Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July 2, 1942: Johnny Beazley Dominates The Buccos

     On July 2, 1942, Cardinals starter Johnny Beazley picked up his seventh win of the season with a complete game effort during a 3-1 win over the Pirates at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis.

     The Cardinals hurler scattered five hits in the contest, and held off a late rally, as the Buccos plated their lone run in the ninth. The Cardinals catcher Ken O'Dea came up with the biggest hit of the day. He had scored the first run on a Creepy Crespi single in the fourth, before he singled to right in the eighth, that brought Terry Moore and Stan Musial into score two very important runs. Only one of those two runs were charged, as Pittsburgh's catcher Babe Phelps dropped the ball as Musial came across the dish. At the end of the day, Beazley's five hit performance was the one that made headlines, as he had tossed a true gem in front of the fans in St. Louis.

     Beazley won 21 games that season for the Cardinals, before he won two games in the Fall Classic, as he helped the bring another World Series title to St. Louis. Only one other pitcher had more wins in the National League that season, and that pitcher was Beazley's teammate Mort Cooper who won 22. His career was short. He like most of the ballplayers of his era, he served his country during World War II. He was assigned to a morale unit that helped keep troops spirits high with the great game that is played on a diamond. Somewhere along the way, he hurt his throwing arm, and he ended up never being the same.

     When he returned in '46, he had moderate success with a 7-5 record. He tossed just one inning in the World Series that season, as the club celebrated another title. The club sold him to the Boston Braves in '47. He won just two games for them that season, and only appeared in a handful of games before he retired at the age of 31 in 1949. The brightest spot of his career will forever be that 1942 season, as the 21 game winner helped bring another Championship to the city that lies just west of the Mississippi.

Check out the box score here:

You can read more about Beazley's life and career here:

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