Thursday, June 26, 2014

Paul Dean, The Brother of Dizzy

     Paul Dean, the brother of Dizzy, and by some accounts known as Daffy, is often overshadowed when it comes to the famous sibling pitching duo from the days of the Gashouse Gang. Dizzy was an over the top kind of personality. He was what I like to call a "quote a minute kind of guy." Dizzy had joined the Cardinals in '32, and two years later he was joined by his brother. It was going to be quite the year in St. Louis. Paul went about getting his job done quietly, while Dizzy grabbed the reporters ears, and the subsequent headlines. Although Paul did grab a few headlines of his own. In fact, 19 times during that rookie campaign Paul's name appeared in the headlines and the win column during the regular season, which included a no-hit performance against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

     The two brothers combined for 49 wins on the club that won 95 games, and the National League Pennant. The success continued into the World Series as Dizzy and Daffy combined to win all four games for the Cardinals. Dizzy opened the series with a win, Daffy won the third game by scattering eight hits while allowing a run. Dizzy did lose the fifth game of the series, but his brother won the sixth, and Dizzy, otherwise known as Jay Hanna Dean shut the Tigers out in the seventh game, that was won by the Cardinals 11-0, as the brother stood side by side as World Champions.

     Paul returned to form in 1935, he matched his '34 win total with 19 wins, while Dizzy added 28 more to his totals. Unfortunately for Paul, he ran into arm trouble that led to him winning just eight more games between '36 and '39. Five of the eight came in '36, and the other three came two seasons later. While many historians say that Paul ran into his arm trouble because of a massive workload in his first two seasons, he attributed it to weight gain, as he went from 175 to 225 after the '35 season. There is a very good possibility that both factors played into his struggles. Paul would also say that many pointed at the toe injury that Dizzy suffered in the '37 All Star game as the moment his career turned for the worst, but in reality Dizzy's arm had been hurting him in the Spring of '37, and the All Star game injury was just another proverbial strike against him.

       While this is an era in baseball that is looked at with great admiration, it was also an era in baseball that pitchers went the distance game in and game out, and there were many occasions that they would be called onto pitch in relief between starts. Simply put, the workload that pitchers took on during the era led to many careers ending before they truly got started.  I have heard today's fans berate a guy for not getting past the sixth or seventh inning of a game, and say things like "they used to do it back in the day", and that might be true, but it also is important to look at a much bigger picture which is not to not only have success today it is about sustained success. Both Paul and Dizzy could be considered a victim of the times.

    The brothers days as teammates ended with Dizzy being shipped to the Cubs in the Spring of '38. Both of their best days had come and gone. Paul joined New York Giants in 1940, and he won just four games for them that season. While his days in the game looked to be over Paul returned in '41, and appeared in just five games without figuring into decision. The Cardinals organization worked out a deal with the Giants in the Fall of '41, and it looked like he might get another shot in St. Louis. However, it never came to be, although, he did win 19 games for the club's minor league affiliate out of Houston. Following that season he shuffled around a bit before landing with the St. Louis Browns in '43. He pitched in just three games for the Browns before heading back to the minors. Paul officially hung up the cleats at the age of 33 in 1946. He never did make it back to the bigs after the stint with the Browns.

     After his days on the mound came to an end Paul spent seven years as a minor league manager, before retiring in 1965. Even after he officially retired Paul made appearances as an instructor in the years that followed. When Dizzy passed away in 1974, Paul acknowledged he played second fiddle to his brother, and he said he would do it all again if he could. The siblings bashed heads like siblings do, but they had a bond between them that was like no other. He talked about how they did not see each other for two or three years at a time, but that bond never faded. This is something I can relate to, as I have a brother who lives in another state, but there is a bond between us that cannot be broken. Dizzy often talked about his brother by saying "Me and Paul." While some might have looked at the younger Dean as the second fiddle to the more colorful Dizzy, to him he was just his brother and they lived what most of us could only consider a dream.

     Paul passed away six years after his brother. He was 67. He had lived a long happy life that included a wife, two sons, two daughters, and 15 grandchildren.While Dizzy stands amongst baseball's immortals, Paul is a figure that should not be forgotten. He too, is responsible for the 1934 Flag that waves in the wind at Busch Stadium.

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