On October 29, 1942, the end of an era came to a close when Branch Rickey resigned as the Vice President of the St. Louis Cardinals, so he could take a position as President and General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Rickey had been part of the Cardinals organization for 25 years, doing everything from managing the club to building a farm system that would have a lasting impact on all of baseball.
The split came after differences arose between him and owner Sam Breadon. During his time with the Cardinals the club won nine National league Pennants, and four World Championships, along with two more that came in 1944 and 1946 with players that Rickey had helped acquire and develop. The franchise remained contenders throughout the rest of the forties with the players that Rickey had brought into the farm system, but without him it did falter, while the Dodgers began to rise under his guidance. He signed Jackie Robinson in Brooklyn and turned that club into a perennial contender in the years to come. In many ways the Cardinals had learned the lesson of you don't know what you got until it's gone. .
While Rickey did return to the Cardinals as a consultant in 1962, his best days had come and gone. His days with the team came to an official close in December of 1964. Less than a year later Rickey passed away. In life and in death he will forever be a legendary figure in the history of the Cardinals and in all of baseball as well.
If you would like to read more about the life and times of Branch Rickey check this out: http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/6d0ab8f3