Sunday, September 18, 2016

September 18, 1968: Washburn Returns The Favor

     On September 18, 1968, just 24 hours after being no-hit by the Giants hurler Gaylord Perry in San Francisco, Cardinals hurler Ray Washburn no-hit those same Giants in San Francisco. The Birds got their runs on ribbies by Curt Flood and Bobby Tolan in the seventh and eighth innings. Washburn walked five, and struck out eight as he worked his way into the history books. In the ninth he had his hands full with two future Hall of Famers in Willie Mays and Willie McCovey due up in the inning. He started off the frame by retiring second baseman Ron Hunt with a groundout.   Mays then hit a hotshot to third where Mike Shannon fielded it, then threw him out at first, before McCovey flew out to Flood in center. The no-no was the fifth in franchise history and the first back-to-back no-hitters in the history of the game. It was also the first no-no for the Cardinals since Lon Warneke accomplished the feat in 1941.

Check out the box score here:

Here are some interesting facts about no-hitters:

Saturday, September 10, 2016

September 10, 1963: Grandpa Stan Hits It Out

     On September 10, 1963, Stan Musial became the first Grandfather in the history of Major League Baseball to hit a home run. Early that morning, around 4:40 a.m., Musial's son Dick and his wife Sharon welcomed Jeffery Stanton Musial into the world. With the classic smile on his face Musial came to the ballpark, was congratulated by teammates, then got ready to face the  visiting Chicago Cubs. It did not take Stan long to become the first Grandpa to go deep in a ballgame. In fact he did it in his first at bat, in the first inning, and on the first pitch he saw,  which was delivered by Glenn Hobbie. The two-run blast set the tone for the day, as the Cardinals rode the wave to an 8-0 victory. Bob Gibson also got in on the home run action, hitting a three-run shot in the second. Musial followed Gibby's shot with a single and a ribbie in the same inning. The home run that Musial hit that night in September was the 474th of his career. He hit one more before he hung up the cleats. Number 474 was quite special, as The Man welcomed a Little Man into the world in a very unique way.

Check out the box score here:

Monday, September 5, 2016

September 5, 1935: Terry Moore Goes 6 For 6

     On September 5, 1935, Terry Moore went 6 for 6 during a Cardinals win over the Boston Braves at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis. The rookie center fielder's performance was a part of a 19-hit attack that saw the hometown club walk away victorious by the score of 15-3. Moore was only the second Cardinals player to accomplish the feat of picking up six hits in a game, and to date he is the last to do so. The first was "Sunny Jim" Bottomley who did it in 1924 and then again in 1931. A recent inductee into the Cardinals Baseball Hall of Fame in Downtown St. Louis, Moore was one of the best center fielders to ever wear the Birds on the Bat. He just missed out on the Championship season of 1934, however, he would celebrate as a World Champion in 1942 and 1946 with the club. Moore not only held his own at the plate, he was also one of the best defenders in all of baseball, and it is safe to say if the Gold Glove Award existed during his time on the diamond he would have had a shelf full of them.

     When I heard that Terry Moore had made it into the Cardinals Hall of Fame it made me very happy to know that future generations of Cardinals fans will be sure to know his name. He was something special. Hats off to all of the men who have been honored within those walls.

Read more about the life and time of Terry Moore here:

Check out the box score here:

Sunday, August 21, 2016

August 21, 1977: Lord, I was Born a Cardinals Fan

     So, this is what I am going to call an On This Day In Cardinal Nation Birthmas Special. It began with a baby boy being born at St. John's Hospital just outside of St. Louis on August 21, 1977. This baby was a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals before he was even born, as he had listened to ballgames through his mom's belly every chance he got. Then came that day, the 21st of August, and he was on his way to meet the world. It was a Sunday, and the baby's momma was catchin' a Sunday service when suddenly, she was like "POW!!! I THINK I'M HAVIN' A BABY!!!", and off to St. John's she went.

     So, I was born at 11:03 a.m. and weighed 10 1/2 pounds and named Wade Forrester. The Cardinals played at 1:20 that day, so I got one of the nurses to bring me a transistor radio to listen to the ballgame. It turned out to be a rough day at the ole ballpark. The Padres were in town and they had brought the big bat of Dave Kingman, who hit a first inning grand slam en route to a 7-0 beatdown of the Cards. I was pissed. I tried to get my Mom to drive me down to the stadium to give the team a pep talk, but you know how it is when you're born... The whole family was there talkin' about how handsome I was and I got to eatin' it up, so I just chilled and grabbed a sports the page while they doted.

     After realizing that the team had took 2 of 3 from the Friars I thought it wasn't all that bad they would just have to get things going the next day with the Dodgers in town. It turned out to be an instant classic that I will never forget. However, it looked bleak for the Cards early, as they fell behind 5-1 after three. I would have pulled my hair out, but  had a little problem... I was bald. Anyway, the Cardinals offense was held in check by Burt Hooton who looked to be poised to toss a complete game, as he rolled into the ninth with a 6-1 cushion. However, Hooton gave up a leadoff single to Jerry Mumphrey, then surrendered a triple to Garry Templeton to make it 6-2. There was life.

