Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October 9, 1934: The Gashouse Gang Wins The Title

On  October 9, 1934, the Cardinals won their third championship title in franchise history with an 11-0 victory over the Tigers in Game 7 of the World Series at Navin Field in Detroit. The deciding game of the series came with some controversy as Ducky Medwick was forced from the Cardinals lineup by the commissioner of baseball Kennesaw Mountain Landis after he spiked Tigers third baseman Marv Owen in the sixth. Dizzy Dean handled pitching duties for the Cards, he had literally been knocked out in Game 4. Dean came into that contest to pinch run and he got smoked in the head while he was trying to breakup a double play. Dean had to be rushed to the hospital where he was given a clear bill of health. In fact, the Cardinals 30 game-winner pitched the next day in Game 5, a 3-1 loss. After the Game 5 defeat in St. Louis, the Tigers were up 3 games to 2 with the series headed back to Detroit. With their backs against the wall the Birds pulled off a 4-3 victory in Game 6. Dizzy's brother Paul not only went the distance in that game he also knocked in what proved to be the game winning run with a seventh inning RBI single. More than 44,000 packed Navin Field for Game 7, they all were anticipating victory while the Cardinals had other plans. The Tigers sent Elden Auker to the hill in the decider, he was no match for the Cardinals bats. The Tigers starter got through the first two innings cleanly, then things started going the way of the Cardinals in the third. Dizzy hit a one out double into left, Pepper Martin followed him with a single that put Dean at third. After Martin swiped second base,  Auker walked Jack Rothrock to load'em up which simply set the table for the player/manager of the team Frankie Frisch. The Cardinals second baseman delivered with a double that brought all three runners into score. The bases clearing double spelled the end of the day for Auker and Schoolboy Rowe was called in to relieve, despite the fact he had pitched all nine innings of the Detroit loss the day before. Rowe was able to get the second out of the inning with a groundout by Medwick, however, it was a productive out as it moved Frisch over to third. The next man up Ripper Collins knocked Frisch in with a double to left, then the Cardinals catcher  Bill Delancey smacked a double to right that brought Collins into score the fifth run of the inning.  Delancey was the last batter Rowe faced, Chief Hogsett  took over for him and the wheels continued to fall off the Tigers bus. Hogsett walked the Cardinals center fielder Ernie Orsatti which brought shortstop Leo Durocher to the dish, Durocher was the first batter of the inning as the Cardinals had batted around. The first time Durocher was up he flied out to center, this time he delivered with a single that loaded the bases for the second time in the inning. Dean promptly picked up his second hit in the frame that brought Delancey into score. Hogsett then walked Martin forcing in the seventh run of the frame. The Tigers finally got out of the inning after Tommy Bridges replaced Hogsett and got Rothrock to groundout. As you could imagine the fans in Detroit were a bit stunned and probably a more than pissed after they watched things unravel in such a big way. The fans hit a boiling point in the sixth, Martin led the inning off with a single, then with two outs Medwick knocked him in with a triple to right. As Medwick came into third he spiked the third baseman Marv Owen, which brought players pouring out from both dugouts as Owen and Medwick looked like they might just throw some punches. After order was restored Ripper Collins picked up his fourth hit of the day which brought Medwick into score the ninth Cardinals run. Bridges ended the sixth with an out of Frisch, then Medwick went to take his position in left. He was welcomed by a thousands of angry fans that showered him with bottles, fruit, vegetables, and anything else they could find to throw at him. It led to the decision by the commissioner to remove the embattled left fielder. It's the only time in the history of the game that a commissioner chose to remove a player from a game. While Medwick insisted it wasn't intentional, it was probably the right choice as it calmed things down. Medwick had to be led to the locker room by six police officers for his own safety. The Cards added a couple more runs in the seventh with RBIs by Martin and Rothrock,they were the last two runs in the 11-0 beatdown. At the end of the day the Cardinals had recorded 17 hits while Dean allowed just 6 hits. It was quite the end to a series that was a true battle between both clubs. While it might have ended with some drama for the fans in Detroit, the fans in St. Louis rejoiced as their Cardinals would be returning home World Champions.

Check out the box score:

The Tigers posted a 101-53 record during that '34 season, that .656 winning percentage is the best in the long history of that franchise and  they finished 7 games ahead of the Yankees in the American League Standings. On the flip side the Cardinals posted a 95-58 regular season record and won a heated race with the New York Giants by two games.

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