble in the thirteenth when he began the frame by allowing a double to Ted Sizemore. He then put Bake McBride on with an intentional walk, which was followed by a pickoff attempt by the Philadlphia backstop Bob Boone who threw the ball into center, which put Sizemore and McBride on second and third. It was the end of the day for Richert, as he handed the ball off to Mike Garman, who wanted none of Ted Simmons, so he walked him intentionally to get to Torre, who ripped the ball into left to push in the game winner. It was a pick your poison kind of deal with that one-two punch and either way it went, Garman was going to get poisoned.

Check out the box score here:

     The victory put the Cardinals two games ahead in the N.L. East. They would contend into the final week of the season, but fell just short. While that may have been the case, that club played their hearts out and sent the fans home happy many times throughout that season. That season may have had a much different ending if not for a lunatic that threatened the lives of Lou Brock and Bake McBride. It seems that it took a toll late, and they stumbled across the line. We'll never know of that happening is the reason why they did not make it to the postseason, but I do know that it had to have a pretty harsh psychological effect on the men in that clubhouse. Especially those who were threatened. You can read about it here:

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

August 4, 1937: One More Hit For The Fordham Flash

     On August 4, 1937, in a pinch hit appearance player/manager Frankie Frisch capped off a 16-hit attack with a game winning single in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Boston Bees 7-6. A pair of four hit days by Johnny Mize and Ducky Medwick put the skipper in position to win it, as Mize belted a home run, while Medwick rapped out four doubles in the tilt. The Birds were down 6-2 when the ninth rolled around, before the game winning rally began, that ended with Frisch coming to the dish with two outs, the bases loaded and the club trailing 6-5. Catcher Mickey Owen was the man due up to hit, but was called back by the Frisch who singled into right and pushed the tying and winning run into score. This was the 2,880th and final hit of Frisch's 19 year career on the big league diamond. He appeared in a game the next day, but failed to come through in one plate appearance. The man who guided the Gashouse Gang would managed the club the rest of that season, then most of the next before being replaced, and when that day came an era closed in the rich history of Cardinals baseball.

     Frisch's career in the game was far from over. In fact, he went onto manage the Pirates for seven seasons, and the Cubs for three. Forever a Cardinal, Frisch was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1947. You can read about the life and times of the man they called "The Fordham Flash" here:

Check out the box score here:

Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3, 1991: Zeile Burns The Jolly Roger

     On August 3, 1991, Todd Zeile burned the Jolly Roger at Busch with a walk off shot to beat the Pirates  6-5 in the tenth inning.

     The Bucs came into this one hoping to stop a seven game skid, but that would not happen on this day. Although, the effort was there to do so. They jumped on the Redbirds starter Bryn Smith early and often, scoring five runs on him through six. While Smith was getting knocked around the Pirates starter Doug Drabek was getting much of the same treatment. He surrendered 10 hits, gave up four runs, with two of the four being attributed to a pair of errors.

    Like Smith, Drabek worked six innings before handing it off to the pen. However, Drabek's pen failed him, as Bob Kipper allowed a lead off home run in the eighth to Milt Thompson to knot things up at five apiece. Thompson had been thrown out at the dish earlier in the contest, so you know that when he got a hold of that one he had to feel great. He set the table for the walk off heroics by Zeile who was the first and last batter to hit in the tenth.

     The pitcher that put it in the platter was Bob Patterson, and with one swing of the stick Zeile became a hero, as he stood at the plate and watched it fly over the wall in right. His team mobbed him after he rounded the bases, and the crowd of more than 40,000 stood, cheered, and it likely they high fived a new friend that just happened to be sitting next to them on that fine day in Cardinal Nation.

Zeile led the team in home runs with 11 in 1991. It was the lowest team leading total since 1920, when Austin McHenry led the club with 10.

Check out the box score here:

Sunday, August 2, 2015

August 2, 1970: Gibby Strikes Out 10, Then Wins It With His Bat

     On August 2, 1970, Bob Gibson struck out 10 and drove in the winning run in the ninth to beat Astros 3-2 in front of more than 23,000 fans at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas.

      Everything was workin' for Gibby who allowed a leadoff single in the first, then held the Astros hitless until the eighth, when catcher Johnny Edwards got a hold of one and sent it sailing over the wall to cut the Cardinals lead to 2-1. The Birds had scored the two runs in the fourth on back-to-back singles by Jose Cardenal and Mike Shannon in the fourth, which proved to be very important, as their starter Jack Billingham was able to work around the other trouble he faced.

     A former Cardinal, who was the then skipper for the Astros, Harry The Hat Walker called on Fred Gladding to take over pitching duties in the ninth. Gladding looked like he might get through the frame with no damage done, until he surrendered a one out single to Shannon, then put Dal Maxvill on first with a walk. All he had to do was get Gibson out, but that would not come on this fine day, as the man who wore the 45 laced one into right field to push Shannon across the dish to score the go ahead run.

      Gibson gave himself much needed insurance, as he got into trouble in the bottom of the ninth by allowing back-to-back singles, before picking up a pair of outs with a double play ball. He then walked a man, threw a wild pitch, before picking up the last out of the ballgame. It was quite the finish for the man who had won his 14th game of the season, and was on the way to a career high in wins with 23.

Check out the box score here:

Saturday, August 1, 2015

August 1, 1957: Two Big Blasts For The Man Lifts The Birds To Victory

     On August 1, 1957, a four hit day that included two home runs by Stan Musial, and complete game effort by Sad Sam Jones led the Cardinals to an 8-0 victory over the New York Giants at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Jones allowed just six hits in the contest, while the number six started the scoring off with a two run blast in the first, then connected with another two run shot in the sixth. he sprinkled in a couple singles between the home run heroics, as he helped the Cardinals win their sixth game in a row. Musial hit the showers after the sixth, with Jones in cruise control.

     Musial also surpassed Ty Cobb on the all-time extra base hits list in this game, by recording his 1,140th, which made him third on the list. Only Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth sat ahead of him on that list, with Ruth's 1,356 leading the way. Musial would end his career leading the category with 1,377 extra-base hits, which stands today as third on the all-time list. Hank Aaron holds the title with exactly 100 more extra base hits than Stan The Man.

     The 1957 Cardinals were the only club in the 50's that held the league lead after August 1st. Unfortunately, they fell off the pace down the stretch, and finished with 87 wins, which was good for second in the National League, eight games behind the Milwaukee Braves. With that said, there were many great games to celebrate during that campaign, which included the one that was played on that first day of August.

Check out box score here:

I would like to note that according to baseball Cobb finished his career with 1,136 extra base hits, therefore, it is likely that Musial surpassed him before this contest was played. With that said, it is also likely that some numbers have been changed by official statisticians since. I am going off of what people read in the newspapers the following day, which is what I try to bring you daily. In baseball numbers are sacred, so there are many who have went to great lengths to make sure that they are correct. I tip my cap to them for that, but it also makes me want to yank my hair out when things don't line up. Luckily, I don't have much hair.