     As soon as the run scored a phone rang in the Dodgers bullpen, and Lance Rautzahn made his way to the bump to relieve Hotton. Rautzahn gave up a single to Ted Simmons, which brought Templeton trotting in, and moments later Keith Hernandez smacked a double and Simmons scored on a botched relay. 6-4. Rutzahn had faced just two batters, before being told to hit the showers. The Dodgers skipper, Tommy Lasorda then called on Charlie Hough to put the fire out, as it looked like it may just become an inferno. Right out the gate Hough added fuel to the fire with a passed ball that brought Hernandez into score to make it 6-5. Hough finally recorded the first out of the inning by retiring Mike Anderson, but followed it up with back-to-back singles by Kenny Reitz and Mike Tyson. With electric flowing through the air, Roger Freed came up to the plate with a chance to win it and that he did, as he fell behind 1-2 before taking the fourth pitch for a ride over the wall at Busch. The walk off blast gave the Cardinals an 8-6 win and it also taught me about the rollercoaster ride I would endure as a baseball fan. Enjoy the highs and get past the lows quickly. For something great is on the horizon.

Have a great day, folks. Go Cards!!!

Box scores for both contests

August 21, 1977:

August 22, 1977:

Monday, August 8, 2016

August 8, 1934: 21 Wins For Dizzy

     On August 8, 1934, Dizzy Dean won his 21st game of the season by pitching the last three innings of a 10-4 Cardinals victory over the Reds at Crosley Field Cincinnati. The day before the contest was played Dizzy locked down his 20th victory of the season with a complete game shutout in the first game of a doubleheader against those same Reds.

    Jesse Haines started the contest, and allowed just four hits and one run through the first seven innings. Haines ran into trouble in the eighth, allowing a leadoff double to pinch-hitter Tony Piet, who came into score moments later on an RBI single by second baseman Alex Kampouris. Frankie Frisch called on Paul Dean with Haines seemingly running out of gas, J. Roy Stockton of the Post Dispatch acknowledged that even the great Dean brothers would have moments of wildness and Paul had exactly that after having little time to warm up, which led to him walking a man, then allowing another to reach on a bunt single. Just like that the bases were loaded with no outs. A couple of sac flies later the game was tied 4-4.

     Paul settled down for out of that inning with no more damage done, then set down the side in order in the ninth, before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the top of the tenth. While the Cardinals offense could not capitalize in that inning brother Dizzy took over from there, and held the Reds in check. The Red hurler, Don Brennan, who had come on in relief in the ninth had done much of the same, until the fateful twelfth inning, which ended with six Cardinals base runners crossing the dish.

    The big rally started with a leadoff double by Ripper Collins who had not picked up a hit in his last nine trips to the plate. Spud Davis followed with a groundout, but moments later center fielder Chick Fullis singled and Collins came into score what proved to be the game winning run. Collins heard it from his captain Leo Durocher despite the fact he was able to score on the play, as he had failed to slide into home to the captain's chagrin. Collins was tagged on the ankle as he was crossing the dish by the Reds catcher, and even he was surprised by the fact because he thought he would score easily. Therefore, he took the criticism well, and apologized for his actions. No harm, no foul, and the rally continued, with a single by Dean, an error that led to another base runner,  and two walks that led to a bases loaded situation. The air had come out of the Reds at that point, and Brennan would hand the ball over to a Benny Frey, who was set to face Ducky Medwick who had already singled and doubled twice, before hitting a bases clearing triple against Frey to make the score 10-4. That was all she wrote for Cincy on that fine day in The Queen City, as Dizzy went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the frame, putting his 21st win of the season in the books in the process.

     The tales of Dizzy Dean are astounding. He was known as "The Great Man" and great he was. Especially, during that 1934 season that he finished with 30 wins. Some may not realize this, but four of those 30 wins came in relief. He actually came in as a reliever 17 times that season, and had seven saves under his belt by season's end as well. To say that he was spectacular would be quite the understatement. Dizzy Dean was phenomenal.

Check out the box score here:

Sunday, July 17, 2016

July 17, 1974: Dizzy Dean Heads To The Great Baseball Diamond In The Sky

      While researching the fact about Bob Gibson's 3,000th strikeout, I could not help but notice that on that same day in 1974 the great Dizzy Dean passed away at the age of 63. Dean's antics, as well as his spectacular performances on the mound made him the face of the Gashouse Gang in the thirties, then he would go onto become a larger than life personality in the booth calling games in the decades that followed. His days on earth may of ended that day, however, the legend of Dizzy Dean will stand the test of time. He was truly something special when it comes to the history of the Cardinals and all of baseball as well. While we may acknowledge the day that someone passed away, I do believe it is more important to celebrate the days that they lived. Therefore, today take some time to read about the life and times of the man they called Dizzy. What a grand tale it was. Read his SABR bio here:

I like to believe when Dizzy made it to the great baseball diamond in the sky he looked at the first batter he faced and said "Son, what kind of pitch would you like to miss?" He then fired one in and sure enough there was swing and a miss.

July 17, 1974: 3,000 K's For Bob Gibson

     On July 17, 1974, Bob Gibson recorded his 3,000th career strikeout when he fanned Cesar Geronimo during the second inning of a 12 inning 6-4 loss against the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The Cardinals led 4-3 after three thanks to home runs by Joe Torre and Reggie Smith, but the lead disappeared after the Reds scored a run in the fourth, then another in the sixth. Gibby was lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth. His final pitching line for the day was seven innings pitched, four strikeouts, and the four earned runs. The four K's put him at 3,003 for his career. The teams stayed deadlocked until that fateful twelfth, when George Foster hit a two run double that decided the contest. While the final score was not what the Cardinals and their fans had hoped for, the game was historic, as Gibson had moved behind only Walter Johnson on the all time strikeouts list. Gibson finished his career with 3,117 strikeouts.

Check out the box score here: