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Grover Cleveland Alexander lost his spot on the Cardinals when manager Bill McKechnie lost confidence in the pitcher’s ability to come to games ready to play.

Ninety years ago, on Aug. 19, 1929, McKechnie determined Alexander’s alcoholism made him unreliable and sent him back to St. Louis during a Cardinals road trip.

Cardinals owner Sam Breadon, who liked Alexander and was sympathetic to him, told him to go home to Nebraska, sit out the rest of the 1929 season and try to get sober.

Alexander never pitched for the Cardinals again.

Shell shocked

After compiling a 190-88 record in seven seasons with the Phillies, Alexander was traded to the Cubs in December 1917. He entered the Army in the spring of 1918 and experienced extensive combat in Europe during World War I.

Exposed to heavy artillery shelling, Alexander lost hearing in his left ear, suffered damage to his right ear, developed epilepsy and became an alcoholic.

Alexander returned to the Cubs in May 1919 and pitched effectively for several seasons, but his drinking eventually got him in trouble with rookie manager Joe McCarthy, who took over in 1926 and wanted him off the team.

Years later, Alexander’s wife, Aimee Alexander, told Sport magazine, “Alex always thought he could pitch better with a hangover, and maybe he could, at that.”

In June 1926, the Cubs granted McCarthy’s request, placed Alexander on waivers and he got claimed by the Cardinals.

Under control

In his book “Redbirds: A Century of Cardinals Baseball,” author Bob Broeg described Alexander, 39, as “freckled and turkey-wattled from a long, hard athletic life, knock-kneed, wearing his cap perched on top of his head like a peanut.”

Alexander may not have had control of his personal demons, but he still had command of his pitches. According to Broeg, Alexander was called “Old Low and Away” by teammate Jesse Haines for his ability “to pinpoint pitches down across the lower, outer edge of the plate.”

Alexander was 9-7 for the Cardinals the remainder of the 1926 season, helping them win their first National League pennant. In the 1926 World Series against the Yankees, Alexander made two starts, won both, and earned the save in Game 7 with 2.1 innings of hitless relief, including an iconic strikeout of Tony Lazzeri with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh.

Alexander was 21-10 for the Cardinals in 1927 and 16-9 in 1928 when they won their second National League championship.

At 42, Alexander still was a starter for the Cardinals in 1929, but he delivered one of his best performances in a relief stint.

On Aug. 10, 1929, in the second game of a Saturday doubleheader against the Phillies at Philadelphia, McKechnie brought Alexander into the game in the eighth inning with the Cardinals trailing, 9-8. According to Broeg, McKechnie said to Alexander, “Hold ’em, and we’ll win it for you.”

The Cardinals got a run in the ninth to tie the score at 9-9 and two in the 11th for an 11-9 lead. Alexander did his part, pitching four scoreless innings and earning the win, the 373rd and last of his major-league career. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cardinals catcher Jimmie Wilson said Alexander had such control of his pitches against the Phillies “he could have hit a gnat in the eyebrow.” Boxscore

Basic training

Philadelphia prohibited Sunday baseball, so with a day off on Aug. 11, 1929, Alexander informed McKechnie he planned to go to Atlantic City to visit friends.

According to Broeg, Alexander told McKechnie, “I won’t take a drink.”

McKechnie replied, “I don’t care if you take a drink. Just return Monday, fit and ready to work.”

Alexander returned to the club on Monday looking “unsightly and shaky,” according to Broeg.

McKechnie warned Alexander not to let it happen again.

On Aug. 17, 1929, Alexander got the start against the Giants in Game 2 of a Saturday doubleheader in New York and took the loss, yielding five runs in three innings and dropping his record to 9-8.

Alexander went on a drinking binge again. Two days later, on Aug. 19, 1929, during a day off in Brooklyn, McKechnie “ordered Alexander to leave the team for breaking training” rules, the St. Louis Globe-Democrat reported.

McKechnie had given Alexander “repeated warnings” and said he decided “to use stern measures” because “leniency had failed to gain results,” the Associated Press reported.

In the Post-Dispatch, J. Roy Stockton wrote, “Everybody knows what caused Alexander’s final break with Bill McKechnie. His waywardness has been disguised by a kindly newspaper world as mumps, measles, lumbago, indigestion and ptomaine poisoning, but it is doubtful if anybody is fooled.”

