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SABR Digital Library: The 1934 St. Louis Cardinals: The World Champion Gas House Gang

Add a championship baseball book to your collection from the SABR Digital Library:

The 1934 St. Louis Cardinals:
The World Champion Gas House Gang

Edited by Charles F. Faber
$6.99 e-book, $19.95 paperback
ISBN (e-book): 978-1-933599-57-1
ISBN (paperback):
978-1-933599-73-1
280 pages

The 1934 St. Louis Cardinals were one of the most colorful crews ever to play the National Pastime. Sportswriters delighted in assigning nicknames to the players, based on their real or imagined qualities. What a cast of characters it was! None was more picturesque than Pepper Martin, the “Wild Horse of the Osage,” who ran the bases with reckless abandon, led his team­mates in off­ the­field hi­jinks, and organized a hillbilly band called the Mississippi Mudcats. He was quite a baseball player, the star of the 1931 World Series and a significant contributor to the 1934 championship.

The harmonica player for the Mudcats was the irrepressible Dizzy Dean. Full of braggadocio, Dean delivered on his boasts by winning 30 games in 1934, the last National League hurler to achieve that feat. Dizzy and his brother Paul accounted for all of the Cardinal victories in the 1934 World Series. Some writers tried to pin the moniker Daffy on Paul, but that name didn’t fit the younger and much quieter brother.

The club’s hitters were led by the New Jersey strong boy, Joe “Ducky” Medwick, who hated the nickname, preferring to be called “Muscles.” Presiding over this aggregation was the “Fordham Flash,” Frankie Frisch. Rounding out the club were worthies bearing such nicknames as Ripper, “Leo the Lip,” Spud, Kiddo, Pop, Dazzy, Ol’ Stubblebeard, Wild Bill, Buster, Chick, Red, and Tex. Some of these were aging stars, past their prime, and others were youngsters, on their way up. Together they comprised a championship ball club.

“The Gas House Gang was the greatest baseball club I ever saw. They thought they could beat any ballclub and they just about could too. When they got on that ballfield, they played baseball, and they played it to the hilt too. When they slid, they slid hard. There was no good fellowship between them and the opposition. They were just good, tough ballplayers.” — Cardinals infielder Burgess Whitehead on "When It Was A Game," HBO Sports, 1991

With contributions by Mark Armour, Eric Aron, Thomas Ayers, Lawrence Baldassaro, Parker J. Bena, Alan Cohen, Greg Erion, Charles F. Faber, Paul Geisler, Joseph Girard, Nancy Snell Griffith, Don Harrison, Dwayne Isgrig, Jimmy Keenan, Norm King, Jeffrey Marlett, Andy McCue, Jack Morris, Bill Nowlin, J.G. Preston, C. Paul Rogers III, Matthew Silverman, Fred Stein, Andy Sturgill, Clayton J. Trutor, Cort Vitty, Joseph Wancho, Charlie Weatherly, Bob Webster, and Gregory H. Wolf.

 

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About the SABR Digital Library

For 40 years, SABR and its members have led the way in publishing the best baseball historical and statistical research. Our publications program is shifting to take advantage of new methods of publishing. Not only will we continue to publish new books like CAN HE PLAY? A Look At Baseball Scouts and Their Profession (released in December 2011); OPENING FENWAY PARK IN STYLE: The 1912 World Champion Red Sox (May 2012); Detroit Tigers 1984: What A Start! What A Finish! (December 2012); Sweet '60: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (April 2013); Inventing Baseball: The 100 Greatest Games of the 19th Century (July 2013), and Thar's Joy in Braveland: The 1957 Milwaukee Braves (May 2014), which showcase the best efforts of SABR's members, chapters and committees, but new technology makes it possible for us to bring out-of-print titles like RUN, RABBIT, RUN: The Hilarious and Mostly True Tales of Rabbit Maranville (February 2012), GREAT HITTING PITCHERS (March 2012), NINETEENTH CENTURY STARS (August 2012); Batting (January 2013) and The Fenway Project (September 2013) back again.

Books will be available in digital formats as well as paperbacks produced by "print on demand" (POD).

SABR members will get discounted rates for all Digital Library publications, including many for free. If you're not a member, click here to join SABR.

Stay tuned throughout the year for new (and old!) titles that we'll be adding to the SABR Digital Library. To learn more about SABR Publications, contact Publications Editor Cecilia Tan at ctan@sabr.org.

 

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This page was last updated August 25, 2014 at 4:02 pm MST.

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