Cardinals Clubhouse
Season in Time - 1934

This is the story of the season that made "The Gashouse Gang" one of the most famous teams in baseball history
Reference: The Dizziest Season: The Gashouse Gang Chases the Pennant, G. H. Fleming (1984)

Part II: May and June | Part III: July and August

Part I: Spring Training and April
Jay Hanna Dean and his wife Pat headed to Florida early for the 1934 spring training.
  • The couple arrived in Bradenton December 22. "Dizzy" enjoyed hunting, fishing, and playing golf as he awaited the arrival of his St. Louis Cardinals teammates.
  • Dean had burst onto the National League scene in 1932 when he went 18-15 and led the league in innings pitched (286) and strikeouts (191).
  • He reached the 20-win plateau in '33 although he lost 18. He topped the NL in games (48), complete games (26), and whiffs (199).
  • After winning the World Series in 1931, the Cardinals had fallen on hard times.
    --1932: 72-82, 6th place, 18 games behind
    --1933: 82-71, 5th place, 9.5 games behind
  • Dizzy, the congenital braggart, predicted as early as January 18 that he and his younger brother Paul would lead the Cards to the pennant. "How are they going to stop us? Paul's going to be a sensation. He'll win 18 or 20 games. I'll count 20 to 25 for myself." That was quite a boast considering Paul had yet to throw a big league pitch.
  • Dean the Elder looked forward to firing the newly-designed baseballs, which were livelier than the ones used in the NL in previous years.
Frankie Frisch, age 36, had taken over as manager of the Redbirds from Gabby Street during the 1933 season, winning 36 against 26 losses the rest of the way.
  • Once the darling of Giants manager John McGraw, Frisch had come to St. Louis in a trade of outstanding second basemen with Rogers Hornsby heading to the Big Apple.
  • The switch-hitting Frisch continued to ably man 2B and hit .303 in '33 after having his streak of .300+ seasons snapped in '32.
  • The "Fordham Flash" made no bones about the fact that he would manage in the style of McGraw, for whom he played eight years. Some players referred to the Cards skipper as "John McGraw Jr."
  • Considered a hard taskmaster, Frisch nevertheless enjoyed the "unqualified loyalty" of his players. He was fair, considerate and insisted on sound, fundamental baseball.
  • "I'm the boss," said Frank. "I'll call all the shots. The boys will come to me for all instructions. No one will nod me off on a signal. I'm the yes-guy on this ball club."
    Cardinals vice president Branch Rickey (who today would be called General Manager) had hired Gene Karst as the first-ever public relations man in sports. Late in his life, Karst recalled a conversation with his boss during spring training. "On a number of occasions, he would think out loud in my presence. This time he said to me, 'Gene, you know what I should do? I've been thinking about this. Frisch has lost a lot of speed at 2B. And I don't think I can win the pennant with Frisch at 2B. Also, I don't like Virgil Davis as my C. ... What I really should do is fly to St. Louis and convince (owner) Sam Breadon to trade Frisch. I think I can make a deal with the Boston club to send them Frisch for Al Spohrer (the Braves C). I would have Burgess Whitehead play 2B. Rickey knew Frisch really was Breadon's pet. ... After thinking it over, Rickey dropped the idea. He said, 'I don't think I can do it.' His not doing it changed history."

Baseball writers agreed that the New York Giants, were the team to beat in the National League in '34.

  • Like the Cards, the Giants were led by a player-manager - 1B Bill Terry. Like Frisch, Memphis Bill had taken over the managerial duties during the middle of a season - 1932, when McGraw shocked the baseball world by announcing his retirement.
  • In his first full season at the helm, Terry took a team predicted to finish sixth and led them to a 91-61 record to win the pennant by five games over the Pirates. Then New York needed only five games to dispatch the Washington Senators in the World Series.
  • Terry took a trip to New York to talk with writers January 25. He proclaimed Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Chicago as the teams to beat. When asked "Do you fear Brooklyn?", Big Bill gave an answer that would come back to haunt him. "Is Brooklyn still in the league?"

When the Cardinals reported to Bradenton March 5, one player was absent.

  • Paul Dean, who won 22 and lost 7 for AAA Columbus in '33, held out for $1,500 more than the Cardinals offered. He had the complete endorsement of his older brother. "Yes, sir, Paul has a job all lined up, and he's not going to pitch unless the Cardinals pay him. The club offered him a raise over what he got at Columbus, but it wasn't enough for a man of his skill. It was the same salary the club offered other young pitchers, and Paul ain't an ordinary pitcher. He's a great pitcher. He's even greater than I am, if that's possible."
  • Paul arrived in Bradenton and signed his contract March 11. Although salary terms were not disclosed, both sides declared they were satisfied.
  • The Dean brothers met the press and, as always, Dizzy did all the talking. "We're going to win between us 40 or 45 games this year." When asked, "How many will Paul win?" Jay replied, "I don't know, but I guess he'll win more than me. You know Paul's a great pitcher, got lots of stuff ..."
  • Spotting Cardinals owner Sam Breadon, Dizzy called out, "If we don't win 40 or 45 games between us, we'll give the money back to you ..."
  • Dizzy confidently predicted a pennant. "It will require about 95 games to win the pennant, and the Giants can't take that many. That's why we will win."
    One writer described the brothers Dean like this: "Both are tall, rangy. Diz is almost four inches over six feet. Paul is about an inch shorter. They weight about the same, between 190 and 200 pounds. Paul looks his age, 20 1/2 years. Dizzy, 23, seems older. But if you look only at their pitching motions, their windup, their delivery, they are identical twins."
    Paul contrasted his pitching approach with his brother's this way: "I was an overhand pitcher, but I'm side arm now, just like Dizzy. .... after he came back from his first year in the minors, 1930, ... he showed me how he pitched. So I took after him." Dizzy said his fast ball is not as fast as Paul's, but his curve is better. But Paul said this: "We both rely on our fast ball more than our curve. I didn't have much of a curve until last year, when it started to break well."