Fond farewell

Alexander got back to St. Louis on Aug. 20, 1929, and told the St. Louis Star-Times, “I’ve been a bad boy of baseball and I’m paying for it now. There’s no one to blame but myself and I hold no hard feelings toward anyone. Everyone knows I never was an angel.”

Alexander met with Breadon the next day, Aug. 21, 1929. Breadon thought it best for Alexander to take a break from baseball, but said he would continue to pay him during his leave of absence.

“Mr. Breadon told me to go home and straighten up with a long rest and all would be all right,” Alexander said to the Post-Dispatch. “I am going home to St. Paul, Nebraska, and go fishing for bullheads. I expect to regain my best condition and to pitch for the club next year.”

According to the Globe-Democrat, Breadon said McKechnie “did right to order (Alexander) away from the team and I support McKechnie in his moves.”

Breadon added, “I have always been very fond of Alexander and I could not deal harshly with him. It has been said I have disciplined my managers for not holding Alexander closer to the mark, but the actual truth is I have been even more lenient with Alexander than the managers.”

Four months later, on Dec. 11, 1929, the Cardinals traded Alexander and catcher Harry McCurdy to the Phillies for pitcher Bob McGraw and outfielder Homer Peel.

Alexander was 0-3 with a 9.14 ERA in nine appearances for the 1930 Phillies, got sent to the minors and didn’t play in the big leagues again.

He and Christy Mathewson are tied for third among major leaguers in career wins at 373. Only Cy Young (511) and Walter Johnson (417) have more.

Alexander struggled with personal and financial problems during the Great Depression. According to Broeg, Breadon, for the rest of his life, paid Alexander $100 a month, sending the check through the National League office. After Breadon died in 1949, Fred Saigh, part of the Cardinals’ new ownership, kept up the payments to Alexander and paid for the funeral when Alexander died in 1950.

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Taking advantage of clumsy defensive work by the Pirates, Terry Moore achieved an unusual feat for the Cardinals.

Eighty years ago, on Aug. 16, 1939, Moore hit two inside-the-park home runs in one game, driving in all four runs in a 4-3 Cardinals victory over the Pirates at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh.

Moore was the first player to hit two inside-the-park home runs in one game at Forbes Field, according to the Pittsburgh Press.

First homer

In the opener of the Wednesday afternoon doubleheader at Pittsburgh, Bob Klinger, a second-year right-hander, held the Cardinals scoreless for six innings and the Pirates led, 2-0.

In the seventh, Pepper Martin led off for the Cardinals and reached base when his grounder was fumbled by shortstop Arky Vaughan for an error.

Moore followed with a drive to the gap in left-center. Running hard and trying for a triple, Moore took advantage of what the St. Louis Globe-Democrat described as “a disconnected relay throw” by the Pirates and motored safely to the plate behind Martin with a two-run, inside-the-park home run, tying the score at 2-2.

The Pirates regained the lead, 3-2, in the bottom of the seventh with an unearned run against Cardinals starter Bob Weiland.

Second homer

In the top of the ninth, after Martin singled with one out, Moore drilled a pitch from Klinger to deep left. The ball struck the scoreboard, about halfway up.

Left fielder Johnny Rizzo, a former Cardinals prospect best known for his hitting, “went one way and the ball caromed another,” according to the St. Louis Star-Times.

As Rizzo looked around left-center for the baseball, it rolled toward the left-field foul line, the Globe-Democrat reported.

When he finally spotted the ball, Rizzo “frantically chased” it, the Pittsburgh Press reported. Moore tore around the bases and scored behind Martin with his second two-run, inside-the-park home run of the game, giving the Cardinals a 4-3 lead.

More drama

The Pirates threatened against reliever Bob Bowman in the bottom of the ninth. Pep Young led off with a double and advanced to third on Ray Mueller’s sacrifice bunt. Left-hander Clyde Shoun relieved Bowman and struck out Paul Waner, who was batting for Klinger.

Lloyd Waner, who had entered the game in the top half of the ninth as a defensive replacement in center for rookie Fern Bell, was due up next. Lloyd Waner, like his brother Paul, was destined for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame and was batting .285 for the season. However, he batted left-handed, and Pirates manager Pie Traynor apparently wanted a right-handed batter to face Shoun with two outs and the potential tying run at third.

