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  • 1931 Cardinals

    Where do they rank in Cardinals history as a world series champion?

    Batting champion in Chick Hafey.

    Regular season mvp in Frankie Frisch

    World series mvp and probably the greatest individual world series ever by a player in Pepper Martin. Maybe the rookie of the year if they had both the WS MVP and Rookie of the year awards back in that day.

    101-53. Won the NL by 13 games.

    Upset the powerful Athletics who won 107 games in 7 games.

    Bottomly was 3rd in batting average that year with a .348 average.

    Hafey was tied for 2nd on on base %. Bottomly was 3rd. Both were in the top 10 in the NL in slugging %. As well as OPS.

  • #2
    Here is some stuff from John Snyder's Cardinals Journal on the 1931 team. He starts by talking of the best moments (and worst) for each decade. Beginning the chapter on the 1930s in Cardinal baseball, Snyder says this about the best Redbird team:

    "The 1931 Cardinals were 101-53, won teh National League pennant by 13 games, then took the World Series in seven games from the Athletics. the 101 wins were the most of any NL club between 1913 and 1942."

    His best moment of the decade:

    "Pepper Martin's heroics in the 1931 World Series made him a national hero. He had 12 hits in 24 at bats and stole 5 bases."

    His All Decade Team of Cardinals in the 1930s (I highlighted the guys that played for the '31 squad, he added the years they were playing with the team in parenthesis):

    C- Jimmie Wilson (1928-33)
    1B- Johnny Mize (1936-41)
    2B- Frankie Frisch (1927-37)
    SS- Charley Gelbert (1929-32, 1935-36)
    3B- Pepper Martin (1928, 1930-40, 1944)
    LF- Joe Medwick (1932-40, 1947-48)
    CF- Terry Moore (1935-42, 1946-48)
    RF- George Watkins (1930-33)
    SP- Dizzy Dean (1930, 1932-37)
    SP- Wild Bill Hallahan (1925-26, 1929-36)
    SP- Jesse Haines (1920-37)
    SP- Lon Warneke (1937-42)

    Not saying this is a complete list, or that this guy John Snyder is any type of expert on the St. Louis Cardinals (he has researched and written these types of enormous journals for various historic franchises), just relaying his opinion and how it ties in with the 1931 Cardinals.

    His "Game You Wish You Had Seen" of the decade:

    "The Cardinals completed an upset of the Philadelphia Athletics in Game Seven of the 1931 World Series with a 4-2 win on October 10."

    Some other tidbits in the Journal:

    The Cardinals and Cubs combined for a record 32 2Bs in a double header at Sportsman's Park on July 12. The crowd was 45,715, which was 13,000 more than the Park could hold. The ushers and police were overwhelmed by all the spectators, and they were roped off and on the playing field, many in fair territory! The balls hit into the crowd were ruled as ground rule 2Bs, which was why the record was set. The OFers were almost literally on the heels of the INFers, especially in the second game when 23 of the 2Bs were hit. The Cubs won the opener, 8-5, but the Cards came back in the second game to win 17-13. The 23 2Bs were most ever by two teams in a single game, the 13 2Bs by the Cards in that game is the most by a club in a single game since 1900. The Cardinals also set a major league record for most 2B in a double header with 17. The Redbirds who hit those 2Bs that day included: Ripper Collins (4), Gus Mancuso (3), Chick Hafey (2), Frankie Frisch (2), Ernie Orsatti (2), George Watkins (2), Andy High (1) and Jake Flowers (1).

    August 5- Jim Bottomley has 6 hits in 6 ABs during a 16-2 win over the Pirates in the second game of a double header. He had 2 hits in the first game for 8 on the day. Snyder adds:

    "It was Bottomley's second career six-hit game. The first was on September 16, 1924. The only other players in major league history with more than one six-hit game in their careers are Cal McVey (both in 1876), Jimmie Foxx (1930 and 1932), and Kirby Puckett (1987 and 1991)."

    August 30- Wild Bill Hallahan struck out 13 Pirates in a 4-1 win at home. Hallahan led the NL in W (19), Ks (159), BBs (112) and had a 3.29 ERA.

    September 14- Cardinals beat the Phillies 13-5 and 10-3 in a double header at Sportsman's Park. Chick Hafey collected a total of 6 hits, 2 HRs, 2 2Bs and 7 RBIs for the day.

    September 16- The Cardinals clinch their 4th NL Pennant in 6 years by beating the Phillies 6-3 at home. The clinching actually took place when the final out of the Reds v Giants (second place team that year) game too place in Cincinnati. Snyder said that when word reached St. Louis that the Giants lost, MGR Gabby Street pulled all 8 starters out of the game and inserted the subs.

    September 18- Chick Hafey scores from 1B on a 9th inning single by Pepper Martin to beat the Giants 4-3.

    September 24- With the country mired in the Great depression, the Cardinals and Brown play a charity fundraising game in St. Louis to raise money for the city's unemployed. Fans attending the game contributed $30,250 and the Browns won 7-4.

    September 27- The Cardinals close out their season by winning games number 100 and 101 in a double header with the Reds. The Cardinals became the first NL team to win 100 games since the 1913 Giants,a nd the last until the Reds win 100 in 1940. Chick Hafey narrowly beats out the Giants Bill Terry for the NL batting title .3489 to .3486, with Sunny Jim Bottomley a close 3rd at .3482.