With the Great Depression still plaguing the economy, almost all ML teams cut salaries for many players.

  • Two Cardinals unhappy with what GM Branch Rickey offered were SS Leo Durocher and OF Ernie Orsatti.
  • Durocher was asked to take a cut of $3,500. "I realize that conditions require most of us to accept smaller salaries. But when you ask a man to take $5,000 instead of $8,500, that's too much."
  • Orsati: "I thought I was fair in my salary demands, but Mr. Rickey insisted that I accept a 25 percent cut. That's too much."
  • But only the most talented ballplayers had any leverage in negotiations in that pre-free-agency era. So all the Redbirds signed their contracts.

A poll of sports writers on the outcome of the NL race was relieved just before the start of the season.

  • 40 of the 97 reporters picked the Giants to win the pennant.
  • 34 chose the Cubs while only 13 selected the Cardinals.
St. Louis fans showed their excitement for the '34 season with the largest opening day crowd at Sportsman's Park in three years.
  • 7,500 turned out on a Wednesday afternoon to watch Dizzy Dean twirl a 7-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • A Pittsburgh scribe wrote, "Jerome the Dizzy hurled a fine game as he limited the Pirates to six hits. His fast ball was smacking like a pistol in Spud Davis' mitt in the closing rounds."
  • The Redbirds' opening day lineup read like this.

    Gene Moore CF
    Frankie Frisch 2B
    Pepper Martin 3B
    Jack Rothrock LF
    Joe Medwick RF
    Ripper Collins 1B
    Spud Davis C
    Leo Durocher SS
    Dizzy Dean P

  • The much heralded younger Dean toed the slab the next day but "the Bucs gave Paul Dean a terrific shellacking in his first big league appearance. Dizzy's younger brother, who pitched only six innings during spring training, lasted only two ... the Pirates rushing 4 runs across on 5 hits ..."
  • That was the first of five straight losses for the Redbirds and seven of the next eight. Included in the dreadful streak were a game in which the Pirates scored 14 and another in which Cubs crossed the plate 15 times.
  • After nine games, RF Rothrock was hitting only .214 and slugging 1B Collins just .200. SS Durocher stood at .179, but he was in the lineup for his fielding and leadership, not his bat. Frisch was still searching for a reliable CF.
    Lippy Leo had an excuse for his poor start at the plate. On April 18, he was granted a divorce from his wife on grounds of her infidelity. He was ordered to pay $25 a week for the support of their three-year-old daughter.
  • Dizzy lost his second and third starts and had an ERA of 6.60. Paul was even worse at 12.00. Not the start the elder Dean imagined when he predicted 45 wins between the two of them.
  • The National League standings looked like this on the morning of May 1.

      Team Record GB
    1 Chicago 10-2 --
    2 New York 8-3 1.5
    3 Boston 6-5 3.5
    4 Pittsburgh 5-5 4
    5 Brooklyn 5-6 4.5
    6 St. Louis 4-7 5.5
    7 Philadelphia 3-8 6.5
    7 Cincinnati 3-8 6.5

Continued below ...

Dizzy Dean

Frank Frisch

Virgil "Spud" Davis

Bill Terry

Sam Breadon

Branch Rickey

Paul Dean

Jack Rothrock

Leo Durocher

Part II: May and June

The 1934 Cardinals entered May in 6th place in the eight-team National League 5 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs.

  • However, the Redbirds were in the midst of a seven-game winning streak in a stretch where they would win 12 of 13 to vault within a half-game of the league-leading New York Giants May 11.
  • First, Frankie Frisch's boys completed a three-game sweep of Cincinnati at Sportsman's Park, with Dizzy Dean, whom the Reds had pounded in the first game, getting the save in the getaway game.

The Cards then hosted the four eastern teams of the league, as was the scheduling custom of the day.