Traynor sent Jim Tobin, a pitcher, to bat for Lloyd Waner. Tobin, who was batting .265 for the season, grounded out to first, ending the game. Boxscore

Moore finished the 1939 season with 17 home runs, second on the club to Johnny Mize, who slugged 28.

In 11 seasons with the Cardinals, Moore hit 80 home runs. He hit three inside-the-park home runs, all at Forbes Field. The first occurred on Sept. 7, 1936, leading off the game against Waite Hoyt of the Pirates. Boxscore

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After getting lit up by Dennis Lamp, Lou Brock nearly turned out the lights on the Cubs pitcher.

Forty years ago, on Aug. 13, 1979, Brock got his 3,000th career hit, a smash that struck Lamp’s right hand, turning three of his fingers purple.

Brock’s single came on the first pitch after Lamp brushed him back.

“I should thank Lamp for that fastball under the chin,” Brock said to the Chicago Tribune. “It brought me back to reality because it was a pretty close pitch. All the thoroughbred players I know bounce back from that, so I was ready for the next pitch. My concentration was back where it should have been.”

Setting the stage

After batting .221 in 1978, Brock said the 1979 season would be his last as a player. He needed 100 hits to reach 3,000.

“I seriously doubted he’d make them,” Bob Broeg of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch admitted. “I hoped a grand guy wouldn’t wind up an embarrassment in the batting order.”

Acting on a teammate’s tip, Brock, 40, made an adjustment in his batting stance, keeping his weight on his front foot, and began spraying hits consistently again. He went into the game against the Cubs with a .321 batting average and 2,998 hits.

The Monday night game at Busch Memorial Stadium matched Lamp against Cardinals starter Pete Vuckovich. Cardinals manager Ken Boyer put Brock in the No. 2 spot in the batting order between Garry Templeton and Keith Hernandez.

The Cubs were the ideal opponent for Brock’s attempt at the milestone. They were Brock’s first major-league team before they traded him to the Cardinals in 1964.

In the Cardinals’ clubhouse before the game, Brock’s mood was loose and relaxed, the Post-Dispatch reported. “He’s so even-keel you’d never know what was at stake,” Hernandez said.

Brock and Templeton shadow-boxed. Third baseman Ken Reitz reminded Brock of a bet they made in spring training regarding whether Brock would reach 3,000 hits before Reitz got to 1,000.

Playing before a crowd of 44,457, Templeton led off the Cardinals’ half of the first with a single. Boyer called for a hit-and-run and Brock lined a single to left for hit No. 2,999.

Big hit

Brock’s second at-bat of the game, and his first attempt at hit No. 3,000, came when he led off in the fourth.

“I pictured in my mind a hit up the middle,” Brock said.

The count was 1-and-2 when Lamp unleashed his brushback pitch. The high and tight fastball set up the next pitch, a curve Lamp hoped Brock would miss or hit weakly.

“I thought it was a good pitch,” Lamp said.

Instead, Brock drilled the ball, “a line drive that would clean the sawdust off a 2-by-4,” according to Post-Dispatch columnist Tom Barnidge.

Said Brock: “I really smashed that ball at him.”

The ball pounded into the fingers of Lamp’s throwing hand _ “It felt like having your hand caught in a car door,” he said to The Sporting News _ and caromed across the third-base line. Third baseman Steve Ontiveros retrieved it but had no chance to throw out Brock, who streaked across first base. Video

Crowning achievement

As the crowd roared, club owner Gussie Busch and Stan Musial, the first Cardinal to achieve 3,000 hits, came onto the field to join Brock and his teammates in a ceremony.

“I’ve always wanted to leave baseball in a blaze of glory,” said Brock, who became the 14th major-league player to achieve 3,000 hits. “I’ve always wanted to orchestrate my own exodus.”

Lamp was removed from the game and replaced by a former Cardinal, Doug Capilla. “My middle and index fingers swelled up and turned purple,” Lamp said.

In the fifth inning, with Ken Oberkfell on second base and two outs, Boyer sent Tony Scott to bat for Brock.

