Saturday, July 19, 2014

July 19, 1924: Hi Bell Earns Iron Man Distinction From The Bump

     On July 19, 1924, Cardinals hurler Hi Bell pitched complete games victories in both ends of a doubleheader against the Boston Braves at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis.

     The six foot tall righty flirted with a no-no in the first game, as  he held the visitors hitless until giving up an eighth inning hit to Don Padgett. Bell settled for a two hitter as the Birds sailed to a 6-1 victory behind a 12 hit performance that was highlighted by a Jim Bottomley three run homer that came in the bottom of the first and set the tone.

     According to the Sporting News  the Cardinals skipper Branch Rickey was so impressed with the performance that he stopped Bell while he was headed to the shower and asked if he wanted to go again. The 26-year-old said sure, and got ready to go again. He was in fine form, and he needed to be as the Braves hurler Johnny Cooney matched him pitch for pitch as they both allowed just four hits during a 2-1 Cardinals win.

     Bell's six hit "Iron Man" performance accounted for two of his three wins during that 1924 season which were accompanied by eight losses. He put together a 32-34 record that was scattered over eight seasons. He was a part of a pennant winner three times which included the 1926 Championship club. Bell's double duty complete game performance had only been matched one time by a player who wore the Birds on the Bat, and that came one season earlier when Johnny Stuart pitched and won both ends of a doubleheader. Bell was the last Cardinals to do it, and it was only accomplished two more times, with the first coming from the arm of Urban Shocker  who represented the Browns later that same year, and Dutch Levsen who accomplished it for the Indians in 1926.

If you would like to read more about the Iron Man pitching club check this out. Well worth the read:

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