Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 8, 1944: The Birds Move Within a Game Of The Title

On October 8, 1944, the Cardinals moved within one game of capturing their fifth World Series title with a 2-0 win in Game 5 of the all St. Louis Fall Classic against the Browns. With Mort Cooper on the hill for the Birds and Denny Galehouse throwing for the Browns it was a game dominated by pitching. Cooper struck out 12 men and scattered 7 hits for the Cards while Galehouse turned in 10 Ks on the day, he gave up just 6 hits, but two of them were solo shots that were enough for the Cardinals to achieve victory.  Galehouse surrendered a long ball to Ray Sanders in the sixth then another to Danny Litwhiler in the eighth. it would be all the Birds needed as Cooper was dominating the Browns batters. Cooper came into the bottom of the ninth with just four strikeouts under his belt, he promptly struck out all three pinch hitters that Browns manager Luke Sewell sent to the dish. The pitching performance was the only time in World Series history that two pitchers struck out at least 10 batters. The Cardinals would take the title the next day with a 3-1 victory, it was the fifth title in franchise history.

Here's the box score: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SLA/SLA194410080.shtml

Couple cool facts about the '44 series; During the regular season the manager of the Cardinals Billy Southworth and the Browns skipper Luke Sewell shared an apartment due to wartime housing shortage. The setup worked great during the season because the two teams were never in town at the same time. During the week of the World Series Southworth found an apartment to stay in while Sewell stayed at the one they shared. Another interesting one is the fans in St. Louis seemed like they didn't know who to root for, the newspapers of the day remarked that the fans in the stands were rather quiet. There wasn't a divide between the fans in St. Louis like there was in cities like Chicago and New York. I have always thought it would be awesome to have two teams in St. Louis just because it would mean there would be a game being played almost every day in the city during the regular season. This winter I will have a comprehensive look at each and every game that was played during each of the Cardinals World Series Championships.

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