  • The Phillies lost all three with Paul Dean winning the first game despite not looking sharp in the 8-7 slugfest and Dizzy setting down the visitors 7-1 in the finale for his first victory since Opening Day. The Redbird defense continued to sparkle - six double plays in the last two games and 12 in the last five.
    Saturday, May 5 was Ladies' day, a staple of Cardinals baseball since 1917. 2,000 members of the fair sex took advantage of the free admission.
  • The Cards were getting solid hitting from the usual sources - 3B Pepper Martin (.324 as of May 5), LF Joe Medwick (.365), and 1B Ripper Collins (.302). In addition, though, C Spud Davis was hitting .352.
  • The Boston Braves won the first game of their visit, a feisty affair dotted with verbal disputes that broke the home team's seven-game win streak. But the Redbirds won the next two.
    Before the middle game of the series, southpaw P Bill Walker suffered a broken bone in his left forearm when struck by a ball off Medwick's bat in batting practice.
Next came the defending World Series champion Giants to St. Louis for a four-game set.
  • Player-manager Bill Terry told a New York reporter that he expected the Cardinals to be a threat in August and September. So imagine his surprise when St. Louis took the first three games of the series.
  • Dizzy, who loved pitching against the Giants more than any other opponent, twirled a five-hit shutout to win 4-0. Terry almost conceded the game by choosing rookie Johnny Salveson to make his first major league start.
  • The next day, the visitors drove Bill Hallahan from the mound in the third inning to gain a 3-0 advantage. However, miscues in the next four innings helped the Redbirds to move ahead on their way to a 5-4 victory. SS Leo Durocher got singles in his first two ABs on a pop fly that neither C Gus Mancuso nor 3B Johnny Vergez went for. Later The Lip hit another fly that RF Homer Peel lost in the wind. Martin singled and when 2B Blondy Ryan walked to the mound to talk to Hal Schumacher, Martin raced to the uncovered sack. Finally, with Redbirds on the corners and the infield playing in with only one out, Ryan fielded a sharp grounder. Instead on stepping on 2nd and throwing to 1st for an inning-ending DP, Blondy threw home too late to nab Medwick.
  • The third game pitted Paul Dean against the incomparable Carl Hubbell before a Ladies' Day crowd of 6,500. The rookie matched the veteran as the game went into the 10th tied at two. According to a New York reporter, the fans helped their Redbirds plate the winning run. "The score was tied with one down and Durocher on 2nd. Paul Dean hit a fly over short right, and Ryan and Frank 'Lefty' O'Doul both tried for it. Each yelled he had it, but neither could hear the other because of the feminine fans making such a racket. Each slowed up, fearing a collision, and the ball feel free."
  • New York salvaged the finale 6-4 as Tex Carleton faltered after entering the 8th with a 4-1 lead.
  • The Birds split two games with Brooklyn to finish the homestand tied with the Giants for 3rd place just 1.5 games behind the Cubs.
    During batting practice before the last game of the homestand, Medwick and Carleton got into a fist fight. Carleton objected to Medwick taking a turn at the plate while the pitchers were hitting. To which Joe shouted, "I'm tired of taking your abuse!" "Well, let's go," Carleton shouted back. Fisticuffs ensued, each landing a punch before other players pulled them apart. Later the two combatants shook hands and agreed to let bygones be bygones.
    In his next start, Tex pitched his best game of the young season. "His curve never crackled through the strike zone more effectively" in the 2-1 win over the Braves in Boston.

The four western teams now made their first tour of the eastern cities with the Cards also visiting Cincinnati and Pittsburgh before returning home. The Frischmen won 11 and lost six.

  • The highlight of the trip was a duel between Dizzy and Hubbell before 40,000 fans Sunday, May 20 at the Polo Grounds. Neither ace pitched well. The Giants' "Meal Ticket" gave up seven runs in five innings while Diz coasted after the Cards took a 7-1 lead. The final score was 9-5. The teams split the next two games.
    The next day, Freddy Fitzsimmons was warming up in front of the grandstand to start for the Giants when a bat flew outo f the hands of one of his teammates during batting practice and plunked him in the kidneys. So Terry called on Joe Bowman who held the Cards to two runs while the Giants plated five. It was one of only five victories for Bowman that season.
  • The Cards moved across town to Brooklyn, where they split two games, the third being rained out.
    Before the series at Ebbets Field, Dodgers manager Casey Stengel opined, "Not a championship club. Frisch isn't what he once was, the shortstop can't hit, they have a good hitting catcher, and one swell outfielder."
    Harold Parrott of the Brooklyn Eagle wrote this: "Frisch is the strictest manager in either league. He makes the Redbirds check in by 11, insists they eat at regular hours, and he does a bit of snooping. Yet the Cardinals all swear by him."
As the Redbirds moved to Philly, Dizzy announced that "me and Paul" were on the verge of a two-man strike for higher wages.
The pair had engaged in extended negotiations with the club in March. Unhappy at the $3000 contract he was offered, Paul held out for a long time before finally signing. Dizzy now felt Paul made a mistake and, after winning four games in a row, should be paid more.
Unfortunately, the Cardinals lost $83,000 in 1933 in the depths of the Great Depression. Rickey, who had been tight-fisted with money even before the depression, had announced across-the-board salary cuts. So the chances of Paul gaining a raise were slim and none, especially during the season.
  • Dean the Elder took the mound against the Phillies, apparently content to postpone negotiations until the team returned to St. Louis. Showing no signs of being distracted, Dizzy allowed only two runs as the Cards won in ten, 5-2. He also clouted a homer into the LF bleachers against a 40mph gale.
    On the off day for travel from Philadelphia to Cincinnati, the Deans called off their strike. "That's just Dizzy popping off," explained owner Sam Breadon.
  • Paul got the W in the first game of a Memorial Day doubleheader in Cincinnati although he allowed six runs and needed Diz to pitch the final 1 2/3 innings for what today would be classified as a Save.
  • The younger Dean got the Save to complete the three-game sweep over the Reds, giving the Birds six in a row to take over first place by 1.5 games.
    J. Roy Stockton of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote this: "Anyone who questions the esprit de corps of Frankie Frisch's team should have seen yesterday's game. They should have seen Paul Dean go to the hill to hurl the tenth frame, although he worked 7 1/3 hard innings the day before. And as Paul powered the ball through the strike zone, throwing with all his strength, his brother Dizzy was warming up."
    As it turned out, Stockton's assessment was premature.