Brock went into the Cubs’ clubhouse to check on Lamp, who was relieved when X-rays showed no fractures to his fingers. “I told him not to be afraid to pull the ball next time,” Lamp said. “I guess what this means is that they’ll be sending my fingers to Cooperstown.”

That’s a winner

In the bottom of the ninth, with the score tied at 2-2, Reitz got his 1,000th career hit, a single against Willie Hernandez, but too late to win his bet with Brock. Tommy Herr, making his major-league debut, was sent in to run for Reitz.

After Hernandez hit Oberkfell with a pitch, moving Herr to second, Bruce Sutter relieved and yielded a single to Dane Iorg, loading the bases.

Templeton followed with a flyout to left fielder Dave Kingman. Herr tagged and headed toward the plate. The throw was wide and Herr scored the winning run. Boxscore

Great champion

Among the post-game reactions to Brock’s achievement:

_ Ted Sizemore, Cubs second baseman and former Cardinal: “Lou Brock is the most mentally prepared player I ever saw. He’s a guy who can identify with goals. When he sets his mind to it, he can get it. He’s one of the great champions in the game.”

_ Bob Forsch, Cardinals pitcher: “I think he wanted to do this against the Cubs. I mean, they’re the club that traded him away. There had to be a real sense of satisfaction.”

_Ted Simmons, Cardinals catcher: “You look at Lou’s career and you envy it. I do. I think most players do. I’ve enjoyed every ballgame I’ve ever played with him. What he’s done has been remarkable.”

The Sporting News called the 3,000 hits “a testimony to his ability, pride, determination and competitive spirit.”

In an editorial, the Post-Dispatch concluded, “What truly sets him apart is the self-discipline and fidelity to purpose that made possible the consistency and stamina demanded by such a sports milestone.”

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At a time when big-league baseball lost its way, Cardinals players got stranded and fans were abandoned.

Twenty-five years ago, on Aug. 12, 1994, major-league players went on strike. The season never resumed and there were no postseason games.

The Cardinals’ last game of the season was played Aug. 11, 1994, at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami against the Marlins.

With management and players showing no signs of reaching a labor settlement, the Cardinals’ front office told the players they weren’t allowed on the team’s charter flight and would have to find their own way back to St. Louis.

Lost souls

The 1994 Cardinals ended June with a 39-36 record, but went into a tailspin in July, losing 20 of 28 games.

Manager Joe Torre said his players had “a tough time concentrating” and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted the Cardinals “often seemed like lost souls.”

In a game against the Cubs, outfielders Ray Lankford and Mark Whiten let a routine fly ball fall untouched between them. “It’s something that shouldn’t happen,” Torre said. “Mental shutdowns shouldn’t happen.”

The baseball players’ union set a strike date of Aug. 12 if a settlement wasn’t reached with team owners. Some wondered whether the Cardinals were distracted by the likelihood of a work stoppage, but shortstop Ozzie Smith said, “The way we’ve been playing has nothing to do with the strike or anything else. We’ve just been playing like a bad baseball team.”

In what would be their last home game of 1994, the Cardinals lost, 9-7, to the Cubs on July 31 before 48,921, dropping their record to 47-56 before embarking on an 11-game trip to Montreal, Pittsburgh and Miami. Boxscore

No deal

On Aug. 8, 1994, Donald Fehr, executive director of the players’ union, told the Associated Press, “This doesn’t have the air of a dispute that’s going to settle.”

Richard Ravitch, chief negotiator of the baseball owners, wouldn’t make a prediction but added, “That doesn’t mean I think the fairy godmother will descend with a solution.”

The dispute focused on a salary cap, salary arbitration and player compensation. The owners wanted a salary cap and elimination of salary arbitration. The players wanted higher minimum salaries, more postseason money and preservation of the free agency system.

Cardinals general manager Dal Maxvill said, “I’m concerned. We’re not talking about apples and apples here. Or apples and oranges, or apples and bananas. We’re talking about apples and sabers.”

Hardball tactics

On Aug. 10, with a strike looking inevitable in two days, Cardinals president Stuart Meyer told Todd Zeile, the club’s player union representative, the players wouldn’t be allowed on the team charter flight to St. Louis after the series-ending game with the Marlins on Aug. 11.