    From Snyder about the upcoming World Series:

    "the Cards' World Series opponents in 1931 was the Philadelphia Athletics. The A's were gunning for their third consecutive world title after defeating the Cubs in five games in 1929 and the Cardinals in six games in 1930. Managed by the 68-year-old Connie Mack, the Athletics were 107-45. The A's winning percentage of .704 was the highest of any big-league club between 1927 and 1954."

    About the Cardinals, Snyder wrote:

    "Seven individuals were on the World Series eligibility rosters of the Cardinals in each of the club's four appearances in the Fall Classic in 1926, 1928, 1930, and 1931. They were Ray Blades, Jim Bottomley, Jesse Haines, Wild Bill Hallahan, Chick Hafey, Syl Johnson, and Flint Rhem."

    October 1- Cards lose the opener to the A's 6-2 in front of 38,529 at Sportsman's Park. The Redbirds score 2 in the first, but Lefty Grove shuts them down the rest of the way. The A's took the lead with a 4 run 4th against Paul Derringer. Rookie CF Pepper Martin collected 3 hits in 4 ABs, including a 2B and SB.

    October 2- "Spurred by the efforts of Pepper Martin and Wild Bill Hallahan, the Cardinals even the Series by defeating the Athletics 2-0 before 35,947 at Sportsman's Park. Martin stretched a routine single into a double with a head first slide in the second inning, stole thrid just ahead of Mickey Cochrane's throw, and came home on Jimmie Wilson's fly to center. In the seventh, Martin reached first on a single, stole second, went to third on an infield out, and dived across the plate in a cloud of dust on a squeeze bunt by Charlie Gelbert... Bottomley made a sensational catch leaning into the box seats to get the final out on a pop foul by Max Bishop. Hallahan struck out eight, walked seven, and allowed just three hits."

    October 5- "Pepper Martin again leads his teammates to victory with a 5-2 decision over the Athletics in Philadelphia before a crowd that included President Herbert Hoover. Martin had a single and a double in four at-bats and scored twice. Jimmie Wilson collected three hits for the Cards. Burleigh Grimes pitched no-hit ball until Bing Miller singled with none out in the eighth. The only Athletics runs came with two outs in the ninth inning when Mickey Cochrane walked and Al Simmons homered. Grimes also had two hits and drove in two runs."

    October 6- The A's even the Series by winning 3-0. George Earnshaw pitched a 2 hitter, with Pepper getting both hits.

    October 7- The Cardinals pick up their 3rd Series victory with a 5-1 win over the A's in Philadelphia. Pepper went 3-4 with a HR and drove in 4 of the 5 Cardinal runs. Wild Bill pitched a CG to pick up the W. Snyder adds this information after the blurb about the game:

    "Martin batted sixth during the first four games of the Series, but because of his big hitting, he was elevated to the cleanup spot in Game Five. After five games, Martin had 12 hits in 18 at-bats. among his hits were four doubles and a home run. He also stole four bases, scored five runs and drove in five. although he would add his fifth stolen base of the Series, Martin would go hitless in six at-bats in the final two games. But his teammates picked up the slack and the Cardinals managed to win the World Series."

    October 9- The A's even it up again and force a Game 7 by beating the Cardinals 8-1 before 39,401 at Sportsman's Park. Lefty Grove held the Redbirds to five hits.

    October 10- The Cardinals take the World Series by winning 4-2 at home! George Watkins was the hitting star he singled in the 2 run first, and hit a 2 R HR in the 3rd over the RF pavilion. Burleigh Grimes took a 4-0 lead into the 9th, before running into a jam and Wild Bill came out of the 'pen to get Max bishop to fly out to Pepper Martin in CF! The crowd was only 20,805 according to Snyder, as the tickets for Game 7 didn't go on sale until after Game 6 was over. Snyder had this to add about Martin:

    "When the 1931 World Series began, martin was an unheralded 27 year-old rookie who hit .300 with seven home runs in 123 games during the regular season. By the end of the Series, martin was a national hero for his play in the defeat of the Athletics. He was a stocky five-foot-eight and hailed from rural Oklahoma. Making up for a limited store of talent, Martin won over fans with his desperate, reckless all out hustle that earned him the nickname 'The Wild Horse of the Osage.' His craggy face and dirty uniform seemed to define the Depression era."

    Good stuff. I always loved the teams in the 1930s, especially our Gas House Gang boys! The Cardinals in 30s tied the Giants and the Cubs for most NL pennants with 3 each, the Reds took the other one. We also had the fourth most wins over the course of the decade, behind only the Yankees, Cubs and Giants. Pretty damn good!
    "It ain't braggin' if you can do it." Dizzy Dean

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    • #3
      Didn't realize about Bill Hallahan in 1931 leading the league in wins with a 19-9 record as well strikeouts.

      Went 2-0 with a .49 ERA and a save in game 7 to win the series for the Cardinals.

      One of those underrated pitchers in Cardinals history I guess.

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      • #4
        This team was projected to 3peat for the NL title but Hafey and Rickey I believed had a falling out which prompted him to be traded to Cincy.

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        • #5
          They called Frisch, Bottomley, and Hafey "The Three Musketeers"

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