Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 24, 1951: The Cardinals Celebrate The '26 Club With a Comeback Led By Stan The Man

     On June 24, 1951, before a contest against the Boston Braves at Sportsman's Park, the Cardinals organization honored members of the 1926 club to commemorate the 25 year anniversary of  the organization's first championship season. Once the ceremonies came to a close the Braves thrashed the Cardinals pitchers, as they scored five runs through the first five innings. However, Stan Musial's bat helped the club mount a classic comeback that took 14 innings to complete.

     Musial led off the sixth with a single, was knocked in by Del Rice to give the Birds their first run, then came up in the the eighth and parked the 189th home run of his career in the seats, which narrowed the gap to 5-2. That score stood until the Birds put together a three run game tying rally in the ninth that was capped off with a double off the bat of Musial. There was free baseball in St. Louis until Musial sparked the game winning rally with his second double of the day. Moments later he was sacrificed over to third, and Nippy Jones put the exclamation point on the comeback by legging out a two out single that brought Stan into score the game winniner. 3 hours and 27 minutes after the Cardinals had taken the field Musial and the boys were running off of it victorious.

     The home run by Musial in the eighth came courtesy of Warren Spahn. Musial hit more home runs against Spahn than any other pitcher he faced throughout his storied career. Spahn would end up alongside Stan in Cooperstown, as he won more than 300 games in a storied career of his own. With that said, I am sure Spahn remembered that Stan The Man Musial hit .326 against him and put 17 balls over the fence after he delivered them to the plate.

Check out the box score here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SLN/SLN195106240.shtml

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