On April 13, 1932, the Cardinals pulled off a stunner at Sportsman's Park by scoring five runs in the ninth to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-8. The historic comeback was capped off with a double by Frankie Frisch who knocked in the tying and winning runs. It was a cold and blustery day at the ole ballpark, so the crowd was estimated to be a paltry 1,500 fans. Hard to say how many stayed until the end, as their Redbirds battled from behind throughout the contest. However, those who did witnessed an early season comeback that we can still celebrate today.
The Pirates scored the first three runs of the contest in the second, and they would lead until the final at bat of the affair. The Birds scored two in the third, but watched the visiting Buc's take those run right back with a pair in the fifth. While things were not going well for the day's starter Wild Bill Hallahan, who had led the National League with 19 wins during the previous Championship season, the Cardinals refused to go away. The hurler watched his club inch closer on the scoreboard with a run in the sixth, then another in the seventh, before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter. The score was 5-4 when he was lifted, and the momentum seemed to be all Cardinals. The wind was taken from the sails in the ninth, when Jim Lindsey, Hallahan's replacement, allowed three runs to cross the dish. With the score 8-4 it may have seemed that the coffin had been nailed shut on this one, however, it was far from over, and as you and I both know those last three outs are some tough outs to get. In fact, they were so tough that the visiting Pirates could not get them at all.
The Bucs starter, Glenn Spencer was still on the bump in the ninth when the game winning rally began. He would go the distance that day, coming within an out of adding a win to his stat line. It jsut was not happening though. Spencer surrendered back-to-back singles to Ripper Collins and Pepper Martin, then fumbled Jimmie Wilson's sacrifice bunt, which led to a bases loaded, no one out situation. It may have been a cold day at the ballpark, but the heat was on Spencer. Charlie Gelbert made him pay immediately by knocking a single into center that scored both Collins and Martin, and sent Wilson over to third. It was 8-6; the Redbirds were coming. Ray Blades ended up hitting into a force play to retire Gelbert. However, Wilson scored the seventh Cardinals run of the day. gabby Street sent Joel Hunt into run for Blades, then watched the pinch runner be retired trying to take third on a single by Sparky Adams. Spencer needed one out, one more out that he would not get. George Watkins came to the dish and set the table for Frisch by knocking a single past Tony Piet at second base. Frisch then capped things off by ripping a double into right center that brought Watkins and Adams into score the runs that counted most. After trailing throughout the contest the Cardinals had comeback and won it. They had not given up. Therefore, they prevailed.
Check out the box score here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SLN/SLN193204130.shtml