When the Cardinals arrived in Pittsburgh, the Dean brothers announced they would pitch no more until their salary differences were settled.

  • Dizzy told his manager that he was unable to pitch the opener against the Pirates as scheduled because of a sore arm.
    Diz's decision was the aftermath of Branch Rickey's visit to Cincinnati, where the vice president held a conference with Frisch. Dizzy then went to Frank's hotel room, hoping to settle the controversy. Instead, Frisch told Dizzy that he would not ask Breadon to give Paul a salary boost. When Dean responded with a verbal tongue lashing, the manager told his star hurler, "If you don't want to pitch, go home."
    "If Paul had my nerve," said Diz, "we'd both be back in St. Louis. I don't need a second invitation to leave when I'm not appreciated."
    Paul joined the conversation to say that he too had a sore arm that would knock him out of action for some time to come.
    "Paul must get $1,000 cash, and there will be no compromising," explained Diz to Ray Gillespie of the St. Louis Star-Times. "When Paul and I went on strike in New York, Frisch promised he'd go to the office in St. Louis and plead our case. Now Frank has turned his back on us. Paul and I aren't running out on the other players - we'd do everything possible to help win the pennant and an extra $5,000 apiece, but we feel that we're getting the run-around by the club, and if the management doesn't care about the extra money, why should we?"
  • The Cards lost the opener to the Pirates 4-3.
    Frisch explained afterward that he had conferred with Breadon via telephone and been assured that the owner would support him in handling the situation. When Dizzy was informed of Breadon's attitude, he abandoned plans to quit the club.
  • "My arm's getting better fast," Diz announced the night before a Saturday doubleheader. He then got the victory 13-4 in the opener. However, the Cards lost the second game and again the next day.
  • Amid the turmoil, the Redbirds, who had been in 1st place by 1.5 games after the sweep in Cincy, lost three of four and headed home June 3 in a three-way tie for 1st with the Giants and Cubs.
    A big reason for the Cards' success on the road trip was Joe Medwick, who smacked 26 hits in 53 ABs, including a HR, four triples and four doubles.

Playing at home through June 29 with the Dean controversy settled, the Cardinals had a chance to take over 1st place by themselves.

  • Instead they won 12 and lost 9 to fall to 3rd, two games behind the Giants in the tight three-team race.
  • The Deans won four games each - 2/3 of the team's total - and lost only two. That ran their combined record to 22-4. The rest of the staff was 16-21.
    These facts supported what reporters around the league were writing. For example, Joe Williams in the New Yor World-Telegram: "That the Deans were not permitted to walk out is proof enough that the management recognized their value and realized it all the time. Without the Deans, St. Louis would be lucky to finish in the first division."
  • Hallahan went into a tailspin, going 0-4 on the homestand and not finishing any of his starts.
    "I don't know what's wrong with me," said Wild Bill, the bell cow of the 1931 World Series champion Cardinals' staff. "I've lost a few games because I didn't get the breaks, but on the whole I've been a mess. Maybe I'm trying too hard."
    Frisch on his slumping southpaw: "I've tried everything. I've rested him. I've worked him oftener than his regular schedule. I've advised him to use more fast balls, and then I've asked him to specialize on the curve. When a great pitcher gets in a rut he has to pitch himself out of it. A manager can't help him."
National League Standings
as of June 27
  Team Record GB
1 New York 41-24 --
2 Chicago 40-26 1.5
3 St. Louis 38-25 2
4 Pittsburgh 34-28 5.5
5 Boston 34-29 6
6 Brooklyn 26-39 15
7 Philadelphia 23-41 17.5
8 Cincinnati 19-43 20.5

Continued below ...

Pepper Martin

Joe Medwick

Ripper Collins

Spud Davis

Bill Walker

Bill Terry

Bill Hallahan

Carl Hubbell

Tex Carleton

Casey Stengel

Paul and Dizzy Dean

Branch Rickey

Part III: July and August

The Cardinals entered July in third place, only 2 games behind the New York Giants and 1/2 game behind the Cubs.

  • The Redbirds won the opener of a Sunday doubleheader in Cincinnati 8-6 in 18 innings. Dizzy Dean pitched the first 17 frames to run his record to 13-3. Jim Lindsey got the final three outs to end the 4 1/2 hour marathon and get what today would be a save.
  • Not surprisingly, the second game was called because of darkness after five innings with the score tied at 2.

Next came a crucial four game stretch against the Cubs - the first two at Wrigley Field, then aN Independence Day doubleheader at Sportsmen's Park.

  • Chicago took the opener 7-4, handing Paul Dean his third loss against ten wins.
  • The Cards bounced back the next day, 7-3, behind Bill Hallahan.
  • The teams traded 6-2 wins in the twinbill in St. Louis. Tex Carleton won the opener thanks to a five-run 6th.