“Paternalism is gone,” Meyer said. “It isn’t a friendly situation anymore. It’s a fact of life. It’s a business decision.”

Cardinals pitcher Bob Tewksbury called the ploy by Cardinals management “kind of unbelievable.”

“I can’t see any other point they’re trying to make other than, ‘We don’t care about you and we’re going to try to stick it to you,’ ” said Tewksbury.

Said catcher Tom Pagnozzi, the club’s alternate player union representative: “One thing I think this did is it unified the players a little bit more. There are some guys who are real bitter.”

Ozzie Smith said, “It’s not surprising. We’ve had to deal with it for years. Nothing has changed. The faces change, but the actions remain the same.”

Zeile and Pagnozzi arranged for the players to charter a TWA DC-9 airplane to take them back to St. Louis. They also lined up a bus to take the players from the Miami stadium to the airport and rented a truck to load the players’ equipment. Zeile said it cost $18,000 to charter the plane and the cost was split among the players, according to the Post-Dispatch.

Fitting ending

In another controversial cost-saving move by Cardinals management, catcher Erik Pappas was recalled from the minor leagues on Aug. 11 “because he makes $140,000 on a major-league contract,” the Post-Dispatch explained.

By having Pappas on the active big-league roster, the Cardinals wouldn’t have to pay him during a strike. “If the strike would last the rest of the season, the Cardinals would save about $40,000 in Pappas’ salary,” the Post-Dispatch reported.

On Aug. 11, a Thursday night, the Cardinals and Marlins played what would be their last game of the season. In the top of the eighth, with the Cardinals ahead, 8-6, “God punished everyone,” Rick Hummel wrote in the Post-Dispatch, when rain delayed the game for 1 hour, 19 minutes before crew chief Harry Wendelstedt called it off. Boxscore

When the Cardinals players arrived at the Fort Lauderdale airport for their flight to St. Louis, “they could see the team’s regular charter plane preparing to take off,” the Post-Dispatch reported. Torre, coaches, staff and broadcasters were onboard the official Cardinals charter.

The next day, Aug. 12, the strike began and management permitted Cardinals players to go into Busch Memorial Stadium and clean out their lockers.

“The fans are the ones who have had to endure over and over again,” said Torre. “I hope they’ll give this thing one more chance. We’ve got to stop teasing the fans.”

The strike didn’t end until April 2, 1995, soon after U.S. District Judge Sonia Sotomayor issued an injunction requiring baseball owners to comply with the expired collective bargaining agreement.

The first regular-season game since the strike began was played April 25, 1995, between the Dodgers and Marlins in Miami. The Cardinals opened at home the next day, April 26, versus the Phillies.

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Before Ernie Broglio became a principal figure in the Lou Brock trade, he had much success, including his greatest game, against the Cubs.

Broglio died July 16, 2019, at 83. He was a premium starting pitcher when the Cubs acquired him, reliever Bobby Shantz and outfielder Doug Clemens from the Cardinals for Brock and pitchers Jack Spring and Paul Toth on June 15, 1964.

Based on his results for the Cardinals, the Cubs thought Broglio would be a consistent winner.

Broglio earned 21 wins for the Cardinals in 1960 and 18 in 1963.

The right-hander was 11-4, with four shutouts, as a Cardinal against the Cubs.

The best of those performances came on July 15, 1960, when Broglio pitched a one-hitter and struck out 14 in a 6-0 Cardinals victory over the Cubs at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Right stuff

Broglio entered the Friday night game with a 9-4 record and a streak of four consecutive wins.

With one out in the second inning, the Cubs’ Ed Bouchee, a left-handed batter, lined a single against the screen in right field. Broglio retired the next 13 batters in a row before Richie Ashburn drew a walk with two outs in the sixth.

In the seventh, Ernie Banks walked with one out before Broglio retired the last eight batters in a row.

Every Cubs starter except Bouchee struck out. None of the three Cubs baserunners advanced to second. Boxscore

“This is the best I’ve ever seen Broglio pitch,” Cardinals manager Solly Hemus said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Broglio “kept the Cubs off balance with changing speeds and breaking stuff,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

Asked by the Post-Dispatch which pitch worked best, Broglio said, “My curve. It was breaking off fine.”

