Sunday, August 25, 2013

August 25, 1946: The Cardinals Battle The Dodgers as The Pennant Race Heats Up

On August 25, 1946, St. Louis was buzzing as the Brooklyn Dodgers came to town to take on the Cardinals with first place on the line. The two teams were set to play a doubleheader and it was sure to be a battle that had Sportsman's Park packed with Cardinals fans to cheer the team onto victory. The Dodgers had held a seven and a half game lead but couldn't hold off the surging Redbirds. In the first game, the Dodgers struck first, they plated a run in the fourth when Augie Galan knocked Carl Furillo in from second base with a single. The Birds evened things up in the bottom of the fourth with a solo shot by Stan Musial. Harry Walker put the Cards up 2-1 with an rbi single in the fifth, then Furillo knotted things back up at 2 with an rbi double that brought Pee Wee Reese into score. The score stayed tied until Cookie Lavagetto came up with a ninth inning single to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead that they would not let go of. While the Cardinals fans were bummed about getting beat by dem bums from Brooklyn in the first game, the disappointment wouldn't last long. In the second game, Musial led an offensive onslaught with a 4 for 5 performance that included a double, three ribbies, and two runs scored as the Cardinals beat the Dodgers in a 14-8 rout that was called after 8 innings due to darkness. The Birds looked to have that game easily won as they scored 10 runs in the first six, then they had to survive back-to-back four run innings in the seventh and eighth before the sun tucked out of the sky. The ballpark did have lights installed in 1940, but the rules at the time would not allow a day game to be assisted by lighting. The split ended the day with a dead heat between the Birds and the Bums, it was a dead heat that ended with the first ever tiebreaker that led to a World Series Title for St. Louis. The '46 race was such a great race with two great teams. Everytime I watch the Cardinals play the Dodgers I think of that great race. Throughout the years the rivalry between the Dodgers and the Cardinals was a hot one, we might just see that rivalry heat up again this postseason.

The photo was snapped that day as Musial crossed the plate after hitting the home run in the first game.

Check out the box scores:
First game:
Second game:

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