The lowly Reds (23-46) came to town for a four-game weekend series.

  • The Friday game was an incredible slugfest that began with Cincy scoring seven in the first to knock Jesse Haines out of the box after just one out. The Cards rebounded with six in the 2nd and two in the 3rd to pull within 9-8. But the Redlegs jumped ahead with five in the 4th. Going into the 8th, the lead was 16-10, enough for the visitors to survive 16-15. The game ended with SS Leo Durocher thrown out at home trying to score from second on an infield hit.
  • The Cardinals plated ten more runs the next day to win by six for Hallahan. C Spud Davis led the onslaught with five RBIs on four hits - two doubles and a HR.
  • Dizzy breezed in the first game Sunday, 6-1, as the Cards belted out 13 hits. The Reds salvaged a split in the nightcap with six in the 3rd off Daffy Dean.
Baseball then enjoyed its second All-Star break.
  • Accepting a proposal by Chicago sportswriter Arch Ward, the owners had staged the first game in Comiskey Park in 1933.
  • Now it was the National League's turn to host. So the fan favorites gathered at the Polo Grounds. Joe Medwick, hitting .373, was voted one of the three starting outfielders and player-manager Frank Frisch (.315) played 2B. Dizzy was selected for the pitching staff. and 3B Pepper Martin (.347) also made the 21-man roster.
  • Joe swatted a three-run HR, Frisch had two hits and scored three runs, and Dizzy pitched three innings of one-run ball in the 9-7 loss.
  • After an off day Monday and the gala affair Tuesday, the schedule resumed Wednesday.
  • The Cards still sat in the 3rd place, two behind the Cubs and four behind the Giants.

The four Western senior circuit teams visited their four Eastern counterparts for the second time in the schedule. Then the Cardinals stopped at Pittsburgh and Chicago before finally returning to St. Louis.

  • The Redbirds won seven in a row from July 18-23 against Brooklyn, Boston, and New York. But they won only three of the remaining nine games of the road trip.
  • 30,000 fans came to the Polo Grounds on Thursday afternoon July 26 to watch a doubleheader. Paul, with Dizzy pitching the last two innings for his fourth save, outdueled Giants' ace Carl Hubbell, who was touched for seven runs - with only three earned - in four innings. Paul had sprained his ankle July 12, knocking him out of action for two weeks. The home club took the nightcap 6-3 behind "Fat Freddie" Fitzsimmons.
  • Dizzy won six games against only one defeat on the excursion. The July 28 loss to the Pirates broke Diz's ten-game winning streak.
  • The Cardinals finished the trip above .500, 13-10. They held 3rd place but were now 5.5 games off the Giants' pace with the still in-between at four back.
    The Cardinals were competing for the pennant with less manpower than the other teams. The Cubs and Giants had 23 men on their rosters (the league limit during the Depression), but St. Louis struggled along with 21.
St. Louis played their three western foes before hosting the four eastern teams.
  • The Redbirds won the first two games against Pittsburgh but lost the Sunday doubleheader.
  • Dizzy coasted to his 19th win in the Friday game, 9-3, and got the lst four outs to seal Carleton's 12th victory Saturday.
    Diz announced his intention to become the first pitcher to win 30 games in the National League since Grover Cleveland Alexander in 1917. He expressed willingness to take the mound every fourth day, which would give him 14 more starts.
  • But Paul gave up three in the 7th to drop the opener of the Sunday twinbill before the Pirates romped 7-2 in the nightcap behind former Yankee Waite Hoyt.
    After the frustrating losses, St. Louis writer J. Roy Stockton was pessimistic. "Perhaps it would be well to forget about first and second place margins and accept the Redbirds as outstanding candidates for third money."
  • A quick trip to last-place Cincinnati produced two wins in three games starting with Diz's 2-0 shutout for his 20th victory to match his total for all of '33.
  • Two days later, Paul came on in the 8th with a man on and none out to try to preserve the 4-1 win for Haines. Given "scant time to warm up," Dean gave up two singles and two walks mixed in with two sacrifice flies to allow the Reds to tie the game. After a scoreless 9th, Diz took the mound for the bottom of the 10th and was the pitcher of record when the Cards erupted for six runs in the top of the 12th to give the elder Dean win #21.
    St. Louis Star-Timeswriter Sid Keener: "What's wrong with the Cardinals? Erratic pitching. Bill Hallahan's flop tells the story. Hallahan is the team's mystery man. Something has happened to the little southpaw. He was 4 victories and 12 defeats and failed to finish in 14 of 21 games he has started. At this time in 1933 he had a 14-7 record.
  • The second-place Cubs traveled to the Mound City for a four game series. As happened the previous weekend, the Cardinals won the first two (starting with a 21-hit, 17-3 lambasting in 100+ degree heat) but dropped both ends of the Sunday doubleheader before 32,000 fans. Paul was the loser in Game One and Diz in Game Two.
  • That left the Redbirds 7.5 games out of first, their largest deficit of the season.
    The Dean boys had been on their best behavior since their brief holdout for more money at the beginning of June. But now they caused another controversy. Owner Breadon had scheduled an exhibition game for his club in Detroit on the Monday off day. But neither Dean boarded the train. When Breadon was asked about their absence, he replied, "Whether Manager Frisch excused them from the trip is something I do not know. If they were not excused, it will be up to Frank to handle the case as he sees fit."
    When asked whether he and Paul had permission to miss the trip, Diz answered, "We did not have our coats or bags with us at Sportsman's Park, so we figured we'd stay in St. Louis. The team left right after Sunday's second game and we came back to our hotel. I did not see any reason to make the trip. Besides, I hurt my arm Sunday. That's why I lost my fast ball. I pulled something loose in my right elbow in the fourth inning. I didn't have my stuff after that." Diz added that he might not be able to pitch for several weeks. "I'm not going to pitch again until the arm is healed. ... If I went out there, I might ruin my career." Paul said he waited for his older brother to take him to the train station but he never showed. Daffy added, "I was really tired and needed a rest. I pitched part of the first game Sunday and warmed up in the bull pen in the second. My ankle is still bothering me."
    Following a conference with Breadon Tuesday morning, Frisch fined Dizzy $100 and Paul $50. When the Deans reported to the ballpark for the first game of the Philadelphia series, Diz asked Frisch, "Do those fines stick, Frank?"
    "Sure they stick," Frisch replied.
    "Well, then, we'll take off our uniforms," Diz retorted.
    "Yeh, we'll take 'em off," Paul echoed.
    "All right then, you're suspended," Frisch declared.
    Dizzy threw a canniption fit, shouting, cursing, and announcing that he would never pitch again for the Cardinals.
    When Diz and Paul went to the treasurer's office to receive their paychecks, they found they had been docked the fines and two days pay each. Furthermore, Dizzy had also been assessed $36 for the two uniforms he destroyed during his rage in the clubhouse.
    Stockton wrote: "The latest rebellion of the Dean boys may turn out to be the best thing that could have happened to Frankie Frisch and his Cardinals. Out of the mess a new team spirit has been born. The team morale and allegiance to Manager Frisch reached a new high yesterday. 'There are only 19 of us left, including Frank,' the boys in the dugout announced, 'but the 18 of us will fight with everything we have to show Frank we're for him.'"