Cardinals catcher Carl Sawatski told the Associated Press, “His curveball was working almost perfectly and his fastball was as good as ever.”

Broglio credited Sawatski with perfect pitch selection. “I didn’t shake him off once,” Broglio said.

Sawatski also contributed a solo home run onto the right-field pavilion roof against starter Don Cardwell, who pitched a no-hitter for the Cubs against the Cardinals two months earlier on May 15, 1960.

Big deal

Two months after his gem against the Cubs, Broglio shut them out again, pitching a three-hitter in a 4-0 Cardinals triumph on Sept. 3, 1960, at St. Louis. He struck out seven and walked two. Boxscore

Broglio was 3-0 with a 1.15 ERA versus the Cubs in 1960.

When the Cubs acquired him from the Cardinals, Broglio, 28, was regarded a more prominent player than Brock. In six seasons (1959-64) with the Cardinals, Broglio was 70-55, including 18 shutouts. Brock hit .257 in four seasons (1961-64) with the Cubs.

In a 2014 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Broglio recalled, “I was a little bit upset because I wanted to finish my career with the Cardinals.”

Asked to recall his reaction to the trade, Bill White, the first baseman for the 1964 Cardinals, told me in a 2011 interview, “We all thought it was nuts. Lou was a raw talent. At that point, he didn’t really understand baseball. He might try to steal while 10 runs up or 10 runs down.”

According to the Tribune, Brock “had fallen into some disfavor” with Cubs manager Bob Kennedy, “a stickler for sound application of baseball’s fundamentals.”

“Kennedy was irritated at times by Brock’s erratic outfield play and occasionally by his unsound baserunning,” the Tribune reported.

Kennedy said the acquisition of Broglio “gives us as good a pitching staff as there is in the league.” Cubs third baseman Ron Santo added, “With our pitching staff now, we can win the pennant.”

Broglio, who had a damaged right elbow, was 4-7 with a 4.04 ERA for the 1964 Cubs, who finished eighth at 76-86. In a 2016 interview with his hometown San Jose Mercury News, Broglio said, “They (Cardinals) got rid of used merchandise. The Cubs didn’t know. Nowadays, that trade never would have happened.”

Brock hit .348 with 33 stolen bases and 81 runs scored, sparking the 1964 Cardinals to the National League pennant and a World Series championship.

Broglio told the Mercury News the Cardinals players went to Stan Musial’s restaurant in St. Louis after clinching the World Series title and called him at his home in San Jose to thank him for his contributions and to have him feel a part of the celebration.

Broglio was 7-19 with a 5.40 ERA in three seasons (1964-66) with the Cubs. Brock went on to a Hall of Fame career with the Cardinals.

According to the San Jose newspaper, Brock sent Broglio an autographed photo with the inscription, “History and time have tied us together. You are and were a hellava player.”

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After slicing his pay, the Cardinals cut deeper into the pride of Joe Medwick with a move he viewed as a public insult.

Eighty years ago, on Aug. 1, 1939, the Cardinals were one strike away from completing a win at home against the Braves when manager Ray Blades removed Medwick from left field for a defensive replacement.

Blades said the move was made for strategic reasons. Medwick said it was done to humiliate him.

Salary squabble

Medwick, a right-handed hitter of Hall of Fame caliber, made his major-league debut with the Cardinals in September 1932 and became their left fielder in 1933.

In 1934, Medwick batted .379 in the World Series against the Tigers, helping the Cardinals win the championship.

Medwick achieved his best season in 1937 when he won the National League Most Valuable Player Award and earned the Triple Crown by leading the league in batting average (.374), home runs (31) and RBI (154).

Though he had another stellar season in 1938, batting .322 with 21 home runs and leading the league in doubles (47) and RBI (122), the Cardinals wanted to cut his pay for 1939 because he didn’t repeat his Triple Crown performance.

Medwick, 27, sought a 1939 salary of $22,000, a $2,000 increase from his 1938 pay of $20,000. The Cardinals offered $15,000, The Sporting News reported.

After a holdout during 1939 spring training, Medwick signed for $18,000, a $2,000 cut from what he made in 1938.

