The first pinch-hit grand slam in major league history was hit on June 3, 1902 by Mike O’Neill of the Cardinals. The right-handed pitcher (yes, a pitcher!) hit the blast in the 9th inning off Beaneaters pitcher Togie Pittinger to propel the Redbirds to a 11-9 victory over Boston at South End Grounds.
When we played the Dodgers in St. Louis, they had to come through our dugout, and our bat rack was right there where they had to walk. My bats kept disappearing, and I couldn’t figure it out. Turns out, Pee Wee Reese was stealing my bats. I found that out later, after we got out of baseball. He and Rube Walker stole my bats.
I just heard about the passing of Bob Gibson, pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals for seventeen seasons. Over the course of that career, Gibson collected 251 wins, 3,117 strikeouts, and a 2.91 ERA. He was also a nine-time All-Star, won two World Series championships, and he won two Cy Young Awards and the 1968 NL MVP.
Bob Gibson was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981. The Cardinals retired his uniform number 45 in September 1975 and inducted him into the team Hall of Fame in 2014.
Gibson died in Omaha, Nebraska on October 2, 2020 from pancreatic cancer.
Rest in peace.
Lou Brock spent the majority of his nineteen-year Major League career as a left fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals. Brock was best known for breaking Ty Cobb’s all-time stolen base record in 1977. He was a six-time All-Star, and he led the National League in stolen bases for eight seasons. Brock led the NL in doubles and triples in 1968, and in singles in 1972. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985.
Lou Brock passed away yesterday, September 6, 2020 at the age of 81.
For the first game of a doubleheader played on August 2, 1938, Larry MacPhail had official baseballs dyed dandelion yellow, and the balls were used in the matchup between the Dodgers and Cardinals at Ebbets Field. The inspiration for this yellow ball came from a New York color engineer named Frederic H. Rahr, who developed it after Mickey Cochrane was severely beaned at the plate the previous year.
“My primary object is to give the hitter more safety and there’s no question that this will be achieved,” said Rahr. “That’s simply because the batter will be striking at a ball he can see instead of at a white object that blurs with the background.”
The Dodgers won that opening game with the yellow baseballs by a score of 6-2. The Dodgers went on to use up their yellow balls in three more games in 1939, but the yellow balls would not get used again after that season.
Slim Sallee became the first pitcher in Cardinal history to steal home on July 22, 1913 in a game against the Brooklyn Superbas. The Redbird lefty performed the feat in the game’s third inning, scoring the first run in St. Louis’s 3-1 victory over Brooklyn at Ebbets Field.
Boston Beaneaters pitcher Wiley Piatt lost both games of a doubleheader to the St. Louis Cardinals on June 25, 1903. Piatt pitched a complete game in each contest, making him the first pitcher in the 20th century to pitch two complete games in one day and lose them both. Fittingly, Piatt was known as “Ironman” to his teammates.
On August 16, 1947, Ralph Kiner of the Pittsburgh Pirates hit three home runs in consecutive at-bats to lead the Pirates to a 12-7 win over the Cardinals. With this performance, Kiner matched the major league marks of seven home runs in four games, six in three games, five in two games, and four homers in consecutive at-bats.
In his first major league appearance on July 6, 1936, seventeen-year-old Indians rookie Bob Feller pitched in an All-Star break exhibition game against the Cardinals’ Gashouse Gang. After the first batter was thrown out trying to bunt, Feller proceeded to strike out eight consecutive batters in three innings.
The St. Louis Cardinals played their first home night game on June 4, 1940. The Cardinals lost to Brooklyn, 10-1, in spite of a 5-for-5 performance by Joe Medwick, including three doubles. The first evening ballgame in St. Louis, which had taken place on May 24, was actually hosted by the Browns, after the two teams had agreed to split the $150,000 cost of installing lights at Sportsman’s Park.