Amid the turmoil, the Cardinals needed to make hay against the Eastern teams, starting with the Phillies and Braves.

  • The Cards won the first three from the Phils without the Deans. Paul was reinstated in time for the fourth game after a conference with club officials and an apology to Manager Frisch.
  • Dean the Younger won the final game of the Philadelphia series after entering in the third inning.
    Asked if the club might sell or trade Dizzy, Breadon declared, "We would not sell him for $500,000. How could we trade him? We could not get his value in return. No, he stays with the Cardinals, and I believe he'll be a good boy after this latest affair."
    Meanwhile, Dizzy asked Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis to review his case.
  • The winning streak reached with a 15-0 pounding of Boston. Paul took the loss the next day in relief, giving up the go-ahead run in the 9th as the visitors prevailed 9-8. The Cards bounced back to win the second game.
    After a four-hour hearing in St. Louis, Judge Landis ruled that the club acted within its right in fining and suspending Dizzy. Trying to be conciliatory, Vice-President Branch Rickey suggested that Diz's ten-day suspension be cut to eight, whereupon Breadon said, "I don't want to be too hard on Dizzy. I'll cut it to seven and make Dean eligible to return to uniform tomorrow if this meets with Manager Frisch's approval." It did.
    Dean insisted to reporters that he got a raw deal but agreed to return to the club. "I can't afford to lose any more money."
  • Their team intact again, the Cards won final game against the Braves.
    Sid Keener: "The feeling of the Cardinal players toward the Deans has dropped from the freezing point to ten degrees below zero since the latest rebellion. Some of the fellows, including Captain Durocher, especially resent the use of the term 'bushers' as applied to them by Paul, a first-year man."

Next up were the Giants, six games in front of the Birds.

  • The Cardinals needed to win two of three to gain any ground.
  • Paul lost the opener 5-3 when Bill Terry's club rallied for three in the top of the 9th.
  • Diz, who loved pitching against the Giants more than any other team, twirled a 5-0 shutout the next day, a good start to his task of regaining the trust of his teammates.
    Diz started the game like "a man sorry for his sins and anxious to make amends." But as game wore on, he "straightened his shoulders, became his old aggressive, assertive self. He began to talk to the Giant batters, taunt them as they came to the plate."
  • With a chance to gain a game on the league leaders, the Redbirds again blew a lead in the late innings. Dizzy relieved in the 7th with a 5-3 lead and no outs, but the visitors tied the game. After the Cards scored one in the bottom of the inning, the New Yorkers touched Diz for two in the 8th to win 7-6. That left St. Louis seven behind.

The homestand concluded with five games against 6th-place Brooklyn.

  • St. Louis won three of five to gain a game and a half on the Giants. Included was an eight-hit shutout by Paul for win #14.
    Pepper Martin returned to 3B during the series after missing several weeks with injuries to his side and right arm.
  • Meanwhile, the top two contenders were meeting in Chicago, where the Cubs took three of four.

On the last day of August, Dizzy, who hadn't pitched in the Dodger series, outdueled Guy Bush at Wrigley Field 3-1. It was Dean's first victory of the year over Chicago in eight starts.