“Certainly Medwick is not happy with the Cardinals,” wrote J. Roy Stockton of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He was unhappy when he signed his 1939 contract and made no attempt to conceal the fact. Joe felt he had been browbeaten into signing.”

The Dodgers, managed by Medwick’s friend and former Cardinals teammate, Leo Durocher, reportedly offered $200,000 for Medwick in the spring of 1939, but were rebuffed.

When the Dodgers came to St. Louis for a series against the Cardinals in late July 1939, Durocher hosted a dinner party and Medwick attended, causing some to suspect tampering.

Medwick dismissed the concerns, telling the St. Louis Star-Times, “I don’t want anyone to get the impression I ever ease up an inch when I’m playing against the Dodgers. No one is going to select my friends. If I want to attend a dinner at Durocher’s home, that’s my business.”

Mad as hell

After the Dodgers left town, the Cardinals opened a series versus the Braves on Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 1, at Sportsman’s Park.

In the ninth inning, with the Cardinals ahead, 4-3, the Braves had a runner on first, two outs, and Tony Cuccinello at the plate against Clyde Shoun.

With the count at 1-and-2 on Cuccinello, Cardinals coach Mike Gonzalez, acting on orders from Blades, came out of the dugout, asked the plate umpire for time and hollered out to Medwick to come off the field.

As Lynn King, a reserve outfielder, trotted out to take over in left, Medwick “staged a temperamental demonstration that showed his total disregard for his manager’s ideas of how to run a ballclub,” the Star-Times reported.

According to published reports, Medwick “threw his glove high in the air, dug up the turf with his spikes as he marched sullenly toward his glove, and kicked the glove around with disgust before he picked it up.”

Instead of going to the dugout, Medwick “stormed through the wagon gate on the third-base side of the grandstand,” the Star-Times reported.

As Medwick exited, Cuccinello swung and missed at strike three, ending the game. Boxscore

Playing the percentages

Asked why Medwick was removed, Blades told the Post-Dispatch, “I consider King a better defensive outfielder than the other fellow.”

Regarding the timing, Blades said, “I would have made the change earlier, but I was afraid (the Braves) might get another run to tie the score and I wanted to keep King in reserve as a pinch-hitter. With two outs, I decided the wisest thing was to strengthen our defense.”

Cardinals owner Sam Breadon defended his manager, telling the Post-Dispatch, “That’s Blades baseball. He plays for every bit of percentage … I didn’t think anybody had reason for feeling badly or being hurt.”

Others saw it differently:

_ The Sporting News: “The yanking of Joe in that game could hardly be construed as less than a humiliation.”

_ The Post-Dispatch: “If Blades has a weakness, it is the coldness which makes him forget and disregard the human element as he strives for victory.”

Dissatisfied with Cards

Medwick, who went into the clubhouse after he left the field, ducked into the trainer’s room to avoid reporters.

On the morning of Aug. 3, before the Braves and Cardinals played a doubleheader, Star-Times sports editor Sid Keener contacted Medwick at home and got him to talk about the incident.

Medwick said, “I think it was the rawest deal I’ve ever received in my baseball career … I’m dissatisfied playing with the Cardinals.

“If Blades thought I wasn’t spry enough to go after some drives in the ninth, why didn’t he take me out before the inning started?” Medwick said. “I don’t look like an old man out there, do I? I’ve made some pretty fancy catches this season, saved a lot of extra-base hits for our pitchers and I would have caught anything Cuccinello would have hit out to left field.”

Forget about it

When Medwick arrived at Sportsman’s Park for the Thursday afternoon doubleheader, he and Blades met and “apparently smoothed out their differences,” the Star-Times reported.

“I simply explained to Joe why I took him out of the game,” said Blades. “As for a feud or any personal differences between us, that’s foolish.”

Said Medwick: “Blades explained his move and I agree with him. Let’s forget the whole deal.”

Blades and Medwick posed in the dugout for photographers and shook hands.

Medwick got an ovation when he took his position in left field. When Medwick batted for the first time, leading off the second inning, he was cheered and responded by hitting a home run. Boxscore

Medwick batted .332 with 48 doubles and 117 RBI for the 1939 Cardinals.

In 1940, the Cardinals stumbled and, with their record at 14-24, Breadon fired Blades on June 7. Five days later, Medwick was traded to the Dodgers.

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