Sunday, June 15, 2014

June 15, 1949: Nippy Jones Knocks In Six For The Birds

     On June 15, 1949, a 9-5 win over the Dodgers in St. Louis brought an eight-game winning streak to a screeching halt for the club from Brooklyn who were sitting alone atop the National League Standings. The Cardinals offensive attack was led by first baseman Nippy Jones who drove in six runs with a home run, a double, and two singles. While Jones fell just a triple short of the cycle, his teammate Marty Marion was a home run away from achieving the feat before the game was put in the books. The game also featured what would have been called a web gem today, as Stan "The Man" Musial made a spectacular diving catch to cap off the Dodgers half of the fourth inning.

Check out the box score here:

     Jones' given name was Vernal. He said he got his nickname from his Dad who enjoyed to take a little nip off a bottle here and there. When friends and family would see father and son coming along, they would say "There goes Nip and Little Nipper." He joked with a name like Vernal he needed a good nickname. Jones gained notoriety as a member of the Milwaukee Braves in 1957, for being hit on the shoe in the tenth inning while trailing the Yankees 5-4  in Game 4 of the World Series in Milwaukee. Initially it was called a ball, then an argument ensued, and Nippy pointed out some shoe polish on the ball, which led to him being awarded first base. The Braves rallied and won the game on a towering walk off by Eddie Mathews, then went onto win the series. It was the second World Series title that Jones would be a part of, as he was also crowned a World Series Champion in 1946, as a member of the Cardinals. Jones came up in '46, and played in just 16 games for the National League Champions, before striking out in his only at bat during the Fall Classic. He wore the Birds on the Bat across his chest during six different seasons, with the '48 and '49 campaigns being his best.

Check out the career numbers of Nippy Jones here:

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