National League Standings
as of August 31
  Team Record GB
1 New York 80-46 --
2 Chicago 74-51 5.5
3 St. Louis 74-51 5.5
4 Boston 64-60 15
5 Pittsburgh 59-64 19.5
6 Brooklyn 54-69 24.5
7 Philadelphia 46-76 32
8 Cincinnati 45-79 34

Continued below ...

Dizzy and Paul Dean


Jim Lindsey


Jesse Haines

Leo Durocher

Freddie Fitzsimmons

Waite Hoyt

Sam Breadon

Kennesaw Mountain Landis

Branch Rickey

Frank Frisch and Dizzy Dean

Part IV: September

The Cardinals entered the last month of the season tied for second with the Cubs, 5.5 games behind the New York Giants.

  • The Cards pounded the Cubs at Wrigley Field for the second straight day, 7-1 behind Wild Bill Hallahan.
  • After the final game at Chicago was rained out, the Cards traveled to Pittsburgh for a Labor Day doubleheader.
  • The Pirates ended the Cards' four-game winning streak in the first game, knocking Paul Dean out of the box with an eight-run 3rd inning on their way to a 12-2 victory.
  • The nightcap had an exciting ending. Trailing 3-2, the Redbirds scored three in the top of the inning to take the lead. Manager Frankie Frisch brought in Dizzy Dean to save the game but instead he gave up three hits and a walk without retiring a batter. Hallahan relieved and gave up a long fly that tied the score and a single that brought home the winning run.
  • The two defeats dropped the Cardinals seven games behind the Giants. A reporter asked Frisch, "Give up, Frankie?" The skipper replied, "Never, not until we're counted out officially. No team of mine will give up. We're in this race until we're out of it, and, believe me, we'll fight to the last ditch."
  • Nevertheless, St. Louis writers began analyzing why the Cardinals had failed to live up to the preseason hype. Reasons cited were Joe Medwick's late-season slump, lack of a solid CF, P Tex Carleton's inconsistency, and so on.
    Later that day, Dizzy pulled another of his stunts. Frisch ordered him to take the train to New York ahead of the rest of the team for the series in Brooklyn two days later. Meanwhile, the club would play an exhibition game against the Cards farm club in Greensburg PA. But Dizzy refused to go.

Dizzy pitched the first game against Brooklyn and got back into Frisch's good graces.

  • The older Dean twirled a three-hitter to subdue the Dodgers 2-1. The Cards won again the next day, 7-5. Then the third game of the series was postponed by rain.
  • However, the Redbirds gained no ground. Across the river at the Polo Grounds, the Giants beat the Cubs both days by identical 5-1 scores.
    Dan Daniel wrote in the New World-Telegram: "It is quite generally accepted that it would take a baseball holocaust to prevent a World Series between the Giants and the Tigers."

The Cards now traveled to Philadelphia for a rare six-game series.

  • The Redbirds needed to take advantage of the seventh-place Phillies to close the gap with the Giants.
  • The Frischmen won four of the six, including both ends of the first Sunday doubleheader in Philadelphia history.
  • Paul and Dizzy both won their starts, allowing only one run each. Dizzy saved another victory.
    The two wins fulfilled Diz's spring training prediction that "me 'n Paul" would win 40 games since Diz now had 25 and Paul, 15.
  • Dean the Elder also blew another save. 43-year-old Dazzy Vance shut out the Phils for seven innings. When he gave up the tying run in the 8th, Frisch brought in Diz, who gave up a bloop single that scored two more.
  • End result of the series: The Cards gained a game and a half on the Giants.
That set up a do-or-die four-game series at the Polo Grounds.
  • Paul Dean got the visitors off to a great start by pitching his best game of the season - a 12-inning shutout. Freddie Fitzsimmons matched him goose egg for goose egg until three singles with an intentional walk mixed in plated two runs in the 12th. LF Medwick drove in the first with a long fly and SS Leo Durocher knocked home the insurance run with a single.
  • The Giants canceled that loss by winning the next day before a Ladies Day crowd of 15,000. Hal Schumacher outpitched Bill Walker 4-1.
    Before the game, Diz invaded the Giants dugout with a black cat. He pointed the cat's nose at 2B Hughie Critz and made all kinds of hex signs and mumbo passes in Hughie's direction. The stunt backfired. Critz went 3-for-4 in the Giants' series-evening victory.
When rain postponed the Saturday game, the Cardinals were forced to sweep the Sunday doubleheader to gain any ground on Bill Terry's club.
A reporter asked Dizzy before the first game what he thought of Frankie Frisch.
"I think Frisch is the most wonderful manager in the world," replied Diz.
"Why, Diz?"
"Because he's the only man who could keep a club in a pennant fight with only two pitchers."
"Who are the two pitchers, Dizzy?"
"Me and Paul."
  • Despite cloudy, threatening weather and a shower just before game time, a record crowd of 62,573, the largest turnout in National League history, overflowed the 52,000-seat Polo Grounds.
    An estimated 15,000 more people were waiting to get in when the Fire Department ordered all gates locked.
  • The Giants took a 3-0 lead against Dizzy before the Cards tallied four in the top of the 7th. Lefty Tex Carleton pitched three flawless innings to preserve the 5-3 victory.

Dean the Younger came back on two days rest to duel Giants' ace Carl Hubbell in the nightcap.

  • The Giants scored a run in the third, and it held up until the 7th when Rip Collins' homer into the RF stands tied the score.
  • The nerve-wracking pitching duel went into extra innings. At the close of the tenth inning, umpire Bill Klem wanted to call the game a tie because of darkness. But he was persuaded to allow another inning.
  • Pepper Martin opened the top of the 11th with a HR into the lower RF stand. In the gathering gloom, Paul's fast ball was too much for the Giants, who went down in order with the aid of a sparkling catch in the twilight by Medwick against the wall in LF.
  • Hubbell suffered his fourth defeat in five decisions against the Cardinals for the season and Paul's sixth victory over the New Yorkers - the same number as his brother.
  • It was also the Cards' 13th win in 22 games against the league leaders.
  • Most important, the sweep cut New York's lead to 3.5 games.

With work still to do, the Cards needed to continue the momentum from the Giants series.

  • They extended their winning streak to seven with two wins at Boston, two at Brooklyn, and one at Cincinnati.
  • Two games in Beantown were rained out and were not rescheduled - to the chagrin of Frisch, who wanted to gain ground on the Giants.
  • Paul Dean twirled a no-hitter in the second game of the doubleheader in Brooklyn after Dizzy fired a three-hit shutout. That led to Dizzy's famous quote: "Shoot! If'n I'da known Paul was gonna pitch a no-hitter, I'da pitched me one too."
  • Starting with the second game against the Giants, the Cardinal pitchers gave up only two runs in five games.
  • After losing the second of the two games to cellar-swelling Cincinnati, the Redbirds won a makeup game at Chicago to end the 23-game road trip just two games behind the Giants.
    Unperturbed, New York manager Bill Terry announced that Carl Hubbell, who had just won his 21st game, would be the starting pitcher in the first game of the World Series.
The Cardinals last six games were at home while the Giants had five more, all on the road.
  • Tuesday, September 25
    The Giants lost at home to the Phillies 4-0.
    The Cardinals beat the Pirates 3-2 as Dizzy won his 28th game to pull within one game of NY.
    Both teams had 57 losses but the Giants had two more victories.
  • Wednesday, September 26
    The Phils opened the door for the Cards to pull into a tie by beating the Giants again, 5-4.
    But the Pirates closed the door when Waite Hoyt, the 35-year-old former Red Sox and Yankee P, shutout the Redbirds on two hits, 3-0.
  • Thursday, September 27
    With the Giants idle, the Cardinals pulled within a 1/2 game of the lead by outhitting the Reds 13-7.
  • Friday, September 28
    Dizzy shutout the Redlegs 4-0 to pull the Redbirds into a tie on another off day for the Giants.

The Giants finished the season with two home games against the sixth-place Brooklyn Dodgers.

  • Dodger manager Casey Stengel had not forgotten what Giants skipper Bill Terry said back in January. While discussing the upcoming season, Terry was asked, "Do you fear Brooklyn?" Big Bill gave a flippant answer. "Is Brooklyn still in the league?"
  • Casey reserved his two best pitchers, Van Lingle Mungo and Ray Benge, for the final two games.
  • Brooklyn fans came across the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan by the thousands, bringing cowbells, sirens, razzberries, and whistles.

L-R: Casey Stengel, Van Lingo Mungo, Roy Benge
All three possibilities were in play: the Giants could win the pennant, the Cards could win, or they could tie.
  • Saturday, September 29
    The headline in the Brooklyn Times-Union said this:
    Van Mungo pitched a five-hitter to outduel Roy Parmelee 5-1.
    Halfway across the continent, Paul Dean, working with only two days' rest, scattered 11 hits so effectively that the Reds manufactured only one run to the delight of a ladies' day crowd of 23,041.
    The Cards led by one game, which meant they had at least a tie for the flag.
  • Sunday, September 30
    The Dodgers won again, 8-5, knocking out 12 hits against the Giants' top three hurlers, Freddie Fitzsimmons, Hal Schumacher, and Carl Hubbell.
    In St. Louis, a delirious throng of 37,402 shrieking fans rejoiced as Jerome Herman Dean won his 30th game, 9-0.
    The Deans exceeded Diz's spring training prediction of "40-45 wins" by four as Paul won 19.
    The Cards finished the National League's hottest pennant race since 1908 two games in front of New York.

On August 24, the Cardinals sat in 3rd place, seven games behind the Giants. Here's the records of the two teams the rest of the season.

  • New York: 15-17
  • St. Louis: 25-9
Final National League Standings
  Team Record GB
1 St. Louis 95-58 --
2 New York 93-60 2
3 Chicago 86-65 8
4 Boston 78-73 16
5 Pittsburgh 74-76 19.5
6 Brooklyn 71-81 23.5
7 Philadelphia 56-93 37
8 Cincinnati 52-99 42

Bill Hallahan

Paul and Dizzy Dean

Frank Frisch

Joe Medwick

Tex Carleton

Dazzy Vance

Freddie Fitzsimmons

Hal Schumacher

Bill Walker

Bill Terry

Rip Collins

Pepper Martin

Waite Hoyt

Roy Parmelee